Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Not a right, but a privilege.

Yesterday, I went to National Bookstore at G-mall. It was one of those rare moments where I had P500 on hand (gasp! Yeah, I'm that poor, I guess); I quickly jumped at the chance to buy for, for a change, a book whose pages aren't already highlighted or scribbled with notes (made by people from first world countries, who are probably already *shudders* dead), or whose pages are so old that they make crisp sounds when you turn the pages, and look like they may have been discovered along with the Dead Sea scrolls.

Books, especially new ones, are such a luxury for me. My mother snorts at any book whose price tag is above P200, which is why most of the scenes I have with mama at NBS or Goodwill always involves emotional blackmail and much sales talk (though thankfully, I haven't had to resort to throwing a temper tantrum or rolling on the floor). As a result, I have been reduced to lurking around P35 bookstores to ward off my booklust, although they seldom yield decent or attractive, titles. I'm guessing I'll be a suki of 2nd hand bookshops until after I've gained employment and "financial stability". I'm also guessing that will take me roughly 30 years.

Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yeah--I was there at National, scouring the aisles, hoping to freshen-up my library with new title(s). I looked around, and all I saw were people standing motionless, their heads surreptitiously bowed low, eyes transfixed on the books they held with much care in their hands. At this moment, one hour after I arrived at National, something became very clear to me.

Books are expensive. Sad.

Why are books so damn expensive? I mean, c'mon, P699 for 200 pages of newsprint? Asa ang hustisya ana?!?

I'm no expert on the constitution or tax laws, but isn't reading supposed to be every individual's right? So why, oh why, does the government tax books?

Sheesh, no wonder we're breeding more and more stupid people. Because they don't have the "luxury" of reading a good book. And that is just sad. ='(