Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Great Book Blockade of 2009

The Great Book Blockade of 2009 has made everyone in the book industry busy and noisy. The PBBY is actually coming up with its own stand on the plight of book taxation in the country. Elfren Cruz has written an essay in Business World about this.

Here's an excerpt.

Historically, in every slave-owning society (including the United States) slaves were not allowed to read. There was a period in European civilization when barbarians ruled and books were accessible in a few monasteries. This was aptly called the Dark Ages.

One of the saddest periods in the history of the Catholic church was the period of the Inquisition and the Index of Forbidden Books when again authorities decided what could and could not be read.

Alberto Managuel, in his book A History of Reading, wrote:

"As centuries of dictators have known, an illiterate crowd is easiest to rule; since the craft of reading cannot be untaught once it has been acquired, the second best recourse is to limit its scope. Therefore, like no other human creation, books have been the bane of dictatorships. Absolute power requires that all reading be official reading, instead of whole libraries of opinions, the ruler’s words should suffice."

Throughout history, man’s search to know his world and himself has been through the written word conveyed in books. Perhaps it may be difficult for most politicians to comprehend, but the truth is that words and wisdom, written in books, have the power to change our lives much more than roads, bridges, and ambulances financed by pork barrel funds.

For the full article, read Mr. Cruz here.

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