Update: Check out “The Great Book Blockade of 2009: Timeline and Readings” here.

I saw UP Law Dean Marvic Leonen at a meeting in school today and we talked a bit about the book blockade and my nasty encounter with the neighborhood post office’s Customs Director and crew. Turns out he had the same experience at the same post office, also over an Amazon purchase. But of course, being a lawyer, he had all the conviction and knowledge I didn’t have in the same situation, which is why he didn’t shell out a cent for taxes to claim his books. Apparently, what I thought was a proper albeit painfully expensive and overall infuriating transaction, official receipt and all, was a well-orchestrated rip-off.

Let me spell it out for us book lovers to bask in: you do NOT have to pay taxes to claim your book purchases/packages at the post office. Books are tax-exempt. Marvic Leonen is interested in filing a case to put an end to this kind of fiasco and has asked me to dig up my old receipt to get the case going. I have spent the last hour or so trying to find the receipt, to no avail. I am usually very good at filing even the most irrelevant documents, and so I am starting to get that sinking feeling that I must’ve thrown it away. I’ll keep on looking for it, but in any case, if you’ve had a similar experience–paying taxes for books at the post office–and you still have the receipt, please get in touch with me at chingbee(dot)cruz(at)gmail(dot)com. I’d like to collect as many receipts of this kind as possible and turn them all over to Marvic.

For more on the book blockade, you can go here.