Friday, December 18, 2009

Ordering books

Thanks to the internet people need not confine themselves to the selection of books available at the local shops. True, there is the added cost of shipping plus the possibility of theft but quite a few people do order books online.

There is however, a new hazard. Big Brother is Watching.

A friend of mine related an incident that happened last week to someone he knew rather well. This chap had ordered some books, perfectly harmless books, a Terry Pratchett children's book, another on diet and a few others. The books arrived and he went over to the post office to collect them.

The people at the post office opened all the parcels and started reading through the books. When asked why, they replied that they were looking to see if there was any anti-government material being brought in.

He was so taken aback that he did not have the presence of mind to inquire as to the penalty for such a crime, which would presumably, be suitably hideous.


santhoshi said...

I think it was always there JP. I ordered some business magazines some years back when i went it was all opened and checked through

sue said...

I think they were looking for money dude! I've heard that some postal workers take the concealed money for them selves ;o)

Anonymous said...

Actually I did ask whether we were not allowed to read anti-government books, at which point they then said they were checking for obscene stuff.

They did have the grace to look embarrassed about it though.

They also mentioned books that are "against religion". I am not sure what that means.

Dee said...

china! we're turning into china!

Jack Point said...

Dee :)

Sue/Santhoshini, they do open foreign mail looking for money but they usually do that in secret.

They don't open up the parcels and go through them in front of you or try to scan through the contents of books, even obviously harmless ones like children's books or cookery books.

pp said...

is there a difference between parcels sent by individuals and those sent by organisations? because a friend of mine sent me a couple of parcels recently, one of which was books. it was neither opened nor did i have to go to the post office to pick it up.

Jack Point said...

PP, it depends on the size of the parcel. If its one or two books it can just come through. Large parcels get left at the post office for collection - they send you a postcard and you have to call over to collect.

They usually check to see if there is anything that needs to be charged duty.