Argentina: Book banning through unleaded ink
Last October, the government impounded 1.6 million commercially imported books. In the spirit of Mr. Sellers’s Count Rupert of Mountjoy, Mrs. Kirchner’s government has concocted a reason for this novel policy: Imported books are dangerous, but in a way even Ray Bradbury hadn’t thought of.
Last month the Argentine government told retail customers of online booksellers such as Amazon that their imported books would be held up at airport customs until they went there personally and proved that the ink in the books contained less than 0.06% lead.
Argentine industrialists, like the loyal citizens of Grand Fenwick, applauded the measure. One explained the government’s concern: “If you put your finger in your mouth after paging through a book, that can be dangerous.”
For a moment I thought Cristina was going to fuel her car with imported books, but that explanation clears it all for me: She doesn’t want leaded ink in her books because she never stopped sucking her thumb while reading.