Klara and the twins

Klara is 26-years-old and went to visit the technical library with her 4-year-old twins Dina and Tina. She wanted to get some books to be able to finish her work paper.

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Murdering books

I have moved. In the office from the 2nd floor to the 5th floor. One can describe it as a meteoric rise because the 5th floor is the top floor in our building. And at the same time from one city to another. Every move means separation. I’m a collector and over the years numerous objects and material memories have collected. At both new locations I have less room than before and I could take only a little with me (no furniture at all). That meant that something had to go. It took weeks to separate myself from what I had grown to love. 

Imagine it like a picture: I stand in front of my large library and pick up every book again. I note that certain books I have not touched in over 20 years, except to dust them. Do I need such a book? Will I read it ever again in my whole life? At the time I read it, but today I have only a vague idea of what it was about. But with many of these books there is associated a memory of the circumstances, in which I read it. Perhaps in summer, during the school holidays. For a time I used to climb up into our apple tree and, sitting in the branches, to read books. Suddenly, the book in my hand, there is a smell of ripe apples again. The time that belongs in the last millennium seems as if it were only yesterday. If I now give this book away, the memory will be lost.

Before, my books were sacred. If there had been a fire, I would probably have tried to save them all. My children knew that they had much liberty, but should they damage one of the books, paint it or otherwise spoil it, there’ll be a row. Only once had my eldest, as a 3-year old, painted a picture in one of my books. I flipped out and she realised that she had found my Achilles’ heel. Clever as she is, she never again made the same mistake.

But if I now separate from a book, what shall I do with it? Earlier, when one had read a book, one could sell it or give it away. That doesn’t work any longer, because no-one wants them. In addition, many of my old books are in languages, which one very seldom hears in Switzerland and practically never sells as books. Therefore, the only way to get rid of books today is as waste paper. But you can’t get rid of the whole book as waste paper. The book covers have to be separated from the pages. They can be cut off with a knife.

Although today, I am prepared to get rid of many books. I’ll never read them again, a murder of a book. But stab them in the back, that I can’t do. Very conscientiously and very generously, I sorted out a lot of books. I wasn’t comfortable doing so. I knew that their fate was destruction. My heart was weeping, but I continued the liquidation. But I couldn’t do it in one go, because emotionally it so drained me – I had to do it bit by bit. Therefore the sorting took weeks.

But damage the books with a knife, that I couldn’t face myself. I had to ask for help. I also couldn’t watch. That was too painful.

Now I have moved. I have unpacked all my clothes, my office. But not yet the books. I know that the books I’ve moved are angry with me, although they have survived. I understand them, after all they have lost a lot of acquaintances. I also mourn their loss.


748195_web_R_K_B_by_I-vista_pixelio.deI go to the hairdresser a few times a year. My hairdresser Mauro is an Italian “magician”, who gives every one of his female customers the feeling of being a queen. That is pleasant and feels great.

I was there last Saturday. Mauro was charming as usual. Read More »

Romania – Decrease of the VAT rate from 24% to 20% as from 1 of January 2016

Romania decided to decrease the standard VAT rate from 24% to 20% with effect from 1 January 2016 and to 19% with effect from 1 January 2017. Also, the 9% reduced VAT rate previously applied will decrease to 5% VAT for the supply of school manuals, books, newspapers and some magazines, as well as for the supply of services consisting in the allowance of access to castles, museums, cinemas. The reduced rate of 5% VAT will also be applied for access to sportive events.
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Changes in the EU legislation

711122_web_R_by_FotoHiero_pixelio.de (1)4 Ministers of culture asked for change in EU legislation to tax e-books exactly as physical books.

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OECD – Consumption Tax Trends 2014 and The Distributional Effects of Consumption Taxes in OECD countries – reports published

Aerial view of people sitting in a public area - PwC, Photo_RGB_PC_ 446.jpgConsumption Tax Trends 2014
Tax landscape is shifting away from taxes on labour and corporate income towards more ‘growth friendly’ sources of revenue, like consumption taxes and property taxes. VAT is an important source of revenue for OECD countries, representing on average approximately 20% of total tax revenues. Read More »

Czech Republic – Third VAT Rate as of January 2015

Photo_RGB_PC_48238.jpgPeople walking near parked cars on a street - PwCAs of January 2015, the Czech Republic plans to introduce a third VAT rate of 10% in addition to the existing standard VAT rate of 21% and the reduced rate of 15%. The new VAT rate will apply to drugs, books and baby food.

For further details please click here