Big Bad Wolf Books Manila 2018 : Scenes from the 2018 Big Bad Wolf Book Sale
Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not the thousands of book lovers who descended upon the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City on the first day of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale to snap up as many deeply discounted books as their pocketbooks would allow. As February 15th happened to be a holiday (Chinese New Year) in the Philippines, I took advantage of the light traffic and made my way to the WTC to see what “two million books” in one sprawling space would look like.
I’m happy to report that it was a pretty sight. The books were organized by category, ranging from Architecture to Cookbooks to Graphic Novels to Music and Movies to Young Adult, and many more in between. Nearly half of the floor space at Big Bad Wolf was devoted to children’s and young adult books. There was ample room in the aisles for two shopping carts to pass each other without incident, and one never had to worry about accidentally elbowing another person while reaching for a copy of that must-have Chuck Palahniuk or John Green.
The prices? Rock bottom, as the Big Bad Wolf had promised. Paperbacks were going for P160-190 each, while hardbounds could be had for as low as P290, and coffee table books rarely fetched more than P590. Book sets were a steal at 40-60% off regular retail prices! Consider: A Classic Case of Dr. Seuss, a 20-book set going for P3900, the Percy Jackson Ultimate Collection of five books by Rick Riordan can be yours for P970, while a five-book Judy Blume set for P970.
I went specifically to buy guitar tab books for my son who’s currently learning to play the guitar, but couldn’t find any. On its Facebook page before the sale started, Big Bad Wolf had posted a photo of the comic book, Prisoners of the Sun (The Adventures of Tintin) with an unbelievable price tag of P190. My appetite properly whetted, I scoured the children’s book section for Tintins, but found only the one title and was mortified to see it was smaller, about a third of the size of original-edition Tintins. As my son and I do most of our reading on my Kobo e-book reader, I wasn’t compelled to buy anything other than what I went there for.
Nevertheless, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is indeed one for the books, pun intended. The books are heavily marked down, and the sheer number of books is mind-boggling. Sample copies of all books are available browsing. If you don’t find the books you’re looking for, dig through piles of books that have been chucked at the last minute by other shoppers and you might find them there. Otherwise, stick around and wait for the Big Bad Wolf staff to replenish their stocks, which they do round-the-clock at random times, thus making you spend more time at the book fair. That’s not exactly a bad thing.
Update: I’d left the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale empty-handed on its opening day when I couldn’t find what I went there for. There were a couple of Classics Illustrated Deluxe graphic novels by Papercutz that I thought Motito might like, but the kilometric queue to the cash registers (plenty of counters were open, but the line had wound the entire perimeter of the exhibition hall and snaked its way along the aisles!) meant at least a 40-minute wait by my reckoning. I resolved to return another day when I had the chance. And return I did, on Febrary 21st. It was a regular working day, so there were appreciably fewer people in the exhibition hall than there were on opening day. I thanked my lucky stars that copies of Papercutz Classics Illustrated Deluxe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales,” by Edgar Allan Poe and “The Three Musketeers,” by Alexandre Dumas were still available. I spied an Archie’s Favorite Christmas Comics compilation and quickly grabbed that one, too (I’m not a big Archie’s fan, but at P230 the 400-page comic book was a steal!). My father’s birthday was coming up, so I got him “D Day to Berlin: Victory in Europe Day by Day,” by Stephen Crawford. Payment was quick, and I only hand to hand over P1100 for my loot.