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Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2013: Good Book Hunting At Wee Hours

Big bad wolf

After the great success last year (and the years before), BBWB (Big Bad Wolf Book) sale was back at the same place this year and we made sure we were there on opening day.

But before that, please allow me to trace back to the beginning of this year when I mentioned that I was intending on adding another book cabinet before the end of the year BBWB sale and turn the small family area upstairs into a mini-library.

Until Deepavali, the lone book cabinet was overflowing with books and magazine but then when we were “cleaning” up the house for Deepavali, my sister came over and slowly worked on the books and somehow managed to find enough space for all the books that we had bought todate. She managed to find even more space once she had moved my son’s comics back to his room. In the end, it looked like there was enough space to hold all the books we expected to buy in this year’s BBWB.

But I knew that sooner or later, I still need to get that extra book cabinet – I won’t have enough space for the next BBWB sale – I am very sure of it.

This year, the BBWB sale started on Friday last week and will continue for 24 hours until this Sunday. With my HEO (house executive officer) and the 2 big bosses out at the in-laws house up north for the school holidays and I will not be free for the coming holiday on Wednesday and on this weekend, it looked like I only had one weekend to go for the sale.

So I messaged my sister who is another loyal visitor to BBWB and who also have a good collection of books herself and asked if she was planning of going to BBWB (she usually do on the opening) and if she is, whether I can ‘tumpang” along for the ride. She immediately messaged back that she was going that night and she asked me if I wanted to join her. Since she was driving and it is after work hours (i.e. quite late at night – the best time to shop for books), I immediately agreed.

Despite waiting up late before leaving the house, we made the same mistake we did last year – i.e. by going at the same time when the patrons of Mines shopping center was leaving, causing a super bottleneck at the entrance. We should have left at an hour later when all had left leaving only those “book crazy people” (like me and my sister) driving up in peace for the BBWB sale at Mines.

We crawled from the main highway (sorry, it was worse than a crawl) and towards the parking lot at the convention center. As usual, there were more than enough idiots making things even worse by queue jumping and causing the proper lane to come to a complete standstill. It took some time but we stick to the proper lane – just because there were idiots out there, it does not mean we need to become one as well.

Besides the BBWB sale was a 24 hours event – the later we come in, the less people at the sale (hopefully).

Hoping that there is still parking lot for us, we inched on towards the entrance of the Mines Convention Center. We paid our parking fees and noticed that the first lot of the parking was full – the attendant was closing the entrance just when we reached the place. He then pointed towards another entrance and when we drove towards that, we were surprised that that one was quite empty.

After parking the car, we were for a moment got lost – there was almost no signage whatsoever pointing towards to the lobby. We walked around looking for the exit towards the main lobby and then we saw a group walking and we kind of just followed them, hoping that they knew where they were going – good thing they were.

Despite the crowd outside the convention center, the crowd inside was somehow manageable. For this year, the organizers had switched places where one can collect the empty boxes and to store the books, making it a more “user friendly” for the shoppers.

The empty boxes can easily be collected at the entrance – the guy stationed there was a very friendly and helped to get the right size of the boxes depending on how many books we intend to buy. I made a mistake of picking a larger box (despite the guy offering a smaller box).

The larger box is good to hold all the books I intended to buy for the day, all in one place but it was taxing on my arms and the back, carrying that box all over the place. I lost count of the times I had put down the box down, not because it was heavy but it was too large to hold it properly and walk around the crowd.

BBWB books 2

In terms of book range this year, I focused on the same non-fictions and sci-fi novels (I saw some of the last year titles sold cheaper this year). I picked a book on tanks (I wanted to buy it last year but I gave it a miss since I had other books in the box).

Then a couple of Jeffrey Archer‘s 2-in-1 novels mainly because it was small and it was a bargain at RM10 per book. I walked around and then I saw “Political Biography of Indira Gandhi” priced at RM10. I have read in detail about the other Gandhi and I know something about this Gandhi, so it seemed a good time to pick up this book.

Waiting at the counter to pay, I then realized that that the copy that I took does not have a price sticker, so I walked back and then noticed that the same book was also priced at RM8. Both books were stacked up side by side (how I could have missed that?) – same quality but different prices. Strange.

I also got “The Pacific” companion book by Hugh Ambrose which was a gem because I have seen the whole TV series and I loved the entire series – it has to be since “The Pacific” was the most expensive television miniseries ever created by any network (by the way, I also loved Band of Brothers which showed how men and women during the war fought on what was right and did things right).

I also got myself “Papillon” – I have seen the movie acted excellently by Steve McQueen as Papillon and Dustin Hoffman many times before but as in the case of the Lord of the Rings, a heavily edited for commercial success movie does not tell the whole story in complete. You still need to read the actual book to understand the story in complete.

I picked up some other books but when I reached my limit of RM100 (it was actual RM102), I  decided to stop – or rather I forced myself to stop, otherwise I could have burned another RM100 – RM200 easily.

In total, the damage was about RM182 for about 20 books that me and my sister picked up during our 2-3 hours shopping at BBWB (we lost count of the actual hours). It was worth the money and time – it was almost 1.30 am when we walked back to the car with 2 large plastic bags. Once reached home, I was just too tired to take my usual “before going to bed shower” and only woke up at 2 pm later.

Now, I can’t wait to finish reading my new books and for next year’s BBWB sale….

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