Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2019: Good but Slightly Disappointed

big bad wolf

(Big Bad Wolf Book Sale – tonnes of books on sale at ridiculous price in a huge hall – is a must go event every end of the year)

Every year we try to make to the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale – the largest book sales in Malaysia (if not mistaken the world). So coming back from holidays, one of the main priorities for us was to go for the sales before it ends.

P.s. Sorry for missing post for past few days – I took a week off for holidays (posts to be done soon, hopefully) and when I came back, office work had just piled up on the desk and hundreds of emails in my inbox. As at the time of this writing, I am still clearing off my inbox.

We decided to go on a Saturday afternoon soon after lunch. We suppose to go in the morning after breakfast but all got up late – all still recovering from the week long holiday. Yes, going on long holidays does not mean you will come back fresh and relaxed.

As usual, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale this year was held in Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC) which was a good location – it is not far from home and the basement parking lot usually have an empty spot even with the huge crowd (you just need drive around for hours to look for it). Driving towards MIECC was a breeze – the traffic was only sparse and even the dreadful U-turn at Seri Kembangan was somehow easy to make.

Driving towards the MIECC’s basement parking was slow – this was expected as it happens every year. But this time they only allowed one entrance instead of the usual two entrances so the queue was longer. I dropped off the family near the staircase to the ground floor so that they don’t walk far and contemplating of driving around for parking when someone pulled out from parking nearby.

(Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is celebrating 10 years anniversary this year so I was expecting something different as we walked towards the hall)

Unlike previous years, there were no boxes or baskets to put the books in but instead they provided a sturdy trolley that was easy to push around BUT it gets in the way when you stop to check on the books. Other trolleys blocks the path so sometimes we had to go other areas first before coming back when there are fewer trolleys.

From the time Big Bad Wolf Book Sales started, the organisers have kept improving in terms of logistics and arrangement of books which was fantastic. However I noticed that there were more sections for the fiction based books (mostly novels) compared to non-fiction books. It could be balanced but since my preference is non-fiction books, I felt that there were less non-fiction books this year.

As usual, we broke into our own ways before we grouped at one place – me towards the non-fiction section and the rest of the family towards the fiction/children section.

(Some of the books bought during the sale – my personal collection is on the left which usually relates to history, military and general reference. Four Years on the Western Front by Aubrey Maurice Bowe-Smith is truly a gem to read)

Compared to last year, the organisers have wrapped most of the books with sample book on the top to open & read the content before deciding on buying. It is a good move as we can get books that are in pristine condition. And it works for most of the time except when some visitors misplace the sample books. We found a number of sample books that had really good contents but the wrapped books are nowhere to find. We missed a few good books due to this.

We also noticed that price of books on sale have slowly risen up – from the minimum RM5 – RM8 when they started a few years ago to minimum RM12 – RM15. It is still a good bargain. For next year, I guess I need to revise my expectations and the budget.

Another change (a welcome change) is on the section for food & beverages and it helps that since we did not have our dinner (we had a very heavy late lunch), all the work of checking the books was making us all hungry. The organisers as in the past had created a separate section for food & beverages and this year, it was well arranged – you walk in, get your food – the soup noodles and the mashed potatoes & large sausages was good (I wanted to try their nasi lemak but there were no takers in the family), pay for the food at a single counter and get a token for the drink as well.

And for those with trolleys laden with book, they can “park” their trolleys at the entrance to this food & beverages section for up to 1 hour but I guess no one is keeping tab on the hours because I noticed some of the trolleys been there for some time now.

(You start from the other end of the hall, starting off with fictions, books in Bahasa and novels and slowly move towards the other end for references and non-fictions. On the right are the sections for Children reading event and Food & Beverages section)

I gathered we spent almost 4 hours (including for meals) at Big Bad Wolf Book Sale before deciding to call it a day and went to the check out counters. Total damage came out to around RM350 for 2 large bags of books.

Tired and sleepy by now, we headed to the parking lot where we noticed there more empty parking spaces but there was a long line of cars waiting to exit the convention centre. The traffic hardly moved and I also noticed that one of my car headlights was not working. We crawled to the exit and I had to be creative to change to the moving lane and managed to exit faster (the other lane was not moving fast as it joined with another lane of cars driving into the convention centre.

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2019 was better this year but personally I was disappointed on the choices of books I had to choose. Now we have to wait for another 1 year for the next Big Bad Wolf Book Sale.

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