The event is open 24/7, and a lot of buyers visit in the wee hours.
Culture Books

A beginner’s guide to Big Bad Wolf 2019

Things can go crazy at the year’s biggest book sale, which opens today. If you’re planning to go for the first time, here’s hand battle plan.
Ida Torres | Feb 22 2019

While the Mari Kondo way of being minimalist and getting rid of things that “don’t bring you joy” seem to be what a lot of people are doing now, it doesn’t always appeal and apply to everyone. Book lovers for one were all “up in arms” when the trend started making the rounds on social media. Most people who love books try to buy as many as they can and there’s even a Japanese term tsundoku, which means you keep buying books and you let them pile up.

If you’re that kind of person or even if you’re just a casual book lover, the Big Bad Wolf sale is your perfect enabler for enlarging your book collection. Now on its second year, the organizers say they’re bringing in two million more books this time around and from the sheer space and number of books alone, it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips so you can make this experience one to remember. 

 

1. If you don’t like crowds, choose the “dead hours"

Right off the bat, you should know that there are a lot of people who go to Big Bad Wolf. But the good news is that it’s open 24 hours and so if you have a flexible schedule, choose to go there during times when most people will either be at work or school or asleep. So that means you should go really early in the morning (5AM - 9AM) or really late at night (11PM - 2AM). This way, you can browse through the books leisurely without being bothered by the crowds. This doesn’t apply to weekends though since based on experience last year, Fridays to Sundays are packed even at the wee hours of the day. 

Big Bad Wolf is bringing 2 million books to this year’s event.

 

2. Plan A: Go around the place first to casually browse the whole area

Plan B: Grab all the books that you want and then sort before you pay

Once you get inside the World Trade Center, it can seem pretty overwhelming and you’d want to just gobble up all the books that you see. There are a lot of different sections: Biography and Memoirs, History, Reference, Religion, Hobbies & Crafts, Architecture, Transportation, Sports, Music and Movies, Self-Help, Business & Economics, Graphic Design & Arts, Fashion. And of course there’s a whole big area for Fiction (although 70 percent of this is Young Adults) and then another for Children. 

We suggest two ways to do it, depending on which kind of book buyer you are.

For the more cautious and discerning book buyer, we suggest Plan A. Go around casually first, to get a lay of the land and to also see what’s out there first. You can grab a book or two (especially if you see there’s just one copy left) but also take note of which ones you want to get back to later. Then when you’ve seen everything that Big Bad Wolf has to offer, then you can start going around more thoroughly. Well, assuming you have the time of course. 

The second way to do it is to grab all the things that capture your interest. The great thing is that you can get a cart to help you carry the books, although of course mobility might be an issue in sections that are a bit crowded. Before you go to the payment area, there is a section in the hall where you can sort through the books in your cart and leave the ones that you decide not to purchase. They can even hold your books in the storage area for 24 hours if you need a day to decide whether or not you want to buy them. 

 

3. Set a budget or a target number and try your best to stick to it

With a massive book sale like this, where books are at 50 to 90 percent off, where soft bound titles go for around P190 to P230 each, it is tempting to splurge and just buy everything that you want. But if you don’t want to go overboard, set a specific amount of money that you’re willing to spend or a number of books that your home library can accommodate and discipline yourself to stick to it. 

 

4. Patience is a virtue

If you’re a Book Sale aficionado, then you’re already familiar with this particular virtue. At first glance, you might not like the titles that are prominently displayed. There are heavily marketed books and authors here and your eyes might just be drawn to them. But you will be able to find hidden gems if you’re patient enough to go through the sections that you like. It will be a challenge in the fiction section since it’s almost always crowded but you’ll pat yourself in the back if you find the last copy of a book that either you’ve been looking for or that you didn’t know you wanted.

Big Bad Wolf Founders, Angeline Ng and Andrew Yap.

5. Wear comfortable shoes, bring luggage, eat beforehand, and set aside at least three hours in your day

2 hours may not be enough to spend here so make sure you don’t have any appointments after. And of course, the World Trade Center is massive so make sure you’re wearing shoes that your feet will thank you later for. If you plan to buy a ton of books, better bring luggage or large eco bags (they do give you plastic bags, but Mother Earth will thank you) to help you carry all of your loot. There are also food stalls now at the exit, but if you don’t want to go in and out, make sure your tummy is full before you start your book buying binge. 

 

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale runs until March 4, 2019. For more information, visit their Facebook and Instagram accounts.