SNEAK PEEK: World’s biggest book sale set to wow Pinoy readers

Kristina Tayam, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 15 2018 09:19 PM | Updated as of Feb 16 2018 10:32 AM

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John Green's "The Fault in Our Stars" discounted price at P190. Kristina Tayam, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Big Bad Wolf Books on Thursday held a special preview of its first-ever book sale in the country offering fans, and even non-readers, affordable books covering a wide range of genres. 

Dubbed the largest book fair in the world, Big Bad Wolf Books has brought over 2 million books and 27,000 titles to the Philippines for the first time. It opens on Friday and will be open 24/7 until February 25 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

Books are available in softbound, hardbound, and package sets, while genres available include fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books. 

Jacqueline Ng, the Malaysian executive director of BookXcess, the company behind Big Bad Wolf Books, said they wanted to break the barriers between people and reading books. 

“Our mission is all about increasing readership. Where we came from, in Malaysia, 10 years ago, there’s only 2 percent of the population who reads. And even though English is a compulsary subject in school, you still see a lot of university graduates that don’t speak English. They are not comfortable conversing in it,” Ng said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News. 

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BookXcess executive director Jacqueline Ng and managing director Andrew Yap pose for a photo with Luis Oquiñena, executive director of Gawad Kalinga, one of their partner foundations. Kristina Tayam, ABS-CBN News

Ng believes the lack of a reading culture is the main reason behind this. “Majority of our parents are not readers. We didn’t grow up [in that kind] of environment,” she said. 

She shared she grew up in Malaysia with parents who are not fond of books and reading. That is why she believes in getting children to start reading at an early age to effectively inculcate this habit.

“For children, I find that if they could have the benefit of being introduced to books when they are young, it would make such a difference. The sad thing is that, I would never want a kid to be not reading because of price,” she said. 

In the same interview, Andrew Yap, managing director of BookXcess, said digital media has completely changed the landscape for book selling. People are buying less and sales have stopped growing. 

He said it is a challenge for them to keep up and reach out to non-readers, especially in Southeast Asian countries. 

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Readers attend the preview of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale at World Trade Center, Pasay City. Mark Arvin Lazaro, ABS-CBN News

“This is our first time here. But when we come back, for the second time, it will be different. There will be food, and a play land. It will be a more eventful with all the activities and music,” said Yap. 

This year, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale will visit 10 countries, including the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malaysia. They have yet to announce the other countries on the list. 

Big Bad Wolf Books will be donating 10 library boxes to a list of chosen beneficiaries in partnership with ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, DZMM TLC and Gawad Kalinga Foundation. 

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World Trade Center is filled with over 2 million books, and 27,000 titles in the first-ever visit of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in Manila. Kristina Tayam, ABS-CBN News

Part of the book fair’s profits will also be donated to the rehabilitation of areas in Marawi and affected residents near Mayon Volcano in Bicol.