How to prepare yourself for the biggest book sale coming to Manila

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is seriously the biggest book sale in the world. Originating in Malaysia in 2009 and cropping up in other countries like Thailand and Indonesia, the event is set inside a necessarily huge building, takes place over the course of about a week or longer, operates 24 hours each day, and has its stocks constantly replenished. All books are sold at a dis- count of 60 to 80 percent, and this year, it’s happening from Feb. 16 to 25 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Free admission. So yeah, it’s a big deal.

At events like this, the usual shopping plan of attack just won’t cut it. A sale this colossal leaves no room for aimless scrambling. Here’s a brief survival guide on how to make the most of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale when it hits our shores. Remember: You’re the one devouring literature, don’t let it devour you.

Do a little research
Pictures of old Big Bad Wolf events show book sales that look like they took place in freaking airplane hangars. The solution? Do a little online browsing. The Big Bad Wolf Facebook page has a lot of information on which titles are being sold and for how cheap. As of this writing, the page doesn’t show every single title being sold, but getting a little research done beforehand will keep you on track to getting the books you want for yourself and your friends, instead of getting paralyzed by choice.

Bookworms unite: The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in Jakarta was attended by over 600,000 visitors.

Get your schedule straight
This book sale is open 24 hours each day. That means you can literally come in at four in the morning, get the books you want, head out at seven, and have some breakfast. That’s part of the fun. But does that mean it’s crowded the whole day? We can’t give an exact time for when the crowds thin out, but use your intuition. What’s the time of day you can be there when everybody else isn’t? School hours? Office hours? When everybody else is asleep? Be smart. Also, prepare to set aside maybe four hours of your day at the sale and even make repeat trips. It’s safe to assume this isn’t a quick in- and-out type of event.

Bring backup
Why go to a bibliophile shindig alone? There’s a sense of strategy that comes with bringing your friends to a sale. You’re assembling a crack squad of shoppers, each member harnessing the strength of numbers to get the books they want before somebody else does. Be a swarm navigating the crowd. Go walkie-talkie with your smartphones. Get one dude to bring a backpack of water bottles so no one gets dehydrated. Or, if S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-level coordination isn’t really your thing, bring your friends for fun. Imagine coming from a party then heading to a book sale during the witching hour. That’s tight as hell. When are you ever going to experience that again?


The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale takes place from Feb. 16 to 25 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City. For more details, go to their Facebook at bbwbooksphilippines.

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