Events: Surviving the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2014

Just got home from the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale and I gotta say, my arms (and also my husband’s) are dyiiiing from carrying our purchases. This has got to be the craziest book fair I have ever been to – even crazier than the ones we have in Manila. And that’s saying something.

Don’t believe me? Well here you go:

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale

So I guess this is how a book sale with 3.5 million books, running for 24 hours look like. I felt like Belle discovering the library inside the Beast’s castle!

What I thought was going to be “just another book sale” turned out to be one of my most favourite shopping experiences in Malaysia. Also, I’m proud to say that we’re almost done with our Christmas shopping thanks to this event! (Granted that our shopping list contains just a few names since we’re far away from our friends and family back in Manila – but still!)

We got there around a little bit before 5 in the afternoon. The crowd was tolerable so I can honestly say that the biggest enemy you have to face during the sale is the urge to grab everything in sight.

The venue is humungous! But don’t fret as all the books are grouped by category. 😉

Tip # 1: Make a list of the books you want to buy

You can check which books are available in this link. It would be easier for you to navigate through the rows and rows of books if you have a specific goal. Books are arranged by category so it’s easier to find them. Wandering around the venue can be overwhelming.

Once you’ve gotten everything on your list, it would be great to look around too. I found a couple of surprises waiting for me on those tables – books that I must have missed while checking out the Big Bad Wolf list. 😉

Tip # 2: Set a budget and practice self-restraint

Because you can easily get carried away. Believe me. It’s so easy once you’re inside.

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale, Book Fair, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur

See my point?

Tip # 3: Make sure you allot at least 2 and a half hours for shopping

The venue is HUGE. Walking around and finding what you want, much less making time to browse the titles and authors, will take a LOT of time.

Big Bad Wolf, Book Sale, Book Fair, Shopping

Yep. It can be a bit overwhelming.

Tip # 4: Eat before going and stay hydrated

I get dizzy when there are too many people around but drinking water often helps in easing that. So I brought my trusty water bottle with me! 🙂 However, being the constantly hungry kind of people that we are, my husband and I ended up taking a break from all the book shopping to grab a bite. Good thing the organisers had food kiosks at the second floor – from A&W to Wendy’s to local food suppliers.

Big Bad Wolf, Book Sale, Book Fair

Ah, food! After salivating over books, one can get really really hungry!

My husband loved the ice cream from a store called ‘De-Pot’. Those are green cereal shavings on top of his chocolate ice cream. Cute presentation!

Tip # 5: It’s not practical to bring your kids. Their strollers will just take up space along the narrow corridors and they would easily get cranky here.

I saw a couple of kids throwing tantrums while some were leafing through books, crumpling the pages in the process. Other shoppers are either in a hurry or immersed in reading the excerpts of books they are deciding whether to buy or not so when one kid ends up getting his tantrum on in a corridor, he ends up disturbing some of the shoppers. Though one good thing I’ve noticed is that most of the shoppers don’t seem to get too pissed off by kids who throw tantrums – but I guess it’s best not to push it. Especially on weekends when there are more people.

BUT! If you must insist on bringing your children, let them ride the Merry-Go-Round or play a couple of games at the Play Area when you see a tantrum coming up. Get them back into a good mood before bringing them back to the book shopping battle ground.

Big Bad Wolf, Book Sale, Book Fair,

There’s entertainment for kids.

You can also play for prizes! I bet a teddy bear would keep kiddos in a good mood for a long while – even if their parents end up ignoring them as they get too engrossed with book shopping. 😉

Tip # 6: Bring a trolley/luggage type bags with wheels

Because you will have a haul. A crazy haul. Even if you didn’t intend to buy a lot. My husband and I ended up with 18 books after I made a mental promise earlier today that I won’t go over 5. And 18 books are heavy. Your arms will feel like you just did a major workout after carrying them to the taxi stand then to your condo’s elevator and all the way up to your unit.

But hey, it’s my first time at the Big Bad Wolf Sale so I promise to bring my own wheely-bag next year. I’ll be ready for it. 😉

It’s quite easy to spot the veterans of this book sale.

Tip # 7: Use the Storage Counter

Shoppers at the Big Bad Wolf Sale use book boxes as their shopping carts. This can be tiring after a while as carrying your picks around will certainly wear you down. The organisers have a storage counter for your future purchases at the far end (near the cashiers) of the venue. Here, you can leave your filled-up box so you can either go up to the second floor to grab a bite to eat (books are not allowed at the second floor and food is not allowed in the first floor) or to get a new box to fill up.

They’ll give you a tag to retrieve your stored box later on and the staff will be happy to help you carry your purchases (if you have more than one box) to the counter.

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale, Book Fair

Storage counters are a life saver in this sale!

And lastly – Tip # 8: Don’t leave without checking the vintage and movie posters and signs which would totally look cool in any room

I’m a sucker for The Beatles, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. For Star Wars and vintage Coca Cola signs. And they had all of it. Posters (some already had frames) were going for as low as RM80 (Php1026.33, EUR18.76, USD23.05).

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale, Book Fair, Malaysia

These would also make great gifts for the movie buff in the family.

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale, Book Fair

And I would love to have some of these in my kitchen!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s! ❤

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale, Book Fair, Malaysia

Happily ever after indeed! 😀

And, drum roll please. Here’s our haul which only cost us RM264 (Php3386.90, EUR61.91, USD76.06)!

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale, Book Fair, Malaysia

A couple of the books in the haul are gifts. I guess it’s rather easy to say which ones are the ones my husband share – our interests are too obvious. 😉

As mentioned earlier, we did more than half of our Christmas Shopping at this book sale and I currently have this ginormous smile on my face for getting great gifts at discounted prices (yes, I’m very thrifty and I get an inexplicable high over huge discounts). If you’re still thinking of what to get your friends and family this Christmas, I would highly suggest books that cater to their interests. Even if they are not into reading long novels or not the bookish type, there’s always a coffee table book for anything interesting to a person. Design, Architecture, Travel – you name it.

In fact, I personally love getting books as gifts and giving them to people too. They further knowledge and enhance interests. While shopping today, the husband and I were discussing whether this person will like a book that compiled album covers of heavy metal bands since the 50s or a book on swords and other hilted weapons. We made sure we got each of the people on our Christmas shopping list something that they would like based on their interests. 😉

I’d have to say that it’s rather hard to choose favourites from my haul. All of them are really good buys! The most expensive book in the bunch is Memories of a Lost World which contained vintage photographs from all over the world in different time periods. My hubby pocked this out for me as he knew I would love it and of course, he was right. It was a steal at RM35 (Php449.02, EUR8.21, USD10.08). The rest of the books ranged from RM8 (Php103.63, EUR1.88, USD2.30) to RM25 (Php320.73, EUR5.86, USD7.20).

Big Bad Wolf, Books, Book Sale, Book Fair, Malaysia, Star Wars

My husband was so adorable today picking out books for me. He just knows which ones I’d like best. Who’s a happy Star Wars Geek? 😉 (Costs RM25 – Php320.73, EUR5.86, USD7.20)

And this right here is a gem. A compilation of articles printed by TIME Magazine. I’m a TIME collector as I’ve always dreamed of writing for that magazine someday but I had to stop when we moved here as I had to leave my collection back in Manila. So finding this today was just oh-so-awesome!

Awesome find, yes? YES! 😀 (Costs RM10 – Php128.29, EUR2.34, USD2.88)

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale runs from 7 am of December 5 to 9 pm of December 16. Yes, the sale is open for 24 hours a day between those dates which means 278 hours of non-stop book shopping! Craaaazy!

Books are also in good quality (mint condition, I dare say) – not old or dilapidated like in some book sale events.

The sale is at the Mines International Exhibition & Convention Centre (MIECC) right next to The Mines shopping Mall in Seri Kembangan.

For a map to the venue, click here.

More later!

Love,
Carol

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5 thoughts on “Events: Surviving the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2014

  1. Wow
    Awesome post; fabulous pace; This will absolutely be worth a trip from Penang every year. Is it always in December? I am a huge fan of the movie posters and collectors items so it looks great. One thing we’ll miss here is simply going to the library website and renting movies for free or being able to read thousands of good books without buying them. Our county has a very good public library. And if we come for this we will get together since you guys are one of our buds in KL !!
    Have a great holiday season
    Rob and Diane

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    • Yep! It’s an annual event that’s always during December. Great for Christmas shopping! 😀 Am a fan of the posters too! Was totally contemplating on getting a classic Empire Strikes Back print but alas, our walls are filled and I have no where to hang it! :)) See you (hopefully) at the next Big Bad Wolf sale! 😀

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    • Thanks, dear! We’re suckers for book fairs and I know what you mean about the prices! In Manila, you can get books at these prices but the quality won’t be very good. They’ll be old and a bit battered. In this sale, you can just tell that everything is either new stock or old ones that have been stored properly. So yeah, we went crazy. 😀

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  2. Pingback: Expat Life: First Christmas in Malaysia (Christmas Trees & Holiday Shopping Tips) | Almost Diplomatic

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