[Book Sale] Big Bad Wolf 2016 (Dec)

I look forward to this event, even more than I look forward to my own birthday.

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Here’s a short introduction to the event. Big Bad Wolf is the biggest annual book sale in Malaysia since 2009. It’s one of those little slice of heaven that God has afforded upon us, Malaysians as the books here is extremely affordable and the selections are still quite a variety . These days, most of the books cost between RM12-RM25 (USD3 – USD6).

They buy overprinted books from bookstores in bulk for cheap price, and late on sell at a low profit. That’s why the price of books in this sale are insanely cheap!

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BBW 2016 – Preview Pass ticket in the theme of a gaming SNES controller, which I’m absolutely in love with!

 

This year is slightly different from previous years as it is the first time I got a preview pass access to the sale! Meaning that I get to shop there one day earlier than the official opening day, which is a big deal for me. As it was on a Thursday, I even took leave from work that day and said, “Sorry, bosses. But this simply HAD to be done. It’s the preview sale and it’s Big Bad Wolf. I hope you’d understand.”

I came at 8AM to pick up my preview pass and waited until the doors open at 10AM. The queue was pretty long, almost as if you’re queuing for concert tickets.

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Are we queuing to watch a rock concert or are we just there to buy books? I’m confused myself at times.

There were some major changes this year:

  1. Chinese books selections are now available! I’m so happy for my fellow Chinese bookworm friends. This makes a big difference as Chinese literature is quite a popular reading material in the country.Having a selection of them affordable would have made their year great.
  2. A single central source for catering – Madeleine. In previous years, they’d have several vendor booths and we could choose from a variety of places according to our tastes. However for this year, they worked with one caterer to provide food, sort of like the IKEA canteen system. The downside of this single central food system is that by hook or by crook, everybody will have to get their food from that same 1 queue line. I had to queue for about 40 mins just to get a simple food. Whereas previously, we could all go into different queues in different booths to get simple food to fuel us for our shopping journey. I hope BBW would consider having several booths again, rather than forcing everybody into just one line.
  3. They have actual trolleys now. This is amazing, they sourced out mini trolleys for shoppers and it is super convenient to shop with this tool.

 

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Do you see how fully-filled that trolley behind me was? Yep, that’s the trolley I’m criticizing about.

Some people went crazy with the trolley. There was this one time when I saw a trolley filled to the brim with books and thinking, “Woah, look at that person’s trolley! There are so many books, they must be so intense!”

Then after 5 seconds I realized something, “Wait a sec, isn’t that MY trolley?!”

Indeed, I accidentally criticized my own self for filling my trolley with way too many books and being too intense of a book-purchaser. That kind of cuts deep into my soul the fact that had I been an outsider, I would have criticized myself too.

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The amount of books I got carried away with from my trolley. And this is me sorting out which one to bring home, and which one to… return?

It took me about 5 hours of shopping before finally settling down at one corner to sort out the books I’ll buy, and the books I’ll have to abandon and come back for another time (my heart aches each time I set a book aside to that pile).

And even after that, another 40 minutes queue was waiting for me before I could reach the cashier. This is the downside of a preview pass – everybody goes to the sale at the same time as you – during the peak hours. All in all, I spent about 6 hours there. In previous years, I was able to get everything done within 3 hours. The preview sale really got me to spend a lot more time there.

And in the end, all purchases come with a free bookmark! I was ecstatic when i found out that this year’s bookmark is in the design of your old-school Gameboy Colour.

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I am so smitten by this design. It was love at first sight, I tell you.

Now we have come to the core of this post –

What did I get from this sale?

I’m proud to say that I’ve bought 18 books this year at around RM270 (USD61). That’s about 5 books lesser than last year and RM20 lesser too! I’m becoming a slightly more disciplined book shopper, yay!

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  1. 30 THINGS EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE AND SHOULD KNOW BY THE TIME SHE’S 30 by Pamela Redmond Satran. This is a collection of 30 wisdom tips for women. This sounds like a book filled with wise pointers and inspiration  for me, which is what I’ll need from time to time. I’ve just started reading this book and have already cried reading the first chapter.
  2. ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS: WHO COULD THAT BE AT THIS HOUR? (Book 1) & ATWQ: SHOULDN’T YOU BE IN SCHOOL (Book 3) by Lemony Snicket. I have no idea what this series is about, but I know that anything by Lemony Snicket is a worthy read. The author’s wry humour is so unique, I could never find it anywhere else. Besides, I accidentally bought Book 2 of this series last year. So, buying Book 1 now gives me a proper way to access the series.
  3. INKSPELL (Book 2) & INKDEATH (Book 3) by Cornelia Funke. This book is a continuation from Inkheart, which I’ve just finished reading this year. The story is about a man who can bring alive to the world whatever he reads aloud from books, including treasures, gold, villains, islands or even monsters! The first book was pretty good that I do have the intention to finish the whole series before I review this.
  4. MISS PEREGRINE’S PECULIAR CHILDREN: HOLLOW CITY (Book 2) by Ransom Riggs. I first got to know of this series because my favourite actor, Asa Butterfield starred in the movie adaptation. Later on I found that the book is special as it has accompanying photos to make the story even creepier. This is a trending read right now, that I was lucky enough to grab Book 2 during the preview sale. Unfortunately, Book 1 was already sold out by the time I came. Which is amazing if you think about it. The book has sold out not during the first day, but during the first few hours of the preview sale! Anyway, it’s fine, I have already decided to follow the series. But I’ll have to wait till I pick up the first book on bargain on the next sale.
  5. PENGUIN SCIENCE FICTION POSTCARDS: 100 Book Covers in One Box. For the last 2 years, I actually have started collecting fancy postcards as collections. I saw this precious one in a Bookxcess bookstore about 4 months back, but it was still quite pricey. That’s why this is a confirmed pick once I saw it in front of my eyes. In addition, this is a collection of sci-fi book covers – which is a rare genre to be paying homage to!
  6. A SLIP OF THE KEYBOARD by Terry Pratchett. I have yet to read any of Terry Pratchett’s book. But I hae heard a podcast episode from BFM where they featured his works and I’d say that his quirky humour is what I am most attracted to. Hence, this book of collection of his non-fiction articles is simply too tantalizing to pass up.
  7. I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai & Patrick McCormick. Malala, 2014’s Nobel Peace Prize Winner needs no introduction. I’ve been waiting for a year or so to find her book on bargain. When I saw it in someone’s trolley, I mentally hunted down her book in the Biographies section.
  8. PERCY JACKSON AND THE GREEK GODS by Rick Riordan. This book is Percy Jackson teaching and narrating to us about Greek mythology. I have actually read 65% of this on ebook, before my phone crashed and the file was lost. This piece of work is a confirmed page-turner as aside from Greek mythology being interesting, it’s immensely genius to have our hilarious and witty Percy Jackson inserting his comments about how absurd some of these Greek gods are.
  9. NOISE: A HUMAN HISTORY OF SOUND AND LISTENING by David Hendy. I am super excited to start on this one! This book shows the evolution of how humankind have been using sounds and noises, from the prehistoric days until now, when we even have music playing in the library, where it’s supposed to be silent.
  10. FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO SEE: DISPATCHES FROM THE WORLD OF THE BLIND by Rosemary Mahoney. This is a real life story of a journalist who went to underprivileged community for the blind and recorded of the struggles they have to went through everyday. I picked this up because it sounds like a touching and heartwarming story.
  11. GREEN DAY: THE ULTIMATE UNAUTHORIZED HISTORY by Allan di Perna. I was obsessed with Green Day when I was 15 years old. I went through their whole discography history and listened to their American Idiot album for about 6 months straight before I go to sleep. Although I no longer follow them these days, but I can’t deny that their earlier songs forever have a special place in my heart. I wanted to go back to that special world they provided me with. Hence, I got this book of their history to reignite my love for them.
  12. SCARCITY: THE NEW SCIENCE OF HAVING LESS AND HOW IT DEFINES OUR LIFE by Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir. I’m under the impression that this book is outlining how making something scarce or limited could affect the psychology of people.An interesting point of view to read.
  13. HEADS UP: PSYCHOLOGY & HEADS UP: PHILOSOPHY by Marcus Weeks. This book is sort of like an infographic explaining the foundations of psychology and philosophy. Their approach makes it seems easier to understand the basics of these two studies and I’ve always been quite interested with these two subjects.
  14. THE UNPUBLISHED DAVID OGILVY by David Ogilvy & Joel Raphaelson. Digging more into the point of view of the advertising legend, David Ogilvy. His voice is always straightforward, cutting sometimes, but never really boring. Plus, I sometimes miss the vibe of a creative advertising agency (as I now work in media planning advertising agency). This book might be some comfort when I think of going back to creative agencies.
  15. UNLABEL: SELLING YOU WITHOUT SELLING OUT by Marc Ecko. This book looks like an interesting one. It is a graphical guide on how to pitch yourself to others, as if you’re advertising yourself as your own label. Except, of course, without labeling yourself. Although this is a self-branding book, it seems to be doing so in an interesting way.

 

Did I just say that I was so proud of myself since I bought lesser books than last year? Well, that was short-lived as 3 days later, my sister asked me to accompany her to the sale. So in this second trip of mine, we walked out with another 3 books – of which all 3 are mine. Although this has kind of ruined my record as a disciplined book shopper, I have no regrets of this as the books I got are rare breeds!

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  1. THE LAST BOOKANEER by Matthew Pearl. A fiction book about books? And about a literary pirate who steals old manuscripts?! I don’t care if people say I buy too many books. But I simply must have this one!
  2. BY THE BOOK: WRITERS ON LITERATURE AND LITERARY LIFE edited by Pamela Paul. Isn’t this the book tag that was running around booktube? And this is a book collecting about authors and storytellers on their opinions of books?! I don’t care if people say I buy too many books. But I simply must have this one!
  3. GENIUS: GREAT INVENTORS AND THEIR CREATIONS by Jack Challoner. A book collecting on the notes and documents of inventors while they were inventing?! I don’t care if people say I buy too many books. But I simply must have this one!

I am aware that I might be repeating myself in the above. However, those were really my thoughts as I put these books into my trolley, while my sister walked out empty-handed.

All in all, this year’s collection have been amazing. Quite ecstatic to start reading and reviewing these works on my blog.

Have you been to the Big Bad Wolf? Let me know what you have purchased!

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