Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — It’s a rather curious thing, a book fair called Big Bad Wolf. Sure, it’s named after an archetypal character in fables and fairy tales — the stuff of many a book — but there’s the matter of his being a villain. Why, then, name a supposedly benign event after a well-known baddie?
The answer, as it turns out, makes perfect sense: Big Bad Wolf is so called because it’s set to huff and puff and bring the house down with big discounts slashed off the otherwise high prices of brand new books.
Touted as the biggest book sale in the world, Big Bad Wolf offers discounts of up to 80 percent on over two million books from various genres, including classic novels, literary fiction, sci-fi, children’s books, young-adult literature, and nonfiction.
Since 2009, it has been held many times in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and its home country of Malaysia. And now, it’s being held for the first time in the Philippines, across 10 days in February at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
CNN Philippines Life has gone for a sneak peek of the book sale to see if it lives up to the hype — for the record, it does. Below are tips on what you should bring to make the most of your shopping experience at Big Bad Wolf.
1. Bring yourself in comfy clothes. The sale occupies 11,300 square meters of contiguous space for you to walk in and around as you browse the selection. So be sure to come at your most comfortable. Wear loose-fitting clothing, put on your favorite pair of sneakers, and you’re good to go exploring all that Big Bad Wolf has to offer for hours on end.
2. Bring a lot of stamina. What with the tables and stacks of books on the massive exhibition floor, and given that the sale promises at least 27,000 titles to choose from, being at Big Bad Wolf can get pretty overwhelming. So see to it that you’re well rested before going and well hydrated while shopping. Head right away to the section of your preferred genre to get first dibs on your desired books and browse the displays there more than once, just so you don’t miss out on a much sought-after title or two. Then, saunter into the other genres for some hidden gems, and perhaps for some not-so-hidden boxed sets of popular series as well.
The sale will be open 24 hours a day, so you might also want to go in the wee hours, when there will most likely be only a few night owls present and you will be able to shop at leisure.
3. Bring a friend. Especially if you’re intent on book-hoarding, you’ll probably need help pushing an extra shopping cart or lugging another shopping basket to accommodate all of your great finds. That’s when a buddy might come in handy. Tagging a friend along can also help you spot good reads in the interminable sea of books, and exchanging recommendations with your friend will help you decide which books to purchase and which ones to let go of.
Bonus: Make a friend at the sale. When you see someone carrying a book you want, don’t hesitate to ask where you can find a copy for yourself.
4. Bring cash or cards. Big Bad Wolf has a number of checkout counters that accept payments via credit or debit cards. But just bring a sufficient amount of cash if you want — and have the self-restraint — to stick to a particular budget.
5. Bring bags. Plastic bags are on hand for books bought at Big Bad Wolf. But for a greener solution, you can use your own tote bags. Better yet, bring a wheeled suitcase for your expectedly high volume of purchases.
The Big Bad Wolf will officially start on Feb. 16 at 9 a.m. and will run for 231 hours nonstop until Feb. 25. Admission is free.