February 28, 2019 – Vinz Lamorena
There may be a couple of reasons why you’re hesitant to enter the halls of Big Bad Wolf. You’re afraid there’s going to be too many people. The lines at the cashier will take forever. The books you’re eyeing for the longest time won’t be in their selections. Stacks upon stacks of books can get pretty overwhelming, and you’d find yourself wanting to just sit it out in a spacious corner.
But our experience among thousands of new books at Big Bad Wolf was surprisingly a breeze. We came in the afternoon and stayed there just before dark (and the heavy traffic). While there were a number of people strolling the isles with their carts, there’s actually enough breathing space for you to leisurely look at all the books on the tables.
If some sort of book-looting scene is what plays out in your head, then that’s a terrible misconception. Book shopping here isn’t as hectic as one would tend to think—at least, not on the days following its opening weekend to the public. What makes Big Bad Wolf different is it’s a 24-hour event. It lets you go have the book fair experience when it’s most convenient for you.
In all honesty, it feels like your average, go-to bookstore. One that’s been upscaled a thousand times in size. It’s quiet enough to let you focus on the variety of book choices in front of you, and enjoy going back (again and again) to the books you’re not quite sure about getting. It gives you the leisure to take your time deciding, as there are plenty of books in stock.
Bookworms also won’t feel the pressure to dig for the cheapest sale items as the prices are somehow standardized. Paperbacks start at P190, hardcover titles at P230, and graphic novels at P480. Yes, it does seem a little pricey when you compare it with your less-than-100-peso finds at secondhand stores and factory sales, but these are still good prices nonetheless!
If you’re looking to bring home a lot of fiction titles, you’re going to be in for a treat. They have one whole side of the World Trade Center dedicated to it. A whole column of tables have books under general fiction, classics, science fiction, graphic novels, and young adult genres.
We recommend listing down the authors whose works you’d want to look for at the book fair. It’s also better to have specific book titles in mind. There are so much new names in the fiction genre, paired with so many pretty covers and summaries that you'd want to give a chance. These are the many books that will entice you to put it in your cart. Having a list puts some sense of direction in your book hunt, and helps you stay focused in finding the books you actually want to have.
However, as we snaked through the fiction segment in an orderly fashion, it was a bit disappointing to observe that we repetitively saw the same titles. Some of them were just spread across separate tables. There were also books that laid flat on the tables randomly, and we pretty much ignored these because of the effort it would take to go through all books and fish them out.
We saw that the Harry Potter collection only has a price tag of P2,900, while we found the often sold-out titles of Cassandra Clare’s “The Mortal Instruments” saga at the Customer Service area at P190 each. Classical authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Jane Austen, and Franz Kafka usually have their novels go for P400 for new copies, but here, they’re all priced at P190, too!
Graphic novels have the biggest price tags, and there's no surprise in that. However, you can score a lot of Marvel, DC, and Star Wars hardcovers for only one-third its original price! Now that's a steal, ain't it?
It’s also among the fiction titles where you may find yellow sticker tags on the books you fancy, and this shows that members can buy it at a lower price. Being a member of Big Bad Wolf is absolutely free, you just have to register as one at the event itself. That will save you at least P40 on your purchase.
The nonfiction part of Big Bad Wolf houses a lot of interesting titles, from topics of history, self-help, memoirs, sports, art, film, and music. It’s actually the sections we spent more time roaming.
Among the books that caught our attention were: “10,000 Years of Art,” a small book containing the most fascinating artisanal works throughout history in its glossy pages; “The Who, the What, the When,” an illustrated book that features the people behind the greatest names man has come to know—their coaches, secretaries, wives, mentors, apprentices; and “After Hitler: The Last Ten Days of World War II in Europe,” which has a title that already speaks for itself.
You’ll also find memoirs and dedicated essays to famous personalities like George Harrison, Princess Diana, Bowie, Steve Jobs, to political figures like Hillary Clinton, Kim Jong-un, to Roman figures like Pythagoras and the philosophers’ discourses in the era.
Big Bad Wolf also has a check-in counter that lets you reserve books for 24 full hours for free. So if you run out of money or couldn’t decide on which books to take home, you can let your loot sit for a while and come back for it the next day.
You only have until Monday, Mar. 4, to enjoy Big Bad Wolf’s slashed book prices. We suggest you go before the weekend rush and the panic-buying mode among book lovers kick in!
Photos by Vinz Lamorena
REAL PEOPLE, REAL STORIES. WE COVER PERSONALITIES WHO ARE WORTHY OF MAKING THE HEADLINES. PROFILES, LIFESTYLE, CULTURE, ARTS, LITERATURE, ENTERTAINMENT—TELLING STORIES THAT MAKE US FEEL AND CELEBRATE LIFE. WE ARE ALIKE. FOR STORY PITCHES, PERSONAL ESSAY, LITERARY, AND ART SUBMISSIONS: EDITORIAL@ALIKE.COM.PH