Inquirer Super

The big bad book sale is back

By: Irene C. Perez

Ready your money and mask, Big Bad Wolf is back on Valentine’s Day.

The well-loved 24/7 book festival will be held Feb. 14-24 at World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Malaysian cofounder Jacqueline Ng said Big Bad Wolf started in 2009 as an advocacy to make books accessible and affordable to all. To date, it has been held in the Philipines, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, South Korea, Pakistan, Myanmar, Cambodia and the United Arab Emirates. Book caravans were also held at Cebu, Davao and Pampanga.

Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines lawyer Emerson Cuyo, Big Bad Wolf cofounder Jacqueline Ng, Gawad Kalinga executive director José Luis Oquiñena

“Titles will be sold at 50- to 90-percent off, some as low as P60,” Ng said at the recent launch at Y Café in Makati.

Ng said Big Bad Wolf sold 30 million books last year. For 2020, there will be 17,000 new titles, covering all genres. The bestselling “magic books” that come with a free app will be having a 5 +1 promo. New titles for the augmented-reality 3D book include “Frozen: A Sleepover Party” which lets kids build and customize an ice fort, “Winnie the Pooh: Fun with First Words,” alphabet and counting books for toddlers.

“We know the power of a book,” Ng said. “It can change a life. It gives a sense of escape between two worlds especially to children from low-income families.”

Literacy is a means to get out of the cycle of poverty, Ng said, and Big Bad Wolf aims to provide the lowest possible prices—especially since many bookstores are folding up.

“Sales of books is there. People are reading even with ebooks around but maintaining a physical shop means rent, taxes and a lot of overhead, so we see this sale as a means to help not just students but also teachers and parents.”

Reading as self-care

“Magic books” with free app features augmented reality.

Reading has also become a form self-care, Ng added.

“Self-help and self-management books are the first to be gone because readers want to improve themselves.”

The reading trend has become “conscious mindfulness,” and that theme can also be practiced while shopping.

Last year saw 300,000 people at the World Trade Center—and unfortunately, there is a government advisory not to frequent crowded places with the coronavirus going around. Shoppers are encouraged to wear masks, follow coughing etiquette, and also bring totes—or pieces of luggage.

Big Bad Wolf is also collaborating with Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to spread awareness of the copyright system. Creators and authors may register and deposit their work at the IPOPHL booth during the festival. Join the contest by posting creative images from Feb. 13-23 on Big Bad Wolf’s social media accounts and get a chance to win vouchers or a trolley of books.

Upon checkout, consider donating a book to the Red Readerhood program which allows Gawad Kalinga, headed by executive director Jose Luis Oquiñena, to distribute books to the barrios.

Facebook: bbwbooksphilippines; @bbwbooksph on Instagram