There are any number of contenders for the claim to be the most unlikely book event ever. But a front runner for the crown must be the Indonesia Big Bad Wolf event this year.
Indonesia’s biggest book sale is underway right now in Jakarta, and as ever its 24-hour non-stop book-buying. Last year 40,000 a day were cramming in to snap up the Big Bad Wolf bargains, with 720,000 managing to get in. This year BBW is planning for 750,000.
The Jakarta Post was at the event at 5am today (the sale is literally on 24 hours a day) and this was the scene at that time:
By midday the place will be so chocka it will be hard to move. And as these images from the BBW Indonesia twitter feed show, it’s no easy task to ship 5.5 million books half way across the globe, cram them into the venue and then keep refilling the plinths as the books fly out.
While some effort has been made to stock local language titles, some 80% of that 5.5 million stock is in English, sourced from the US and UK.
And let’s just revisit that figure here in real terms – because the Big Bad Wolf has just shipped 4.4 million ENGLISH-LANGUAGE books to sell in Indonesia.
As reported previously here at TNPS the Big Bad Wolf Indonesia event runs from 29 March through to 9 April, open 24/7 for the duration, plus a special preview event on March 28 but that was by invitation only.
This year Big Bad Wolf is planning to hit ten countries this year. As well as the Philippines (which debuted earlier this year with a mere 2 million books), Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and home ground Malaysia, the Big Bad Wolf event is scheduled for debut events in Taiwan, Dubai, Bangladesh, South Korea and one other country yet to be announced.