Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2016

Oh my! grandma, what big eyes you have. Well, it's that time of the year again for us bookworms in Kuala Lumpur to get our paws on stuff we couldn't afford otherwise - The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. With up to 75% to 95% discounts off the retail price, books previously looked upon with longing were now within reach of yours truly with his meager stash of Asia's worst performing currency.     

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2016 in Kuala Lumpur

Beyond my wildest dreams, this year's sale turned out to be way better than what I could have hoped for. Almost every other book on my geeky wishlist was in attendance at this sale - covering topics ranging from the better known Star Wars and Star Trek universes to art, astronomy, music and fiction.

Loot from this year's book sale ...
... precious finds ...
... and yet more loot

Shown below is a  relatively detailed breakdown of the books I managed to score from the latest Big Bad Wolf book sale, starting with the science fiction and astronomy books. They comprised stuff from the Star Trek and Star Wars universes as well as a couple of huge astronomy books - Mars: A New View of the Red Planet measures roughly 14 by 17 inches while Cosmos came in at a whopping 17 by 20 inches. While each Star Wars/Star Trek find was a gem in its own right, I was particularly happy with Star Trek Costumes - a much wished for book that was finally affordable thanks to the sale.

Star Trek goodies ... Haynes' manuals for the Enterprise and Bird-of-Prey plus the Art of War, Klingon style
Star Trek Costumes, a much wished for book that was finally affordable for a Federation credit-challenged Trekkie
Getting in the mood for Rogue One with a Death Star manual and a Marvel covers art book
My biggest score of the sale was also the largest in size, Cosmos (right, 17 by 20.5 inches)

Art was another genre that was well represented in this book sale. I couldn't believe my eyes when I came upon art books of video games such as Fallout 4, Uncharted Trilogy, Witcher and World of Warcraft. These tomes were fairly new releases and worthy additions to the library of art lovers or artists seeking ideas and inspiration. Another worthy mention is Realms: The Roleplaying Game Art of Tony Diterlizzi. In it are some truly lovely and inspiring fantasy character art.    

My heart skipped a beat when I set my eyes upon this two gorgeous art books
Love the games and books, and now I have the art/lore reference
Always have a soft spot for Blizzard World of Warcraft's art and lore
Fantasy art books make wonderful reference material for my miniature painting projects

Instructional art books were also aplenty. That and Adult Coloring Books which I pretty much expected. A little bit of trivia for you - did you know that sales of Adult Coloring Books rose from 1 million in 2014 to 12 million in 2015. While I don't fancy coloring books per se, the byproduct of this trend is more guide books on colored pencil as an art medium. This dovetailed well with my search for such instructional books to complement my venture into portrait drawing using colored pencils. 

A trio of colored pencil guide books to complement those already in my collection
Some books on color per se and portraits

Bargain fiction novels were a little bit harder to come by this year. Worse still the section on Science Fiction and Fantasy was wholly inadequate to put it mildly. All I got were the 31st Annual Collection of The Year's Best Science Fiction, Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes and Peter Hamilton's first book in his new duology The Abyss Beyond Dreams. But I did get horror hardbacks by Stephen King and books from two other authors whose work I like Neil Gaiman and Murakami.

With a Stephen King bargain to be had every year, I no longer buy his books at retail prices
Science Fiction and Fantasy books were hard to come by this year but I'm still happy with my finds
Adding more titles to my Neil Gaiman and Murakami collections is never a bad thing

Rounding of my loot for this year was some music biographies and a book on my favourite online store. There were so many that I wanted to get but a limited budget meant I limited myself to two and they were on two of my favourite bands namely AC/DC and Metallica. And to round it all off I got a book on my favourite online store Amazon. Either the inefficiencies of the Malaysian economy or the ruthlessness of Amazon's cut-throat pricing means that more often than not, it is much cheaper to buy stuff from the US online store than most shops in my country, including shipping costs. 

Music biographies were aplenty but a limited budget meant choosing just two ... AC/DC and Metallica
And then there's that book about my favourite online store

I'm still pinching myself. Ouch! Nope. It's all real. Those gorgeous art books are still sitting in a pile; their inherent creativity waiting to be read and unleashed. It's sad these trying times make it harder to justify a reading habit. Rant begins. To understand how bad it is for Malaysian readers, here is an apples-to-apples comparison. Average hourly wage in McDonald's is about US$10 in the US and RM6 in Malaysia but a paperback costs about US$9.95 in the US and RM39.95 in Malaysia. And one US dollar is worth about RM4.45. Do the math. Rant over. To not end on a negative note, here's wishing the force is with you as you join Jyn Erso and gang in the hunt for the Death Star's plans. ^_^


  1. So many interesting things...hope you'll have enough time to enjoy!

    1. There is never enough time to enjoy hobby stuff so ironically the fact that I don't have a lot of stuff to enjoy makes it manageable ... LoL :)

  2. Enjoy them some wonderful books there.

    1. Thanks Simon ... the art reference books will be especially useful to me :)

  3. Well, this year you went beyond any expectation, what a wonderful stash! Despite the shitty economics you talk about, at least you managed to get some really interesting readings, I hope you enjoy them!
    PS: of course, may the Force be with you too! :)

    1. Thank you Suber ... just saw Rogue One and I'm back from my self-imposed online break (to prevent spoilers) ^_^


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