Friday, December 08, 2017

Review: Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2017

I'm back again for another BBW Book Sale review! Click here to read what I thought about last year's! Before you read on, let me warn you guys that there are a lot of pics in this post.

Once again, I managed to snag a preview pass thanks to the lovely people at BBW as well as the KLBAC that I am a part of, so a really big thank you to you guys!!!!!!

So, skipping straight to the point, here are my thoughts on BBW.

More trolleys!!!

My first thought on BBW is that there are not a lot of fiction books this year. Fiction and General islands this year are very little, and when I got to the end of it, my thoughts were, that's it? However, notwithstanding, I found quite a number of books this year. (a lot actually). From my conversations with Nikki, she told me that they were there last year, but I guess I wasn't interested last year, which was perhaps why I didn't get them. One prime example is the Paulo Coelho boxset. If you were to shove them in my face last year, I would have told you to put it away cos he's not an author I read.

There are a lot of Mitch Alboms of the Frankie Presto variety. Below you can see the hard cover, large print, and paperback versions.

Anyway, I digress. There were more children books this year, the section dedicated to them was larger than last year, and even segregated to activity books, board books, picture books, you get the drift. The Malay and Chinese sections were also larger this year, which is a good thing as there is finally something for everyone at the BBW.

There were some Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys as well.

Enid Blyton was out in full force this year, with lots of titles from St. Clares, Mallory Towers, Famous Five Secret Seven, the Five Find-Outers, and lots more standalones.

Children learning guide boxsets are also available, the ones below were going for about RM250 each set.

Other selections are the adult colouring books, Johanna Basford lovers will love the artist editions of Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, and there were lots of copies of Lost Ocean towards the cashier.

I saw a lot of people grabbing this Game of Thrones House Lannister boxset.

There's also something for Star Wars fans!

This year, there were lots of tin selections, each of which houses different items. Some of them were books, others cards, miniatures, and some were even empty.

There was also A LOT of Jojo Moyes' Me Before You and After You. I grabbed myself a copy of After You since I had Me Before You already. 

Other special happenings in BBW are the promotions like, Buy 3 for RM15 for selected titles. I think this is a great promotion as it would ensure faster turnover of items from the sale and people will get more value from buying three books as opposed to only getting one.

Moving on to more fiction and Young Adult titles, there were mountains of Cassandra Clare boxsets that are not in boxes. There are a lot more YA choices this time around, and I see a lot of Garth Nix, James Patterson, Stephanie Meyer, etc. However, no Sarah J. Maas for those who are asking.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid boxsets and Maze Runner boxsets are also available.

Premium Zone this year is very small, but I did see some beautiful gems in there.

So moving on to general snaps of what I could capture in the hall, enjoy!

If you're a DC Comics fan, you might love this. I think it's going for about RM50? Not entirely sure. It could be RM25 heheh.

One thing in particular that I would like to highlight is that this year, there are samples for customers to have a look at before deciding if they want to buy it. A browsing copy, if you'd like. Why I think this is great, is that you don't dog ear every single book, and other books are actually wrapped up in plastic. Of course, it's not for every book, but those with higher values.

One very notable change was the Romance section. If previously there is a full row (of about 7-8 islands) of Romance titles, now it has been reduced to only two, which is pretty significant. I guess people nowadays are more inclined towards other genres than reading love stories.

Buying food. This year meals are fully catered by Madeleine cafe, I think they're a sister company of Bookxcess? A lot of choices and the portions are generous. Pricing is reasonable too. Sounds good right? Unfortunately, that's where the good things stop. If you want to get some food, you have to line up to order and pay, then line up to wait for your order to be prepared. Doesn't matter if you buy drinks only or food and drinks. 

From the time I lined up and paid, that took me ten minutes waiting time. Which is fair, there was quite a long queue. What riled me up was what happened after I paid. They had a calling system whereby they will call you when your order was ready. But, they don't even call in sequence! They will jump from A079 to A082 then back to A076, which was maddening!

It got so crowded and disorganised to the point they stopped using the call bell, and just took receipts from us, put together our orders, and handed it to us.

Perhaps what could be done better is to separate the drinks and food. So those who ordered just drinks can take and go. Total time from when I lined up to order and got my food? 1 hour.

Look at my poor excuse for a Nasi Lemak Ayam. This is RM10.

Best format I've seen so far is the Ikea style. You take the food, then line up and pay. Because it's too packed, and ladies with their handbags hog the place. One instance whereby the lady took her food, and another person's handbag got in the way. The drinks dropped to the floor and there it goes. At least they replaced it, but this kind of things shouldn't even happen in the first place.

Customer storage is more organised this year, with special boxes allocated which I presume will make it easier for the volunteers to find books belonging to the customer.

Payment systems this year is way better, there are significantly more cashiers, which makes for a faster checkout. Lanes are divided into cash and credit card lanes, and lanes specially dedicated to cash only. They also have placards of HELP and NEXT with the cashiers, so that it is easier to spot a free cashier and make your way over there.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! If you are planning to head to the BBW sale this year, please take note that Plastic bags are now chargeable at 20cents per bag. For me this is a great thing as we all have to play a part in saving our environment, and why should book sales be exempted? I took my suitcase with me, and managed to fit everything in it :)

After surfing the net, apparently, there is a section for bulk purchases, if you purchase more than 3,000 books. But to be eligible, you will need to be registered as a bulk purchaser. However, when I was there, I didn't see any bulk purchase incident.

Similar to last year, Digi users can get 3% off books if you purchase above RM50. All you need to do is find the reward via the MyDigi app, and you're set!

Other boos this year for me are:

1. Hong Leong bank. I mean, really? They are the official bank for this year's BBW, but all that is offered is only a measly RM13 nett food set (of which the drink is not interchangeable btw, not even with one of the same price), 50% of SELECTED books when you use your reward points, and RM10 off Grab rides. Seriously, you call this BADDER DEALS? What I loved about using HLB cards was that I could get the 5% discounts when I purchase above a certain amount. But this year, the 5% has been scrapped, and I don't even get a free drink and cupcake like last year. Boo!!!!

2. No RM5 off being a wolfpack member for every RM100 bought (like last year). The only perk about being a wolfpack member is that you get to purchase selected books for a special price (of which I only had one). So basically, being a wolfpack member this year was moot. The bright side? I saved RM2.

3. No bookmarks! :(

So what do I think of the sale this year?
Overall, you can still go for the books, though I would not recommend buying food from there, not until they change their system.

If you have a truckload of children to buy for, then you will find the sale this time around gratifying.

As I said, fiction and general titles are not as many this year, though I did get a number of what I wanted, and found some new ones that I totally didn't expect. But they could be saving some good buys when the sale is ongoing, and perhaps dropping another load towards the end. So, it really is entirely up to you. From the FB thread that I read, a lot of people who went also found the sale this time around unsatisfying. 

Before I sign off, special mention to the volunteers that are volunteering. There was one time when I ask them for a Nigella Lawson cookbook. They didn't know who was the author but it's ok, I don't blame them because if they don't cook they will not necessarily know who Nigella Lawson is. But after that when I was walking around looking for the book, the same volunteer came up to me and handed me a book for Nigella Lawson. I felt it was very good of him to do so even though I told him not to bother as he still went and helped me search which is something I appreciate.

Those are my thoughts this time around. Let me know if you will be going in the comments below!

Til the next time, stay beautiful!


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