Dubai: Book lovers in the UAE are in for a special treat, as the world’s largest book sale opens in Dubai on Thursday, offering more than 3 million books at less than half the price for visitors.
Making its Dubai debut, the 11-day Big Bad Wolf Books Sale offers discounts ranging from a minimum of 50 per cent to 80 per cent.
Gulf News got a sneak peek of the mega fair during a special preview on Wednesday, before it opens for the public on Thursday.
Held at Dubai Studio City soundstages two and three, the event offers free entry on all 11 days.
Putting up more than 2,000 titles, the sale primarily houses English language books ranging from best-selling novels and non-fiction, to art and design titles, cookbooks and a variety of self-help books and biographies. It also hosts a sizeable collection of Arabic books.
“Our mission is to change the world through affordable books. We want to make knowledge accessible to everyone. Right now, books have become a luxury that not everyone can afford: we want to change this. We also want to bring back the lost generation of readers, taken away by technology,” said Andrew Yap, founder of the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale.
Always ready to sell
Open 24 hours from 9am on October 18 till midnight on October 28, the sale also features an extensive range of books for children of all ages, including young adult fiction, illustrated novels as well as classic children’s literature, rhymes and story books.
“The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale aims to promote a culture of reading through affordable books. By making millions of high quality books accessible, we aim to foster creative thinking and help empower the future generation,” said Mohammad Al Aidaroos, managing partner of Ink Readable Books, organisers of the book sale.
Many of the books are priced so low that several mothers, teachers and librarians who were lucky to get an entry on the special preview day could be seen pushing trolleys full of books.
Everyone's a winner
“I am mostly buying children’s books, both for my school and for my children. This is a great opportunity for all the book lovers to have their fill, because you can’t find books at these prices anywhere in the UAE,” said Maya Atiya, a Jordanian school coordinator, who along with her colleague purchased 10 trolleys full of books.
Atiya’s colleague, Juvy Callejas, a librarian at International Academic School, said the book sale is really helpful for anyone who wants to stock up on books.
Another librarian, Sharon Harte, was in early to take full advantage of the special preview. “They have a good range, with books for all ages and everything is really affordable. So far, I have found all books going at more than 50 per cent discount. I would definitely recommend my students and others to visit,” said Harte, a Scottish expatriate.
Sayeda Zainab, an Indian housewife and an avid reader, said that she is overwhelmed by the range of the collection available on sale.
“I will definitely have to make more than one trip to go through everything. A sale like this is not common and as a book lover I would love to take full advantage of it. I read a lot of fiction and have picked a few already and I am also looking to choose from a wide variety of children’s books they have here,” said Zainab, who was visiting with her family.
Founded in 2009 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale has been held in multiple Asian cities in the last decade, including Jakarta, Manila, Colombo, Bangkok and Taipei.