When you’re in front of 2 million books, you really need a survival guide on how to go about it! I looooove book fairs for many reasons. One, this is where you will find a great selection of books. Two, they are full of special deals. And three, you will often find gems that you wouldn’t see on your usual retail bookstore. I have organized book fairs in the past and while it was fun doing that, being a normal shopper is twice the fun!
My boys and I were so excited to go we even had a luggage with us! Haha! I have brought my son to book fairs before but he barely remembers them because he was still a toddler. So, I really was excited to have him look around and pick and choose the books he wanted. It’s quite a thrill compared to his usual bookstore trips! c”,) To help you enjoy your Big Bad Wolf Book Sale experience, here are some tips to guide you in navigating the sprawling, book-filled World Trade Center halls.
1. List down what you want to look for before going to the fair.
My goal was to look for Veggie Tales and Berenstain Bears books. These are my son’s favorites. c”,) I rarely find Veggie Tales books here. I had to order most of Timmy’s books from AbeBooks.com so I was eager to scour the tables and look for them. Of course, we can’t get enough of Berenstain Bears Books—another series at the top of my list. They have so many titles I couldn’t wait to see what they have at the fair! Plus, I also wanted more reading level books for my little guy. Guess what?!
Although I was expecting more, I was happy with what we got because it was a great deal! The Veggie Tales book set contains 6 books. Yay! It’s P680.00 so that’s roughly P113.00 each, a lot cheaper than if you buy it individually which is usually priced at around P150.00 to P170.00. The deluxe edition Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible with audio CD was a steal at only P350.00! This costs around P750.00 in a local bookstore here.
2. Set a budget and don’t go over budget.
There are too many books to choose from and it’s really tempting to buy everything but you have to hold your horses because there’s still Manila International Book Fair coming sometime in August or September and some local bookstore sales happening within the year! Not to mention the whole-year-round deals you can get from thrift bookstores. Haha! But if you have a Christmas budget this early, it’s the best time to get started. They have a lot of great gift ideas!
3. Be age appropriate when shopping.
This will narrow down your choices. Do you have a newborn or toddler? Then go for bath books, board books, and cloth books! If you want more book recommendations for that age, you can check my other blog here. c”,) Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is a heaven for new moms or moms with tots!!! When Timmy was younger, I used to buy him advanced books like really nice and wordy books even though he was just two years old. Unfortunately, books are prone to wear and tear. It can get yellowish easily. And he eventually got a hold of them and scribbled on them. So, bye bye books! Haha!
We’ve wasted quite a number of books so since then I’ve bought him books that he will enjoy for his age—the books that we will actually read together and the ones that match his reading level. I also capitalized on his interests and favorite authors. c”,) When we chanced upon a storybook that he really liked, I would immediately find more books from that author. It has been helpful in sustaining his interest in reading, too!
We are big Mr. Men fans and we saw some Mr. Men board books and storybooks! We didn’t get them though because he already has a good number of Mr. Men books. I was eyeing the Mr. Men boxed set but it was still pricey at 4k plus. I would get it cheaper from a second-hand Amazon/eBay seller. Haha! But hey, moms, if you have the budget go for it! It’s already there!
They also have nice picture books and storybooks! The key to buying picture books is reading the stories first and imagining how you will read them to your child and how your child will respond. Are there rhyming phrases, wonderful illustrations, and valuable lessons or insights they can learn from them? If so, then you’re holding a great storybook!
We have The Days The Crayons Quit and The Day The Crayons Came Home. They are really fun books! I highly recommend them. They have the boxed set so you won’t have a problem looking for the sequel. If I remember correctly, the price is relatively the same in local bookstores or maybe cheaper by 200 or so. They have a lot of character books like Minions, Disney, and the like.
I must admit though, that I am not a fan of character books because they’re too commercial for me. I would rather buy story books from an unpopular author because more often than not the stories are a lot better. I think character books are great only if you will use it as a springboard to encourage your child to read based on what they’ve watched from TV or movies. They can actually work for beginners or reluctant readers because they see something or someone familiar. c”,)
4. Let your child enjoy the book fair.
If you have a reader or encouraging your child to be a reader, let him or her enjoy browsing the books! Keep your kids close to you, though. Make sure that you’re looking at books on the same table and aisle. At the end of the day, safety first before shopping, mommies! If you feel you won’t be able to choose with your children around, then it’s best to leave them home than be irate the whole time, asking them to go near you. c”,)
5. Check publish dates of reference books.
Big Bad Wolf has a lot of awesome reference books. But the key to buying the best ones is making sure that you get the most updated version. We were close to buying this beautiful Cosmos book but when I found out that it’s a 2013 copyright, we opted not to buy it. Discoveries on astronomy happen so quickly that it’s best to get the newest book about space. It will make a great coffee table book in the house, though! And for a hefty, full-color book, it’s a steal for P1,750 only! They have the Horrible Histories and Horrible Science books, too. These books give an interesting take on these subjects for third graders and above. c”,)
6. Stock up on staples!
If you haven’t completed your Dr. Seuss books yet, now is the time to do so! They have really cheap, high-quality Dr. Seuss books. c”,) I was tempted to get them as duplicates but I know it’s not the wise thing to do. Haha! They have the Guess How Much I Love You seasons series, too. They are scattered on different tables, though, but they’re easy to find. They also have educational materials in wipe-clean format, which makes it reusable. c”,)
7. Go at night.
Take advantage of the 24-hour window and go at night where there are fewer people. It’s quieter to shop and the lines are shorter, too! Try coming around 7:00 or 8:00 pm. You will have more than enough time to roam around especially if you know what to look for. The tables and aisles are labeled clearly so you can actually skip the ones you don’t need and go straight to your category of choice. c”,) We got so tired after roaming around we had to sit on the floor to rest for a bit after we paid for our books. Haha! But as you can see, we’re a bunch of happy bookworms! c”,)
All in all, we got a couple of chapter books (wanted to try this Banana Bunch series), an Eric Carle scrapbook (a steal for P390.00!) for myself, the Veggie Tales set, Berenstain Bears Storybook Bible, and my husband got a graphic novel! For adults, they have a lot of fiction books, business, biography, travel, crafts/hobbies, design, and art books. They have tons of young adult books and bestseller boxed sets. Again, it all boils down to your priorities and what you really want to buy because that’s the area where you should spend most of your time. c”,)
Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is open till February 25 so you still have more than enough time to go! Best of all, the entrance is free! Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did! c”,)
P.S. Food and drinks are not allowed inside so come with a full stomach! They also have limited food choices outside the hall so make sure your kids have eaten before going in. c”,)