IMAGINE seeing the World Trade Center in Pasay City filled to the brim with books — all 16,500 square meters of it. Well, that is exactly what’s going to happen in February as Book Xcess brings the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale to Manila, a week-long book sale said to be one of the largest in the world.

“[The event is] big not just in number of books [but in] number of titles and the amount of discounts,” Miguel Mercado, marketing head of Big Bad Wolf Philippines, told the media during a press conference on Jan. 17 at the M Café in Makati City.

To be held from Feb. 16 to 25, the sale will feature around two million books which will be sold at discounts from 60% to 80%. And the sale goes on for 24 hours nonstop for a total of 231 hours so one can go at any time of the day.

And admission is free.

“[The sale] started as a crazy idea that if you sell a lot of books at a comfortable place at a good price, people will come,” Mr. Mercado said. “There’s nothing like seeing millions of books on a single floor,” he added.

The idea proven true in Malaysia where it was first held in 2009 — an entire week of nothing but books drew a crowd numbering in the hundred thousands, and again in Bangkok in 2016 which saw 700,000 people shopping for books.

The Philippines, which is the fifth country the sale will be held in after Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, the hope of its organizers is to draw some 700,000 people to the World Trade Center.

And judging by the number of people who attend the Manila International Book Fair which has been running for almost four decades, Mr. Mercado is confident they draw their 700,000.

“We want people to read more and more… and get children to read and enjoy books,” said Mr. Mendoza, adding that all the books they are selling are new as “cheap books aren’t necessarily of poor quality or second hand.”

The sale was founded by Book Xcess, a Malaysian company that deals with excess or remaindered books from international distributors.

According to its Facebook page, visitors going to the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale will see a wide array of books from different genres sold with heavy discounts including the hardcover version of The Avengers Vault by Peter A. David (P580 from its original price of P1,823.69) and The Adventures of Tintin: Prisoners of the Sun (P190 from P887.86), among many others.

Mr. Mendoza said that since all the books available at the sale are heavily discounted, few Filipino titles will be found as publishers are a bit wary of giving their titles such deep discounts.

“But as we go along, we are planning to increase the presence of local titles,” he said, noting that at the time of the press conference the only confirmed Filipino publisher participating in the sale was ABS-CBN Publishing.

While the sale will start on Feb. 16, a few people will be given a chance to enjoy a preview day on Feb. 15. Details on how to secure passes to the preview sale will be posted soon on their Facebook page.

Mr. Mercado said that if people plan on doing some serious book shopping, he suggests they bring luggage to carry their haul as all those books will be heavy.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale will run from Feb. 16 to 25 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Admission is free. For more information, visit facebook.com/bbwbooksphilippines. — Zsarlene B. Chua