One would think a country like Indonesia, not noted for its reading reputation, might soon get tired of a Malaysian company turning up with millions (literally) of English-language books in eleven-day 24/7 flash sales.
But if there is a limit, Big Bad Wolf has yet to reach it.
Not content with taking 5.5 million books to the Indonesia capital Jakarta back in March –
in what was Big Bad Wolf’s busiest ever event (so far), Big Bad Wolf was also in Bandung in June, is this week in Yogyajarta, at the end of August will be Medan, and in September Surabaya.
Tomorrow (August 5) Big Bad Wolf Karachi will close its doors, marking the end of the second Pakistan event this year. Big Bad Wolf took 1 million books to Karachi, having previously taken 1 million books to Lahore.
All told this year so far, Big Bad Wolf has also been in Myanmar twice (Yangon in February with 1 million books, Mandalay in May with 1 million books), the Philippines (Pasay City in February with 2 million books, with Cebu lined up for August), South Korea (Seoul, 2 million books), Taiwan (Taipei, 2 million books) and has done six runs in home country Malaysia.
In a few days time, on August 9, Big Bad Wolf Bangkok kicks off in Thailand, with no fewer than 3 million books up for grabs.
Return visits to the UAE (Dubai) and Sri Lanka (Colombo), as well as the big end of year event in Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) are still to come, and we cannot rule out further visits to the countries already mentioned, and possible further debuts in new countries.
Big Bad Wolf never fails to surprise, and while of course these are remaindered books bought from mainstream western publishers and so offered at very low prices, the story here is not about price but about demand.
With every event Big Bad Wolf is demonstrating the huge demand for English language books in countries where English is not the first language.