Akhirnya Big Bad Wolf sampai di Indonesia! I'm definitely one happy bookworm when I hear about the news! Nggak cuma saya, kabar ini juga tentunya bikin girang book lovers setanah air, particularly those who based in Tangerang and Jakarta.
Nggak heran, as a third world country, Indonesia memang punya masalah soal akses buku yang merata. Terutama di kota-kota kecil dan tempat-tempat terpencil, sulit berharap untuk mendapatkan akses terhadap buku-buku berkualitas. Kalaupun ada, ya mahal. Kedatangan Big Bad Wolf di Indonesia tentu jadi angin segar buat bookworms Indonesia.
Before you all got confused with this Big Bad Wolf thing, let me explain first what's the fuss about it. Big Bad Wolf book sale (or some might call it BBW) merupakan sebuah event diskon buku besar, specialized in huge reductions on imported books. Discounts can go as far as 90%—I KNOW—dan buku-buku yang ditawarkan datang dari berbagai genre. However, books in English usually dominate the Big Bad Wolf book sale. Dan yang bakal ditemukan di Big Bad Wolf bukan sekadar buku outdated, kualitas rendah, atau bekas. Semua buku yang ditawarkan di Big Bad Wolf adalah baru and definitely worth the pennies. Oh iya, Big Bad Wolf pertama kali digelar di Malaysia pada 2009.
Personally, saya sudah tahu soal Big Bad Wolf cukup lama. Sebelum Big Bad Wolf diadakan di Indonesia, saya pernah diajak seorang teman untuk belanja buku di Big Bad Wolf Malaysia—yang berakhir saya tolak karena lagi kepingin kumpul uang untuk keperluan lain. Saya sempat dijelasin sama teman saya itu soal tren Big Bad Wolf, and at that time I kinda wished the book fair someday would be held in Indonesia. I was quite intrigued about the fact that the book sale offers great discounts for imported books. Then this year, my wish has become true—Big Bad Wolf book sale is held in Indonesia Convention Exhibition BSD, Tangerang, on April 30 - May 9, 2016!
I went alone for this first Big Bad Wolf experience, drove myself from Bintaro to BSD City. Di tol, sih, nggak macet. Tapi pas di BSD, udah mau deket ICE BSD, macetnya luar biasa. I think I spent almost 1,5 hours just to get past an intersection and take the road to the Big Bad Wolf venue. Udah gitu di ICE BSD, biaya parkirnya Rp 20 ribu (bayar langsung) dan nyari spot susah banget! Dapatnya di area yang jauh banget dari gedung. So, one tip: just get a public or ride-hailing transportation to go there.
The Big Bad Wolf venue is EXTREMELY huge and full books that my heart almost skipped a beat and my mouth muttered "whoa, is it heaven?" under my breath. I might be overreacting, but the smell of books really got me high at that time. Mind you, pada kedatangan perdana ini saya nggak melakukan persiapan sama sekali, kecuali menyisihkan uang untuk beli buku. Because soon enough, setelah mengetahui nggak ada lagi troli belanja yang tersedia dan melihat banyak pengunjung yang bawa koper, I learned that to bring a shopping cart, a luggage, or a backpack is rather necessary.
Browsing for books in the Big Bad Wolf book sale is made easy by the genre categorization. So the books are arranged based on general genres, like fiction and non-fiction, then classified into even specific genres, such as fiction fantasy or non-fiction references. The tricky part is to find books because obviously there are TONS of books, plus the place are a bit chaos with so many people visiting the book sale. But as overwhelming as it is, you would find your way to survive and get used to everything. Oh, and may I add, the books are mostly in English and around 85% of them are children books.
The books are really offered in great price and reduction. After three hours, I finally decided to buy some classic pieces and be done with everything. But when I headed for the cashier to pay, I realized that the real chaos was there. Man, that was the first time I see dozens of people queuing that long just to pay for books! I spent almost 1,5 hours waiting in line—standing ovation, please? And when I finally got to the cashier, I just knew that they didn't accept payments with debit card. Another tip, BRING CASH—otherwise you would waste more time to find an ATM and be back in the long queue.
Well, what an experience, right? However, despite all the mishaps and unfortunate bits, the overall experience is worth it—at least I'm very satisfied with the books. In conclusion, here are some pros and cons from my first time visiting Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Jakarta 2016—just to make it easier for you to get my review points... (P.S. Don't forget to check this post to know what books that I bought from my first Big Bad Wolf book sale visit.)
+ The venue is big and fully air-conditioned, so even if it's cramped with people, you wouldn't be sweating.
+ All books are organized and arranged based on genres, making book-browsing even easier.
+ Books come from widely varied genre—from classics to the latest popular YA.
+ All books are offered in great price, including hard-covered books.
+ Books are in good condition: new and sometimes some of them are still wrapped in plastic.
+ Shopping carts are available.
+ Lots of helpful crews (gladly ask them if you're searching for certain titles).
+ Lost and Found area, also Deposit Box (to keep or tag the books you've picked), are available.
- No light refreshments available (for hours of book-hauling, this is TOTALLY needed).
- Shopping carts availability aren't enough.
- Not accepting payments with cards (exception for certain cardholders which bank sponsored the event).
- Long queues for many things (driving to parking lot, going to the cashier, checking out the venue, driving out from the parking lot).
Have you visited the Big Bad Wolf book sale? Share your thoughts below!