Behind the creation of the largest book fair in the World with the creator herself, Jacqueline Ng.
By Shamindri De Sayrah
You all know Big Bad Wolf Books, the awesome Book sale that first came to Sri Lanka in 2017, but do you know the story of how and why it came to be? The story behind the stories....
"It all started with a mission. A mission to increase readership, a mission to increase English literacy." - Jacqueline Ng, Founder Big Bad Wolf Books
We at Chokolaate had the pleasure of speaking to Miss Jacqueline Ng, the founder of Big Bad Wolf Books about her inspiring story of how and why she started South Asia’s biggest book sale. Jacqueline started this venture with the mission of giving people easy access to good books. She hoped to bring prices of books down so that everyone could afford to read. Price is the magic factor of Big Bad Wolf; her goal was to bring prices of books down so that everyone could afford to read.
Here’s what she had to say about the creation of Big Bad Wolf.
1. What was the inspiration behind Big Bad Wolf Book Sale?
“In our pursuit to continuously make books affordable and accessible to people, my husband Andrew Yap and I came up with an idea of a small remainder bookstore and we called it BookXcess. We felt it was essential for more people to have access to affordable books and we needed to create a greater impact, hence three years later in 2009, we organized the first Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in Malaysia.”
“Over the years, we have evolved tremendously and with our mission to develop a new generation of readers while also cultivating reading habits around the world, we started organizing the Book Bad Wolf Book Sale in other countries in 2016. In 2018, we visited 16 cities and 7 countries. This year, we have managed to organise the Book Sale in 3 new countries – Myanmar, South Korea & Pakistan. This brings the total to 10 countries in 2019.”
Growing up, Jacqueline had limited access to reading material, having read her first book at the age of 14. She believes that it is important to cultivate readership in children, as well as adults.
2. Do you believe that reading is one of the most important things to pass on to the next generation, and why?
“Yes, I believe that reading does change one’s life. It doesn’t matter what kind of books they read, but reading can always elevate a person to a greater level of awareness and intellect. Books empower everyone with knowledge and reading provides an individual the limitless freedom to explore the world of literature. In a nutshell, reading is the most valuable investment that you make in yourself as it allows you to grow. The struggle we face is to convert a non-reader to a reader but we believe that it takes only one right book to convert a non-reader into one and the best habit you can inculcate is reading because you become what you read.”
“Books have the power to inspire and empower people with knowledge, and we are providing that platform through the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale.” - Jacqueline Ng
3. What was your goal with the Sale?
“We are not just a Book Sale but we are a reading advocacy organization. Our mission is to reach out to more people so that they have access to affordable books. The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is now becoming a popular household name in Sri Lanka, and we want to reach out to those who are not regular readers, to encourage them to pick up a good book or two and to try out reading and see it for themselves on how it changes their life. For those on a tight budget, for the first time ever, you can also buy books on an easy payment installment plan, offered via our Official Bank Partner, Sampath Bank. Through this, we hope that more people will be able to purchase their favourite books without any burden. We are delighted to bring the Big Bad Wolf Book sale back to Colombo for the third time, with a wider range of books.”
4. Where do you hope to have Big Bad Wolf Books in the future?
“We are already looking at venturing into more cities in the Asian and Middle Eastern countries. We will keep everyone updated through our website at bigbadwolfbooks.com as we continue pursuing our mission – changing the world one book at a time and spread the joy of reading to more people in the world.”
Aside from all your favorite titles being on sale, the many new fiction and non-fiction books, comics, graphic novels, the highlight of this year’s sale will be the Magical Books titles, also known as the Augmented Reality Books. A preschool learning series and bed time stories that use cutting edge technology to revolutionize reading for the next generation, allowing children to interact with the stories.
So time to get that bonus or hidden allowance out, cause Big Bad Wolf is happening from the 18th to the 28th of October at SLECC, and you do not want to miss it! Visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bbwbookssrilanka for updates, and we will see you there.