Read Malaysia 2014 and The Big Bad Box Sale @ MIECC (21-30 March 2014)


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Here’s the thing nobody said to you during the initial BBW advertising. The Big Bad Box Sale is a part of Read Malaysia 2014 – or the book fair for Chinese readers. I thought it was initially a different fair as nothing in Big Bad Wolf site said anything about it sharing a floor space with the exhibition. Even the map fooled me at the first glance.


The door promoters who gave me the flyers said something like this “you go around the hall and then go straight” and I asked “Was it another entrance?” and they said “yes”. So I went out and only found locked doors and toilets so I went up another level and found barren silence and went down again and ignored the promoters and head onward to the huge poster at the back of the huge hall.


And found it.

Lesson 1 : If your sense of direction always are reliable. Trust your sense of direction.

Lesson 2 : Accept that miscommunication happens even if you think you speak the same language.

I walk straight in a long parade without being bothered by promoters which was rather unusual considering the barrenness of the floor space and it was the first day of Read Malaysia so I’d anticipate there would be a crowd. I guess, there would be more come weekends and school holidays. As always, there’s always a decent crowd in every BBW sales. A promoter of some chemical cleaner did approach me though and I was like “huh?” (its an effing book fair and you sell whaaa?). Oh, since I always wear heavy eyeshadows everywhere, I guess I look frightening to some.

I didn’t browse all the Read Malaysia booths because majority of them are Chinese language publishers except for some Malaysian ‘Indie’ press booths.


I also found Big Bookshop doing a fair with discounted stationeries and RM3 books.


There’s a quite impressive literature selections although I only got out with this one.


Little did I know, I found two copies (a hardcover and paperback) version of Little Brother in the box sale. But I like this one more and its smaller than those two. So I have more space in my box for another book.


By the way, the Box A isn’t worth your money. Its too tiny with just RM20 differences, just get the RM100 box.


Oh, problem is, you still need a container to contain the result of your browsing, therefore you still need to buy the box first before you browse… which leads to a familiar sight….

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The long missed snake queue which I haven’t seen since 2010’s BBW….

My advice is for the sales people to open up more cashiers and have one line reserve for the 1M book vouchers folks because other than credit card counters, they’re the ones that made it hard to queue. They jammed the cash counters when it should be just a walkthrough.

Now you know why I always endorse my love of this.


And also, for you potential BBW customers. Don’t rush it when the queue started to get snake-like long. Just wait until the crowd disappears and just continue on with the browsing (trust me, this takes hours okay). I don’t know why queues bring about this psychological phenomenon where everyone see a queue and they also queue. You can observe and do psychosocial experiment on this or something.

If you see a packed queue and you have time to browse for hours, take a few hours browsing through the selections and come again when the crowd thinned. Yes, it will thinned out. Don’t be too ‘gabra’ about not getting dibs on box. Its a box sale. They have more of these boxes for you. Calm down. Go and dibs on the books instead.

But I just need to emphasize on this, BRING YOUR TROLLEYS!!! IMG_20131211_150308

I thought it was okay to left it at home because it can be a hassle juggling a huge box with a trolley but I was dead wrong. It’s also a flashback to my earlier days of BBW…


I had to walk with a big and effing  heavy box filled with books from MIECC and walk through Mines (have a break with the Mines to KTM boat ride) and then again I walk through the zig-zag flyover and cursed my weak muscles (plus, I haven’t ate well since I had that sudden flu and I became slightly skeletal from malnutrition) and then I made evil eye to people (usually muscular men) who stare at me lugging a huge box and a heavy bag. I open the flap up and filled the bag I’m carrying with the hardback children’s books to take the weight off my arms. So, from the KTM train to LRT station and by the time I reach Kelana Jaya, I destroyed the box by manhandling it.


Again, another lesson to listen to my own advices… TROLLEYS!!! A full box of these weight a LOT (pic credit to Vivian Lum)


Also the atmosphere… (less pics although I did spend nearly 6 hours there)

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Personally, I am impressed that the selection was quite good even after the last aftermath sale (which I didn’t go because I’m accompanying Suria and Channie that week). But the Graphic Novel, Fantasy and SciFi section was pitiful and the General Fiction were all mixed up but if you look hard enough, you’ll find some interesting gems you didn’t get during the original sale. Like I always said, the selections differed every time they do these sales. That is why I’m an optimist book hunter.


Yes, I got some empty space. Its hard to cram another paperback in that too but apparently, I need to stop myself from hoarding or else I get duds. But you can still fill in more books at this stage, you can get away with the requirement as long as the flaps closed together (not really flat but bulging is okay). And I drag the box halfway across the city and so I do appreciate some empty space.

If you want to bring a box home with you like I did, just use that giant blue IKEA bag. It will fit.

Now the haul…

I’m sure by now you’d realize that I rather spend on physical books for the kids rather than myself. No matter what I said about e-reading, you want to get kids to love books, you give them physical books.

But I still bring home around the same amount of books I usually get from the past several BBW. Sigh.

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By the way, I’ve read Cinder. I bought it because I love the series so much and I didn’t have the first book in physical form. Imagine my shock that I found Scarlet in hardcover in one of the table. I bought that a year ago from Kinokuniya and it was three times the price okay? Grrr. But I bought it to fit next to my own copy of Scarlet. ❤

I have space problem. I live with my family. Everyone have their own stuff and I also need space. I have more space for books than my own space for sleeping. *sniff*

So, that is why I need to learn how to control my own physical book buying habits. If I really want to read something new, I get it in ebooks and wait for the physical price to go down. It did work by the way.

Thank you, BookXcess for sustaining this crazy book habit of mine.


And about the RM99.90 box, if I only buy my own stuff (minus kid’s stuff) apparently I can triple the amount I have and walk away with several dozen books. Scary, dangerous and tempestuous thoughts.

But, even I have a hard time choosing books I like to fill in the gap. I could pick some of the books I’ve read and love but I always end up making it a collection in my locker rather than rereading it again. I could say the same again with the rest of the previous books I bought that I’ve read and want to have it on physical format rather than digital ones.

Ok, its not because books is always better than digital ones. But I like the idea of owning the physical copy of the book I love. That way, less accidents with the wall like I do with Graceling and Throne of Glass. Then again, if its a good book in digital format, then the physical book could enhance that experience too. That works vice versa with bad books which I prefer to read in digital format than having it bulking up my book locker. Which also means, its time to do some readings.


5 thoughts on “Read Malaysia 2014 and The Big Bad Box Sale @ MIECC (21-30 March 2014)

  1. wow! so excited to see cinder there! hopefully i can grab that too by end of the year bbw sales cos i’m skipping this box sales. Great haul! keep more coming! 🙂

  2. Awesome! Can’t wait to go tomorrow. Thanks for all the helpful info, guess i still have to break my back because I dont have trolley. Great. 🙂

  3. I was confused too when arrived at MIECC that day.I though there was only BBW Box sale but there were so many others booths.It took me few minutes to reach BBW sale area.
    I went on the third day (Sunday) and it was not that crowded.I browsed through the available books for almost an hour before decided I have to buy the big box.As usual I bought most on architectural & design.Managed to get 22 books including two novel by Jeffrey Deaver and David Baldacci.
    Then the next Tuesday ,before leaving back to Johor I decided I had to buy some more.That time i only bought the small box -had not much time to choose.
    I agreed wt you that buying the big box worth more then the small one as I only managed
    7 books wt the small box.(books on arch and design are mostly big in size).

    Then there was BBW in Melaka recently. I spent RM90 and got only 7 books.
    So I hope there will box sale again soon as we bring home almost 3x book with the same amount of money.

    Anybody knows when is the next BBW sale

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