Book enthusiasts to get 95% discount at Sarit exhibition

Big Bad Wolf Sharjah will hold the biggest Christmas book sale event from December 14 to 25

In Summary

• Kenyans and book lovers will have a one-time experience to get a feel of the variety of books that will be on offer.

• A total of 500,000 books and 15,000 different titles will be available with discounts of up to 95 per cent.

The CEO and founder Big Bad Wolf Andrew Yap.
READING CULTURE: The CEO and founder Big Bad Wolf Andrew Yap.

Kenyans will have an opportunity to buy books at affordable price at Big Bad Wolf Sharjah's exhibition at Sarit Centre, Westlands.

Termed as the biggest Christmas book sale event, it will run for twelve days from December 14 to 25.

Kenyans and book lovers will have a one-time experience to get a feel of the variety of books that will be on offer.

A total of 500,000 books and 15,000 different titles will be available with discounts of up to 95 per cent.

"We have more than 600 titles priced between Sh100 – Sh400. Majority of the books are for children, particularly activity books. However, there will also be a category for young adults to adults books," Bradley Heslop said.

Heslop is the Kenyan representative of Big Bad Wolf Sharjah.

Some of the children's books on offer include board books, sound books, picture books, and story books while adults will have a variety of fiction and non-fiction novels, Sci-fi, self-help, cook books, coffee table books and romance.

Types of Books for children that will be available for sale.

Big Bad Wolf Sharjah did a sale event for the first time in Kenya in October and it was the reaction they got from Kenyans that made them hold another before the year ends.

"People came in numbers, got to know about us and word started going around. We realised more people desire to get books, which are not locally available or affordable," Heslop said.

He also promised to have books by local authors in future events as they are in the last stages of finalising the process.

However, there will be a couple of books by other African authors, which have been sourced from international markets.

Big Bad Wolf originated from Malaysia in 2009 with Andrew Yap and Jacqueline Ng as the founders.

Their primary mission was to change the world one book at a time, cultivate reading habits, increase English literature and build a new generation of readers.

The key purpose was to make books inclusive, accessible and affordable to everyone. In 2019, they partnered with Sharjah Book Authority as a joint venture.

"Books are known to inspire, foster creativity and give people the means to dream big, give a road map through autobiographies and provide a route to success when ones surroundings are not that inspiring," Heslop said.

He said this is made possible through sale events around the world.

They have been able to go to 15 countries and 37 cities with an aim of growing to larger markets.

People have had the opportunity to access millions of books and up to 700,000 attendees in a ten-day event.

Big Bad Wolf Sharjah will be working together with Miss Koch Kenya for the upcoming event.

The organisation partners with groups that make a difference in society.

Miss Koch is a youth empowerment organisation that addresses the vulnerability and abuse of women and girls in Korogocho slums.

They inspire, give them an avenue to escape various kinds of abuse, and teaches children not to get into crime while rehabilitating young members.

They work with schools and early childhood centres.

In the partnership, Big Bad Wolf Sharjah will supply Miss Koch with books relevant to their mission and what they are aiming to achieve in society.

"We have pledged 500 books. We invite Kenyans to join in the initiative and for every book bought and donated, we will match every donation," Heslop said.

In a previous event, Big Bad Wolf Sharjah managed to get 7,000 books from donations making a total of 14,000 that benefitted various charities.

Heslop said Kenyans love to read but the major barrier is affordability and accessibility of books, as most are not locally available.

In addition, books are not cheap, not only in Kenya but also around the World.

This is the gap Big Bad Wolf Sharjah is looking to fill.

From Heslop's experience, there is a reading culture among Kenyans and there is a need to cultivate and safeguard it. Most libraries set up in the villages and schools are quite popular and vibrant.

"When people have access to books, they read them," he said.

Heslop also encouraged the older generation who are yet to read books, to pick that first book.

"Reading takes one into another world as many people live very difficult lives, a book is a great escape," he said.

Big bad Wolf Sharjah has plans to expand into other African markets. Kenya is the second country after Tanzania in Africa, where they have held their big sales with discounts.

"We chose Kenya ahead of other countries because they have a large population with high literacy levels. Their people are also easy to engage. Some of their charities are also good in terms of their cause and partnering with them makes sense," Heslop said.

He urged Kenyans to show up in numbers and to also come with their children as the exhibition will be massive.

"It will be like going inside a warehouse filled with a variety of books," Heslop said.

Great quality English books foster English literacy and Big Bad Wolf Sharjah aims to bring books to people in mass.

Kenyans will have an opportunity to access every category of books available and be a member of Big Bad Wolf Sharjah Book Club, where they will be getting exclusive offers and discounts.

Heslop promised music will also be available, "It won't be as quiet as a library, it will be like a fun way of bringing books to life."

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