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Discounted English book fair offers 2 million options

June 24,2019
The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is coming to Korea for the first time. It will be held at Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi, from July 5 to 15. Above is last year’s sale held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. [BIG BAD WOLF BOOK SALE]
For most people, large art books and coffee table tomes are a luxury that is often too expensive to indulge in. However, a hardcover cookbook full off delicious-looking photographs of pasta dishes and detailed recipes will only cost you 10,000 won ($8.60) at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, which starts on July 5 at Kintex in Ilsan, Gyeonggi.

The sale, which runs until July 15, will be filled with books written in English. The sale first started in Malaysia, and its first Seoul edition will feature about two million books available for purchase.

About half the books are for children, while the other half will be books about arts, architecture, fashion, cooking and science, in addition to fiction and non-fiction offerings.

The cheapest books at the sale will cost 1,500 won and the most expensive ones will be 150,000 won - an up to 90 percent discount on the original retail price.

Jacqueline Ng, who founded the sale along with her husband, visited Korea to help promote the sale, which was created to provide everyone the chance to read a book. To serve that purpose, the sale at Kintex will be open for 24 hours so that people who only have time after the ordinary opening hours of libraries or bookstores can also come purchase books. The sale event is free and open to the public.

“Reading should not be a privilege and books should be affordable,” Ng said.

The sale, which was first held in 2009, is now put on in nine different countries, including Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and Myanmar.

To help children experience books using cutting-edge augmented reality technology, the sale will also provide a reading experience called “Magical Books.”

“Magical Books” is a book that comes with 13 different stories such as “Three Little Pigs” and “Little Red Riding Hood,” and can be connected to an app so that young readers can see the characters moving on screen. As they flip through pages, the images also change accordingly, so reading becomes similar to watching a video.

“We understand that in a country where English is not the first language, the demand for English books is high,” said Ng. “We aim to provide the platform that inspires people to start reading, which empowers them with knowledge.”

During the event, it will be also possible to buy books directly at Kintex and donate them right away to organizations that need more books.

For more information, search @bigbadwolfbooks_kr on Instagram or bbwbookskorea on Facebook.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]