Culture > Diversion

Check out the motoring books at Big Bad Wolf

The book fair sells affordable literature on cars and bikes

We bet you'll take a selfie before going inside. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

The latest talk of the town is Big Bad Wolf, a touring book fair that started in Malaysia in 2009. Currently in Manila (World Trade Center in Pasay City) until February 25th, the 24-hour book sale offers hugely discounted books—from 60% to 80% less compared to prices at brick-and-mortar stores—mainly sourced from the inventory of BookXcess, which is Malaysia’s version of our very own Booksale. As such, many of the items are aging merchandise that BookXcess presumably needs to unload.

That’s not to say the vast selection of books isn’t worth it. On the contrary, rows upon rows of literature can occasionally surprise you with a hard-to-find title or two. You just need to be patient as you comb through the sections. That’s because the venue is packed with giddy bookworms, many of whom have their kids in tow (the Children section is massive). Here’s the scene when we visited at 2am:

This is past midnight. Print is far from dead. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

Predictably, we wanted to know if the book fair also sold motoring-themed reading materials. Not finding anything in the Reference section, we walked around until our feet led us to the Transportation section, tables 17 and 18.

It's like finding your favorite aisle at a toy store. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

The two tables have quite a number of books on cars, auto racing, motorcycles, bicycles, even trains. Most of these are releases from British publishers, which explains the preponderance of titles devoted to British automobiles. Many are standard motoring fare, while some would be indispensable additions to a car enthusiast’s library. We surveyed the stockpile and took note of the prices, which we’d now like to share with you.

'How To Drive: The Ultimate Guide, From The Man Who Was The Stig.' P480
'50 Cars That Changed The World.' P290
'Car Design Asia: Myths, Brands, People.' P1,150
'The Car Book: The Definitive Visual History.' P580
'The Motorbike Book: The Definitive Visual History.' P580
'The Bicycle Book: The Definitive Visual History.' P580
'The Train Book: The Definitive Visual History.' P580
'Car Emblems: The Ultimate Guide To Automotive Logos Worldwide.' P230
'The Total Motorcycling Manual: 291 Essential Skills.' P480
'Harley-Davidson: A Way Of Life.' P970
'Top Gear Portfolio: The World's Greatest Cars.' P350
'The Book Of The Lamborghini Urraco.' P580
'Streamlined: Classic Cars Of The 20th Century.' P1,950
'The Car: The Evolution Of The Beautiful Machine.' P580
'Lotus: The Creative Edge.' P780
'The A-Series Engine: Its First 60 Years.' P480
'The Encyclopedia Of Formula 1.' P390
'Formula 1 World Champions: All 32 World Champions Since 1950.' P1,150
'The Limit: Life And Death In Formula 1's Most Dangerous Era.' P230
'McLaren's Alain Prost.' P480
'Rally.' P1,950
'Convertibles.' P580
'Art Of The Classic Car.' P780
'Pontiac Firebird: 50 Years.' P1,150
'Corvette Racing: The Complete Competition History From Sebring To Le Mans.' P780
'The Illustrated World Encyclopedia Of Trucks.' P390
'British Auto Legends: Classics Of Style And Design.' P1,350
'Porsche: The Legend Lives On.' P230
'Aston Martin: The Great British Institution.' P230
'Fast Cars: Driving The Dream.' P230
'MotoGP: The Illustrated History.' P580
'Mustang Boss 302: From Racing Legend To Modern Muscle Car.' P580
'The Bike Deconstructed: A Grand Tour Of The Road Bicycle.' P580
'A Short History Of The Motorcycle.' P350
'Porsche: The Classic Era.' P680
'Art Of The Hot Rod.' P480
'Morgan Plus 8: A Celebration Of A Classically British Sports Car.' P580
'Jaguar XK: A Celebration Of Jaguar's 1950s Classic.' P580
'An Illustrated History Of Military Vehicles.' P230
'An Illustrated History Of Military Motorcycles.' P230
'Volkswagen: Cars People Love.' P350
'On 2 Wheels: An Encyclopedia Of Motorcycles And Motorcycling.' P290
'Custom Painting: Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles.' P160
'Classic British Bikes: The Golden Age Of The British Motorcycle.' P290
'Classic British Cars: The Golden Age Of The British Car.' P290
'Muscle Cars: Style, Power And Performance.' P680

And this one is for your little boy, although you may have to look for it in the Children section.

'My Press-Out And Play...Auto Shop Fun.' P120

When you’re done hoarding books—we suggest you grab a cart—you proceed to the checkout area to pay for your haul (you can pay with either cash or a credit card). Just don’t panic when you see the snaking line that looks more crowded than the immigration queue at NAIA. There are many counters and the cashiers are efficient, so it will be your turn before you even finish reading the foreword of the tome in your hand.

Maybe we now suffer from digital fatigue and just wish to go back to good old books. PHOTO BY VERNON B. SARNE

The Big Bad Wolf book sale will be here until 11:59pm of February 25 (Sunday), so you still have a week to make time for it. And remember: It’s open 24 hours a day—no closing time to worry about. Bring the whole family or your gang of friends. As for you, you already know which section and tables to rummage. Admission is free, of course.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.