Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Back To The Wolf's Den

Last week, I told a friend I was skipping this year's Big Bad Wolf book sale - and went there twice and bought the most books so far during such a sale.

And the only books I read from last year's sale were by the late Terry Pratchett.

The Big Bad Wolf Books sale - and this is just half the hall

Last year, I also found a couple of titles by the Italian crime writer Andrea Camilleri. This year, there were more than a few.

When another friend (hi, Em!) mentioned liking the series, I went back a second time and picked up a few more. I initially hesitated because I'm not much of a series-muncher. I did, and came back with a few more other titles. I think they have almost the entire series so far - I think the latest is only available in hardback, so I left it there.

This year's was a bit of an adventure. I've always followed the Sungai Besi Highway from Bukit Jalil to reach the Mines Exhibition Centre, which doesn't take long. But the journey home was different, prompting me to wonder if I could retrace my way home, the same way I came.

There was, but the route back home can be gridlocked. I think I must've spent half an hour in the traffic jam before reaching the jam-free Pesiaran Serdang Perdana, lying between the Sungai Besi Highway and the North-South Highway, to return to the Bukit Jalil area.

This year's haul - perhaps the biggest to date

Parking was not a major issue for me at the venue, though maybe I was just lucky. After a couple of visits, I noted that the piles of books change often, almost guaranteeing that some patrons will return, at least once, to see what they missed - or what the BBW team hid - the previous day.

Categorisation of the book piles need refinement. Some piles were arranged "in alphabetical order", but it's not apparent. Better book-pile organisation would also help fellow book hunters return copies they decide to abandon to their respective places.

So I left Kazuo Ishiguro's The Buried Giant stay buried; couldn't find it on the second visit. Maybe I'll leave that "Constipated Man" novel alone too, when it eventually shows up.

And dammit, Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw is a memoir-slash-article compilation, not a cookbook. Probably why I couldn't and might never find Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones and Butter there and would have to get it from a bookstore.

Also, the Hong Leong credit card people were aggressive. A few would prowl the hall and accost patrons to get them to sign up in exchange for discounts or whatever. Have they always been like this, or does it have to do with the hard times and the recent lay-offs in some banks?


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