The Jakarta Post
The sound of turning pages was filling the halls as Indonesia’s bookworms geared up for the biggest book sale in the country.
The Big Bad Wolf book sale officially opened on Wednesday, returning for a third year to the Indonesian Convention Exhibition (ICE) in Serpong, Banten, and targeting 750,000 visitors.
The event, claimed to be the largest book exhibition in Southeast Asia by its organizer PT Jaya Ritel Indonesia, will feature approximately 5.5 million books on sale, 80 percent of which are imported from publishers in the United States and Europe, sold at discounts of 60 to 80 percent.
Approximately 350,000 attended the first Big Bad Wolf event in Indonesia in 2016, with 2.5 million books on sale. In its second run, the event featured 5 million books on sale with 720,000 attending.
The Big Bad Wolf will run for 12 days or 280 hours non-stop, meaning prospective customers looking to snag a good deal can come at any hour of the day.
PT Jaya Ritel Indonesia president director Uli Silalahi said on Wednesday that the event was intended to increase public interest in reading, citing a UNESCO study stating that only one of 10,000 Indonesian children had any interest in reading.
Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Puan Maharani, who attended the event’s opening ceremony, said interest in reading was hampered by the high price of books.
“According to past studies, Indonesians only read three to four times a week, and only 30 minutes to 59 minutes per day,” she said. (jlm)