Read all about it: the 14 best bargains to be found at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in Dubai

From opening times and directions to some of the best deals available, here is your ultimate guide to the world's biggest book sale

The world’s biggest book sale opens this week in Dubai and with over three million books on offer, there’s no excuse for not leaving with your arms full.

You'll find everything from fiction to fashion and history to horticulture at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, all at discounts of 50-80 per cent.

We managed to sneak in a day early, so here is everything you need to know, including some of the best bargains to look out for.

Happy book buying – you can think about the reading bit another time!


The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale opens at 9am on Thursday, October 10 and runs until 11:59pm on Sunday, October 20. The sale is open 24 hours a day, which means you have 231 consecutive hours of browsing ahead of you.


Sound Stage, Dubai Studio City, located just off D63 past the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club.

Is there parking?

Yes, there is plenty of parking close to the entrance to the sale and it is all free.

Do you have to pay to get in?

No, it’s completely free.

Is food and drink available on site?

It certainly is. If you’re flagging under the weight of all those books (don’t worry, there are trolleys), you can pop to one of a number of F&B outlets, including Costa Coffee and Jollibee. Re-charge the batteries with a double espresso and get back to it.

How much are the books?

Inevitably, this varies but the majority of paperbacks are available for between Dh18 and Dh21, while hardbacks and cookery books start at around Dh35. Some of the larger coffee table books start at Dh60.

Why are the books so cheap?

The books are mostly sourced from what is known as the “remainder market”, which consists of books that have been overprinted and unsold by publishers. However, publishers are now also selling directly to Big Bad Wolf Books.

What are the best bargains to look out for?

We scoured every inch of the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale to find some of the very best bargains across a variety of genres. So if you haven’t got time to do a full sweep, you could do a lot worse than filling your trolley with this little lot.

Note: each table at the sale has an orange tag with a number on it, which will help you find our picks.


'Sophie's World' by Jostein Gaarder
Table number:
Price: Dh21 (RRP: Dh40.36)

Fourteen-year-old Sophie grapples with some of life’s biggest philosophical questions in this beautiful novel, which has sold 40 million copies and been translated into 60 languages. Unmissable.

'Purity' by Jonathan Franzen
Table number:
Price: Dh27 (RRP: Dh102.84)

One of this century's great novelists tackles the Internet in his impressive fifth novel, which follows Purity "Pip" Tyler, as she sets out to find her biological father. Pick up this handsome hardback copy for peanuts.

'Under the Net' by Iris Murdoch
Table number: 36
Price: Dh18 (RRP: Dh44.84)

The British novelist is having a resurgence in popularity, coinciding with her centenary this year and the publication of new editions of her best-known novels. If you haven't yet encountered Murdoch's writing, don't forget to grab a copy her exceptional debut novel about a young, struggling writer, which is arguably her best work.

'The Fishermen' by Chigozie Obioma
Table number: 36
Price: Dh18 (RRP: Dh58.73)

Nigerian novelist Chigozie Obioma is shortlisted for this year's Booker Prize for his second novel, An Orchestra of Minorities, so get up to speed by reading his wonderful debut, which tells the story of four brothers in Nigeria whose lives are rocked by a disturbing prophecy.

'The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe'
Table number: 42
Price: Dh32

Edgar Allan Poe is the master of macabre and with Halloween just around the corner, now is the perfect moment to dim the lights and curl up with his horrifying tales of the supernatural. This hefty hardback edition with its foreboding black cover and Gothic font would be a fine addition to any bookshelf.


'Careful! The Surprising Science Behind Everyday Calamities – And How You Can Avoid Them' by Steve Casner
Table number: 4
Price: Dh21 (RRP: Dh67.30)

Psychologist Steve Casner explores why we are still so accident prone, despite advances in science and technology. By turns funny and shocking, this very readable study is not only intriguing, it might actually persuade you to stop driving dangerously and help you to keep all your fingers in the kitchen. Just watch out for that shopping trolley behind you!

'Knockout: The Art of Boxing' by Ken Regan
Table number:
Price: Dh123 (RRP: Dh275.48)

It’s a little more expensive than most of the other books here but you won’t regret investing in this enormous coffee table book, which celebrates the noble art. Featuring an introduction by Mohammed Ali, entire chapters dedicated to heavyweight greats such as George Foreman and Mike Tyson, as well as page after page of stunning photography, this is a must for any boxing fan.

'Farewell Kabul' by Christina Lamb
Table number:
Price: Dh18 (RRP: Dh67.31)

A monumental account of the West’s recent ill-fated wars in Afghanistan from one of the finest foreign correspondents working today.

'Terracotta Warriors: History, Mystery and the Latest Discoveries' by Edward Burman
Table number: 24
Price: Dh27 (RRP: Dh67.26)

In 1974, a group of Chinese farmers digging a well near Mount Li in Shaanxi Province stumbled across a large collection of pottery figurines. It remains one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries in history. The "Terracotta Army", which consists of nearly 8,000 warriors and hundreds of horses, dates back to the late third century BC and depicts the armies of the First Emperor of China. Featuring dozens of photographs, as well as interviews with leading Chinese archaeologists, Edward Burman's very accessible book is the definitive account of this remarkable story.

'Anatomy of an Actor: Meryl Streep'
Table number: 12
Price: Dh21

If you like Meryl Streep's films (and, frankly, who doesn't?), look no further than this gorgeous collection of essays and photographs celebrating a Hollywood career (three Academy Awards; eight Gold Globes) like no other. The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Iron Lady – it's all here.

Children's books

'Hello World: A Celebration of Languages and Curiosities' by Jonathan Litton
Table number: displayed next to table 6
Price: Dh39 (RRP: Dh89.70)

It's a big wide world out there and this charming book teaches you how to greet people in 150 languages. What better gift for a child?

'Frozen: The Essential Guide'
Table number: 88
Price: Dh21 (RRP: Dh44.92)

Everything a Frozen fan could possibly want, all between the pages of a single book. There are plenty of fun facts about one of Disney's most popular films, as well as information about the characters and locations. Once you get hold of a copy, just make sure you don't Let it Go.

'Ruby and Grub' by Abi Burlingham
Table number:
Price: Dh18 (RRP: Dh62.40)

Never mind shiny covers and interactive puzzles, this delightful story about a girl and her naughty dog is a simple, nostalgic treat. It harks back to the days of good old-fashioned children's books, where only the story and the beautiful illustrations were needed to keep a child rapt.

'The Encyclopedia of Animals: More than 1,000 Illustrations and Photographs' by Tim Harris
Table number: displayed next to table 25
Price: Dh62 (RRP: 128.52)

A guaranteed favourite for any child interested in the natural world, this hardback book is informative and fun, featuring endless illustrations, diagrams and photographs. Inspire the next generation of Sir David Attenboroughs.


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