Monday, December 22, 2014

Jólabókaflód

Interesting bit of information for all you bibliophiles...and all of us in general. In Iceland, in the run-up to Christmas, the country absolutely revels in its' annual jólabókaflóð; which is Icelandic for "Christmas book flood". This refers to the fact that new books are generally only published during the Christmas season in Iceland.
All newly published books are listed in a catalog-type annual called the Book News (bókatíðindi) and
distributed free to every household. On Christmas Eve, Icelandic people open their gifts (books, of course) and then spend the rest of the evening reading, snuggle up in bed with books and, perhaps, some chocolate. This is a traditional mainstay of the culture. The Icelandic passion for books and literature dates back to the Middle Ages. The volume of books published, purchased and read per year out-strips other countries by a significant margin. And it doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
To the good book-loving people of Iceland, I wish you a very Happy Jólabókaflod.
And to the rest of us, perhaps this is a tradition we may want to adopt...at least the reading all night Christmas Eve bit.....

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I just read about this on Twitter. What a civilised custom! Mind you, also a shrewd move on the publishers' part... ;-) But yes, it sounds like a great idea.

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