Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jolabokaflod...the Icelandic Tradition

Each year at this time, Iceland celebrates the winter season with an unusual and most excellent literary tradition, Jolabokaflod (which translates as the "Christmas Book Flood".) In Iceland, the very best Christmas gift to give and receive is a book. This has been the most sought after present for decades.
Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association explains;
"The culture of giving books as presents is very deeply rooted in how families perceive Christmas as a holiday. Normally, we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading. In many ways, it's the backbone of the publishing sector here in Iceland."
With a strong literary tradition that is centuries old, Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country worldwide, with 5 books published per 1000 people. A catalog of the book titles on offer is sent out to every household. The majority of books are sold from late September through early November in anticipation of Jolabokaflod. 
Oh, and they give physical books, not e-books.
I can't imagine a nicer way to spend Christmas Eve than to be tucked in with a good book.
http://www.npr.org/2012/12/25/167537939/literary-iceland-revels-in-its-annual-christmas-book-flood

1 comment:

  1. Oh, what a wonderful tradition! I wonder if Iceland is taking citizenship applications? ;)

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