The time is getting nearer...the shops are busy and people are rushing about trying to get the perfect gifts for their loved ones. And I am scanning the bookshops and catalogs, because for this busy bookworm it's coming up to Jolabokaflod!
Unless you've been hiding in a cave somewhere for the last few years, you've no doubt seen and heard all the fluster about Jolabokaflod; the Icelandic tradition of giving, receiving and spending Christmas Eve curled up warm and cosy reading. THIS is any bookworms dream Christmas. And an Icelandic tradition that I am delighted to see everyone embracing. And as each year passes and I see more and more references to Jolabokaflod, my heart warms, my happiness grows...and my stack of books for giving gets a little more out of control. (But that's another story.)
How did this all start, you ask? Here's a little Icelandic history, as I understand it.
In 1944, during World War II, Iceland gained its' independence from Denmark. And also during the war, rationing was in place and ordinary items of all kinds (not just food) were in short supply. One commodity that was not rationed was paper. As many other items were heavily rationed and very expensive and books were not, Icelandic people had the simply genius idea to share their love of books with each other. This immediate increase in giving books as gifts well and truly cemented the reputation of Iceland as a book-loving nation.
And since 1944, the Icelandic book trade has  published a catalog called  Bókatíðindi (the Book Bulletin), which is sent to each and every household in Iceland in mid-November. People peruse the catalog and order the books they want to give for Christmas.
This has become known as Jólabókaflóðið (Jolabokaflod); roughly translated into English as "Yule Book Flood" or "Christmas Book Flood." 
And this is a tradition well worth embracing, wherever you are. Imagine Christmas Eve, exchanging the perfect book with  your loved ones, then curling up with a nice hot mug of something seasonal and lovely while you spend the rest of the night....reading. Pure bliss...pure magic.

For more information on Jolabokaflod, here's a link:


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Rights of the Reader


The Summer of Lily and Esme by John Quinn....25 years