Joyous Jolabokaflod!!!!

For a book lover, Iceland has a very special tradition. Each year, in the few months before Christmas, Icelandic publishers release the majority of their books. This is "Jolabokaflod", or the Christmas Book Flood. Hundreds of books are published each year at this time, revealing just how strong a literary tradition exists in this small Northern island, dating back to medieval times.
During World War II, there were strict currency restrictions, which limited the amount of imported giftware Iceland could take in. But paper itself was less restricted than other items, so this really led to books being seen as an ideal gift. Add that to the traditionally strong literary sector in Iceland, and the annual Book Flood really began in earnest.
As Christmas nears, sometime around the end of October-beginning of November, a catalog is delivered to every house in Iceland, detailing the books available for that year.
Iceland now represents one of the strongest book publishing countries in the world....and one of the strongest book-giving.
Traditionally in Iceland, gifts are opened on Christmas Eve. With so many of the gifts being books, the rest of the evening is spent at home....reading. This is now a cherished staple of the Christmas celebrations; and an incredibly distinction celebration of literature and literacy. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the rest of us took it up? What a wonderful way to spend the holiday!
With that in mind, I wish you all a Joyous Jolabokaflod.....happy reading!


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