The Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod has received quite a bit of attention in recent weeks and it certainly looks like a great idea. For those who don’t know about it, essentially, Icelanders have a tradition of giving books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spend the night reading.
It has such an impact that the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December in preparation for Christmas giving. Around about this time of year most households receive an annual free book catalogue highlighting all the new publications from that year.
With a population of only 329,000 people, Iceland has an amazing literary record with one report revealing that the country has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world – with a staggering 1 in 10 Icelanders having published a book.
Maybe it’s a tradition that we should pick up from our Northern neighbours?