Iceland, your Christmas book flood is calling me!

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik in Iceland. How many books are sold in this town alone, I wonder? Image courtesy of hotblack, Morguefile.

Ah, the things you find out on Facebook.

One of my Facebook friends just published a little snippet about Jolabokaflod, the Christmas Book Flood. In the months before Christmas, there are a lot of books published and sold in Iceland. These books are then given as presents on Christmas Eve, and people spend the night sitting in bed and reading them. Chocolate may be sitting by as well.

It’s a tradition that goes back to World War II. During the war, the restrictions on importing paper were not as severe as other restrictions, so books became a popular Christmas present.

I’m thinking seriously about going to Iceland for a Christmas break one year. How do you not love a country that appreciates books so much? All snuggled up with a good book, a comfortable bed, and CHOCOLATE? I’m in.

Other reasons I think I’d like Iceland:

  1. Stunning scenery: They used some of Iceland for Ben Stiller’s “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (the longboarding scene — how fun would that be to do that through that magnificient countryside? — and the helicopter takeoff scene, among others)
  2. Northern Lights. I’ve seen plenty of videos, but I’d like to see the lights with my own eyes one day.
  3. Flowers during the right time of year.
  4. Waterfalls.
  5. High literacy rate. I’m imagining some great conversations over dinner.
  6. Viking history.
  7. Walking through an ice cave (see the video below).

Anybody else want to come along for the trip? Hahahaha. Seriously, it looks like a photographer’s paradise.

For now, though, I’ll have to resort to watching Iceland videos and creating my own Jolabokaflod. I’m thinking a good book, mug of hot tea, and either shortbread or chocolate-coated McVitie’s biscuits. Icelanders, I’ll be thinking of you.

Video credit: Blue Eden, YouTube



Filed under Writing

8 responses to “Iceland, your Christmas book flood is calling me!

  1. That’s such a lovely tradition! My family used to laugh at me because I would often finish reading one of my Christmas presents before the day was over. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could handle the cold in Iceland.

  2. They used it for some of the most desolate and beautiful scenes in Game of Thrones too.

  3. My cousin spent a couple of weeks there not long ago. She loved it … other than prices which are apparently very high for pretty much everything. Take lots of pictures and think of me 🙂

  4. I visited Iceland a few years ago and had the opportunity to talk with a man who worked for a local publishing company. He told me that they publish an average of 300 titles per year, which is amazing given that there are only about 300,000 Icelanders.
    I hope you get to visit soon. The scenery is breathtaking.


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