Jólabókaflóð (which is Icelandic for “book flood”) is the annual flood of new books in Iceland during the Christmas season. I read somewhere that on Christmas eve, Icelandic people give each other books and spend the evening reading.
According to Kristjan B. Jonasson, the book-giving culture “is very deeply rooted in how families perceive Christmas as a holiday.” Jonasson, former president of the Iceland Publishers Association, explained to NPR that “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.” (Source)
What a beautiful way to spend the holiday season — surrounded by family and friends and books! From my bookish heart to yours — happy holidays!
Pia Cortez is a writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She runs a book blog called Libromance where she reviews books and publishes literary features with a queer Filipino immigrant lens. She is a contributor at Hella Pinay, an online magazine for Filipino-American women and at New Life Quarterly, a literary magazine based in Oakland, California. She is currently working on her first novel.