In 75 years of celebrating Jólabókaflóðið in Iceland, never has there been a greater need for ‘The Christmas Book Flood’ than this holiday season in 2020. As the pandemic lingers throughout the world, reading for pleasure gives all of us (Icelanders included) the opportunity to escape our social isolation, whether or not we are in lockdown where we are living.
This evening, people in Iceland have celebrated their main Christmas meal, perhaps drinking Jólabland (a traditional mix of brown ale and fizzy orangeade), exchanging presents – with books a highlight, chosen from this year’s Bókatíðindi catalogue of new titles – and snuggling down to read their new gifts over the holidays as the perfect way of leaving the stresses of life behind for a while.
Here at Jolabokaflod CIC, 2020 has been a year of preparation for the future. We had to pivot from our plans for the year when the first lockdown in the UK took hold in March. While we have not promoted Jólabókaflóðið visibly in 2020, this year of fallow times has given us the chance to prepare for a coming period of activity for everyone to see once the forthcoming vaccination program allows. We have not been idle behind the scenes.
So, let’s life a glass of Jólabland to celebrating Christmas this year in the best way we can and raise a toast for the promise of the New Year. We are exciting about starting to share our plans for 2021 very soon.