Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

12R Prizes 2019

Press Release (available as a one-page PDF download for printing):
see Press kit for copy sources and images
London (26 October 2019)


Jolabokaflod launches ‘Reading for Pleasure’ competition at 12R Prizes

The Jolabokaflod CIC team launch today the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ Competition, which seeks compelling, disruptive and innovative ideas – in 500 words or less – from entrepreneurs, innovators and the general public; ideas that will encourage people in the UK and beyond to read for pleasure throughout the year. The competition seeks to address the current worldwide fact that leisure reading is not a high priority: for example, in the UK 36% of people do not read regularly (DCMS, 2015); and in the USA only 19% of people over 15 read for pleasure on any given day (‘American Time Use Survey’, US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018).

Jolabokaflod CIC is a not-for-profit company that promotes the 75-year-old Icelandic ‘Christmas book flood’ tradition, which encourages people to buy books as presents for loved ones to start reading as soon as they receive them on Christmas Eve. The company adapts this literary concept for the digital age, to engage the book trade and the reading public in the UK and around the world.

12R Prizes is run by Twelve Ronnies to crowdsource solutions to complex issues. The ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ Competition, sponsored by Jolabokaflod CIC, addresses one such challenge: to champion reading as an attractive entertainment choice for everyone’s leisure time. The competition asks entrepreneurs, innovators and the general public to crowdsource compelling ideas that capture people’s imagination and fire their enthusiasm to read for pleasure.

The call for entries for the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ Competition opens on 26 October 2019 (First Day of Winter in the Old Norse calendar; a public celebration in Iceland). A jury panel of global book-trade experts will select via a blind judging process a shortlist of up to six entries for the best ideas submitted to the competition by the deadline of midnight on 24 December 2019 (the culmination of Jólabókaflóðið in Iceland on Christmas Eve). The shortlist will be published on 1 January 2020 (New Year’s Day) and the winner announced on 6 January 2020 (Twelfth Night, the official end of the Christmas season).

The winner receives a cash prize of GBP £500 (equivalent to approx. USD $630). In addition, a crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch, to put the winning entry into action, will open on 7 January 2020 (the day after Epiphany) and close on 14 February 2020 (Valentine’s Day, International Book Giving Day, and the end of Jolabokaflod’s winter crowdfunding cycle).

The £500 prize was donated by Jolabokaflod CIC, whose founder – Christopher Norris – will join Twelve Ronnies’ co-founders Jake Shaw and Simon Krystman to present the cheque to the winner at a ceremony to be announced in the New Year when the winning entry is revealed.

Quotes about the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ competition

‘In our busy 21st-century world, time is our most precious commodity. Some of our most valuable activities, however, require time to enjoy and feel the benefit. Reading for pleasure is one of these vital life experiences: it is easily submerged in the hectic cycle of daily life yet when we take time to read, we benefit emotionally, intellectually, spiritually and even physically (as our brains are nurtured and refreshed). The Christmas and summer vacation seasons are prime times for many of us to enjoy reading for pleasure. This prize competition seeks compelling, disruptive and innovative ideas to encourage everyone to read for pleasure throughout the year as an attractive entertainment choice during our leisure time.’ Christopher Norris, Founder, Jolabokaflod CIC

‘The Twelve Ronnies Foundation run multiple prize competitions to promote innovation in every field of human endeavour. Our competitions aim to stimulate ideas across many sectors, solving relevant problems and supporting the ideas economy of the future. We are delighted to be hosting the “Reading for Pleasure” Prize Competiton on behalf of Jolabokaflod, as it will inspire people to read books that fire their imaginations and enhance the quality of their creative ideas.’ Simon Krystman, Co-founder, 12R Prizes and Twelve Ronnies

Notes to Editors

Twelve Ronnies match business founders with commercial entrepreneurs and inventors to help build commercial teams.  It has been described as a match making service between inventors and those with the business acumen to make their ideas a reality.

12R Prizes is a new initiative, set up by the Twelve Ronnies, to crowdsource solutions to problems and to drive innovation to help solve economical and societal issues.

The co-founders of Twelve Ronnies are:

  • Simon Krystman is a serial entrepreneur who has successfully set up and exited a number of businesses in the digital and innovation space over the last twenty years.
  • Jake Shaw is an entrepreneur, creative director and filmmaker. Jake’s career spans the UK, USA and Middle East across film, music, branding and digital.

To arrange an interview with Christopher Norris, to find out more information about Jolabokaflod CIC, or to discuss running a Jolabokaflod crowdfunding project, here are the ways of getting in touch:

Christopher Norris