Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading


read-angelPlease visit our current Book Bulletin crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our Winter catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support the not-for-profit Jolabokaflod Book Campaign’s programme for 2019.

Preface: Book Bulletin, Winter 2016


In last year’s Bókatíðindi, the original Icelandic ‘Book Bulletin‘, the Chairman of the Icelandic Publishers Association – Egill Örn Jóhannsson – wrote an introduction that celebrated the vigour and robust nature of the country’s book trade.

Around 850 new titles hit the national market for Jólabókaflóðið in 2015, most of which were print titles (so far, ebooks and audiobooks are yet to prove popular with Icelanders although times are changing). Mr Jóhannsson celebrated the ‘huge increase’ of new titles in 2015, especially in the children’s book segment, which increase in output by 60% in a year.

For a national population of around 330,000, a total of 850 new books in 2015 is not insignificant (especially for a language spoken in a small territory), but the Icelandic book trade’s Bókatíðindi (launched every year at the Reykjavik Book Fair in mid November) includes every single new title in the publication: a huge task.

United Kingdom

In the UK in 2015, approximately 200,000 new or revised titles were published, more books per head than anywhere else in the world. For a UK version of Bókatíðindi, the inclusion of so many titles in a Book Bulletin is clearly impossible. This is why the Book Bulletin for Christmas 2016 comprises recommendations from people both inside and outside the book trade, championing great books they would like to share with other readers. Entries to the Book Bulletin have the merit of being loved by real people.

The Book Bulletin structure for the UK at Christmas 2016 mimics the Bókatíðindi 2015 catalogue, which sheds light on Icelanders’ reading preferences and cultural preferences (e.g. separate sections for art and photography, and history)

read-santaCrowdfunding campaign

For the inaugural year, the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign team is paying for a national publicity and marketing drive to introduce the concept of Jólabókaflóðið to the UK and beyond as a philanthropic gift to the world.

Funds need to be raised now, however, to pay for a larger, integrated publicity and marketing campaign in the lead up to Christmas 2017.

So, the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign is running a crowdfunding project from mid November 2016 until Valentine’s Day (also designated as International Book Giving Day) on 14 February 2017 to raise money for the second year of the project. This Book Bulletin project is raising money for the cause by asking people like you to contribute money in exchange for your recommendations (and external links) to be published in this year’s catalogue.

There are four levels of reward currently on offer:

  • £10.00 – Your recommendation is published in the Book Bulletin along with promotional links to your name and organisation/project. Your details are also listed on the Acknowledgements and Hall of Fame pages.
  • £15.00 – You get two recommendations published in the catalogue along with promotional links to your name and organisation/project. Your details are also listed on the Acknowledgements and Hall of Fame pages.
  • £20.00 – You get five recommendations published in the catalogue along with promotional links to your name and organisation/project. Your details are also listed on the Acknowledgements and Hall of Fame pages.
  • £50.00 – Your book recommendation is ‘Book of the Day’ in one of our daily online slots that display one book per webpage (e.g. Advent calendar; New Year resolutions) as well as the above perks
  • FREE – Free invitations were available to a Gala Party at the Café Royal in London (including food, drinks and goodie bags) to celebrate the passing of Jólabókaflóðið 2016 and to look forward to the next campaign at Christmas 2017. The condition of entry was a financial contribution to the Book Bulletin crowdfunding project.

You can tell us your recommendations via InMail messages at CrowdPatch or via email, to

You can recommend more than one book; you can also endorse books that have already been recommended by other people, which strengthens the objective value of the recommendations.

You can also get involved by volunteering your skills, talents, experience and contacts.

There is only one rule: you cannot recommend books you have written yourself. If you are a self-published author, recommendations your favourite works and we shall upload details and links about your latest book(s) next to your entries.


Books make for fabulous, inexpensive gifts that can change lives. The Book Bulletin reminds people about the joy of giving, receiving and reading books for pleasure; it is a cornerstone of the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign, just as the Bókatíðindi is an integral part of Jólabókaflóðið. 

Along with Mr Jóhannsson, I look forward to the coming festive season ‘full of optimism’. Let’s take on board Icelanders’ love of giving, receiving and reading books at Christmas. The Book Bulletin will ensure that book lovers of all ages have plenty of great books to choose from as gifts that will be welcomed and cherished.

Merry ‘book yule’


Founder and Curator
Jolabokaflod Book Campaign

November 2016