Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading


Please visit our Book Bulletin 2019 crowdfunding project at CrowdPatch to buy recommendations for our Winter 2019 catalogue and to volunteer your skills, experience and contacts. All funds raised will support not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC’s forthcoming programme of events.

Preface: Book Bulletin 2019


Every year Bókatíðindi, the original Icelandic Book Bulletin, is sent in the post to every household in the country by the native book trade.

This catalogue comprises around 850 new (mainly print) titles that hit the market place in preparation for Jólabókaflóðið (Christmas book flood), which launches every year at the Reykjavik Book Fair in mid November.

For a national population of roughly 340,000 (October 2019), a total of about 850 new books to choose from in the Bókatíðindi is not insignificant for a language spoken in a small territory. Remarkably, however, the Icelandic book trade’s Christmas catalogue includes every single new title in the publication.

United Kingdom

According to Nielsen Book Services’s latest publicly available figures, approximately 173,000 new or revised titles were published in the UK in 2015, 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 2018 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 catalogue have the merit of being loved by real people.

The Book Bulletin navigational structure online mimics the Bókatíðindi catalogue, which sheds light on Icelanders’ reading preferences and cultural preferences (e.g. separate sections for ‘art and photography’ and ‘history’).

Crowdfunding campaign

In our inaugural year (2016), the not-for-profit Jolabokaflod CIC team paid for a national publicity and marketing drive to introduce the concept of Jólabókaflóð to the UK and beyond as a philanthropic gift to the world.

Funds are needed to pay for Jolabokaflod CIC events and marketing in  2020. Jolabokaflod CIC is running a crowdfunding project from the First Day of Winter in Iceland (26 October 2019) until International Book Giving Day (14 February 2020) – the Jolabokaflod period in 2019 – to raise money for our continued growth. 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 the Winter 2019 catalogue.

A second crowdfunding campaign – covering the Sumarbokaflod period in 2020 – will run from the First Day of Summer in Iceland (23 March 2020) to International Literacy Day (8 September 2020).

There are five levels of reward currently on offer. Your payment options are (a) online via PayPal – you can pay on the platform via your PayPal account or by debit/credit card; or (b) directly to Jolabokaflod CIC via bank transfer or cheque – email us to request our bank details and/or postal address:

  • £10.00 – Your recommendation is published in the Book Bulletin along with promotional links to your name and organisation/project, as well as posts on social media. Your details are also listed on the Acknowledgements page.
  • £15.00 – You get two recommendations published in the catalogue along with promotional links to your name and organisation/project, as well as posts on social media. Your details are also listed on the Acknowledgements page.
  • £20.00 – You get five recommendations published in the catalogue along with promotional links to your name and organisation/project, as well as posts on social media. Your details are also listed on the Acknowledgements page.
  • £50.00 – Your book recommendation is ‘Book of the Day’ in one of our daily online slots that display one book per webpage, together with a 24-hour social media PR campaign and entries on the Acknowledgements and Hall of Fame pages
  • £100.00 – You receive a one-click, seven-day image-link ad on the Book Bulletin crowdfunding page that leads to your website, together with entries in the Acknowledgements and Hall of Fame as well as a one-week social media PR campaign

Tell us your recommendations and why you love these book choices 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, recommendation your favourite works by other writers and we shall publicise your titles by uploading details and links about your latest books next to your entries.


We look forward to the coming Book Bulletin cycle full of optimism. Let’s take on board Icelanders’ love of giving, receiving and reading books at Christmas – and take joy in sharing our own passions for books at other special times, too, such as summer vacations. The Book Bulletin 2019 will ensure that book lovers of all ages have plenty of great books to choose from as gifts that will be welcomed and cherished, for Christmas as well as every other occasion worth celebrating.

Merry ‘book yule’.


Founder and Director
Jolabokaflod CIC