It’s World Book Day in the UK: a time to remind ourselves about the universal greatness of books.
I have a story to tell about the genesis of the event, which I shall reveal later today…
Drum roll, please….
Our panel of nine judges and a chairman completed a blind-jury short questionnaire about the shortlist (in which names, email addresses and locations of the entrants were not revealed), giving each of the six entries a different score from 1 to 6 (with ‘1’ being the top mark) and saying ‘why they chose their favourite entry’, ‘why reading for pleasure is a great leisure activity’ and ‘why Jolabokaflod is a terrific literary tradition’. The entry with the lowest cumulative score is declared the winner of the £500 cash prize and a bespoke crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch (to be launched soon) to make the idea happen in the real world.
So, lights down; envelope, please…
The winner of the 2019 Jolabokaflod ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ at 12R Prizes is….
One of our judges, Debbie Williams (Course Leader for BA and MA Publishing degrees at the University of Central Lancashire), said:
‘Personalisation is the name of the game at the moment. Although not an entirely unique or new idea, the pitcher does seem to have really thought about how this is used, where and who.’
We are excited to work with Alison to make her idea happen over the coming months, especially – as Debbie infers – the gifting of books (both to yourself and to loved ones) captures the true essence of the Jolabokaflod tradition.
Details about our crowdfunding campaign to make BookDate happen will follow very soon. Here’s hoping you will feel inspired to follow its progress and to get involved.
All of the 20 eligible entries received for our Reading for Pleasure Prize were of an exceptionally high standard. It was rewarding and gratifying to tap into the creativity and talent of the ‘wisdom of crowds’.
Of the entries received, 75% of them met the four criteria for the competition and were serious contenders for making the shortlist:
Six entries were shortlisted on 1 January 2020 for consideration by a international panel of nine judges and one chairman (from the UK, USA and Iceland) representing a range of different perspectives of the book trade, including award-winning authors, literary agents, sales and marketing publishing executives, literary charity trustees, social entrepreneurs, publishing academics and postgraduate students. All the entries we received are displayed at IdeasNest, showing the numbers of likes and views each one received. The list below comprises the shortlisted suggestions in the order they are displayed on the ‘Reading for Pleasure Prize’ page (starting from the top row and reading from left to right) and provides links to each idea pitch:
The judging process takes place over the first week in January, with a decision reached for announcement on Twelfth Night, 6 January 2020, the day when the last of the Yule Lads leaves Icelandic homes for another year to travel back to their lair in the mountains.
Never one to miss an opportunity to make analogies, today – 5 May – is International Day of the Midwife. Whilst the medical world of baby sherpas have their awareness day in the sunshine – this year the emphasis is on defending women’s rights – here at Jolabokaflod Towers we can extend the metaphor to include authors giving birth to their work (all 2,200,000 per year around the world). Once you suspend disbelief to compare and contrast the process, there are similarities:
So, please be up-standing – and raise your glass of flat Prosecco with us – to toast the author-parents of the world and their publisher-midwives, as well as – obvs – the unsung heroines (and heroes) that help to bring our real-world babies into the universe.
According to Ananthanarayanan V (Founder and CEO: Techdivine Creative Services) in Entrepreneur India magazine ‘books are a great source of learning for entrepreneurs’. Why would this be so? The article argues that this comes as a result of ‘wisdom from industry leaders who have brought forth their decades of rich valuable experiences and learnings in the form of a book.’
The article identifies nine sub-genres of business that benefit from the slow release of information over the chapters of a book. The links provide recommendations for great books on each subject:
Entrepreneurs will always seek out the wisdom in books – and will seek to impact their own wisdom by writing books of their own. This is a never-ending positive spiral of creativity, flair and the opportunity to start businesses and make money.
Spring is in the air – a time for flowers, courtship and reading, encapsulated by the long-established Catalonian tradition of celebrating St George’s Day on 23 April with a celebratory festival that combines love, books and roses.
The Festival of Sant Jordi in Barcelona marks the victory over the eponymous crusading St George over the dragon, symbolised by our hero giving his rescued princess roses formed from the blood of the beast he has just slain. Patron saint of the region since 1436, booksellers in Barcelona took up the writer Vicente Clavel Andres’ idea of using St George’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Spain’s best-known author, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (on 22/23 April in the Gregorian calendar) – known to the world as Cervantes – by merging a festival around gifting books (like Cervantes’ masterpiece, Don Quixote) with the religious commemoration and the legend of courtly love and floral displays of affection. The Festival of Sant Jordi was established in Barcelona in 1923.
Former Director-General of UNESCO (1987-99), Federico Mayor Zaragoza, wanted to bring his native city’s festival to the world. In 1995, he led UNESCO’s General Conference, held in Paris that year, to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors on this date, encouraging everyone to access books: World Book and Copyright Day was established and quickly took root around the world.
On World Book and Copyright Day 2019, current Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, circulated her official message to mark the occasion. She referenced UNESCO’s International Year of Indigenous Languages (in 2019) and announced the start of Sharjah’s tenure as World Book Capital 2019.
The date 23 April was auspicious: it gives the world the opportunity to celebrate the lives of many writers of global significance, including:
This winter’s opportunity to tell the world about your favourite books, yourself and your projects is now open. By contributing to the Book Bulletin 2018 crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch, you are paying for space in the catalogue to display your book recommendations and to promote yourselves and your company, organisation and projects.
Each book recommendation can be purchased from book retailers by clicking through title-specific links in the Book Bulletin catalogue.
The Book Bulletin 2018 campaign started officially on 27 October 2018 (‘The First Day of Winter‘ in the Old Nordic calendar), covers the Christmas holiday period, and concludes on International Book Giving Day (14 February 2018, St Valentine’s Day).
We recommending buying, giving, reading and contributing to Jolabokaflod CIC, to capture a new spirit of Christmas.