Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading

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Book Bulletin: books in other languages

bokati%e2%88%82indi-5-sofaWe are marking the start of the crowdfunding phase of the Book Bulletin campaign – to raise money for next year’s Jolabokaflod UK events and marketing – by adding two new features to the section. Here is the first of these new features.

Books in other languages

Inspired by the book recommendations sent to us by digital marketer and blogger, Dovilė Malachauskaitė (born in Vilnius, Lithuania, but living in London), we realised it would be great to include books not written in English in the Book Bulletin.

Our new Books in other languages section features books not yet translated into English that are the favourite reads of some of our contributors. Dovilé’s choices are published in French and Polish respectively, so we have added pages for these languages, with the potential to add books in any language that are available in the UK and/or the USA via Amazon.

Please send us your recommendations, irrespective of the language in which they are published, and we shall add them to the new section on all occasions when an English translation is not available.





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Last few hours of free…

bokati%e2%88%82indi-2-openThe end of free…

The Futurebook Conference organised by The Bookseller magazine marks the close of the free phase for book recommendations for the Book Bulletin catalogue. Entries for the books you love or wish to promote are free until midnight on 2 December 2016.

Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far. You have helped to get the catalogue off to a rapid start out of the blocks.

bokati%e2%88%82indi-1-cover… and the start of the crowdfunding campaign

From just after the stroke of midnight, the Book Bulletin project becomes a rewards-based crowdfunding campaign at CrowdPatch, to help fund events and promotion for Jolabokaflod UK in 2017. The 2016 campaign has been fully funded as an act of philanthropy by Christopher Norris, Founder and Curator of the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign.

Please contribute as generously as you can to promote books and your own personal and professional interests.


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When Jo met Beatrix

Waterstoneswaterstones-logo have announced their shortlist for Book of the Year 2016, an eclectic mix of styles, genres and voices. Here are the six books they have chosen:

  • Christopher De Hamel, Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts
  • Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air
  • Emma-Jane Kirby, The Optician of Lampedusa
  • Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent
  • Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Kitty in Boots
  • J K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II

Have you read these books? Do you love them enough to recommend them to other people?

If so, check out our Book Bulletin crowdfunding campaign and get your name into the Christmas catalogue on this website, to promote you, your organisation and/or your projects.

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Timely success for The Icelanders Cometh

sunlightMoney raised

The finally tally of contributions for The Icelanders Cometh was £2365.00, 103% of the target set of £2304.16, raised by the final end date, 25 October 2016. This means that all the money raised – all £2365.00 – will be given to libraries in the UK who sign up to receive the free books on offer. Details of the participating libraries will be published as soon as they are confirmed.

Everyone who made a contribution will be contacted in the next few days regarding the claiming of the rewards they purchased to help fund the crowdfunding campaign.

Public concern for libraries

The Icelanders Cometh project ran in the context of widening concern about the state of the library sector. A major debate on the issue in the House of Lords on 7 October 2016 was notable for a powerful speech by Big Issue founder, Lord Bird, who spoke with passion and apprehension about the effects of making cuts to the public library service.

Further publicity will be garnered by a march – the National Libraries Demonstration – which is scheduled for 5 November 2016: starting at the British Library, pit-stopping at the British Museum, and finishing at the National Gallery. The Demonstration aims to ‘kick start the debate about the value of public libraries and alert the public to the ever worsening situation’, according to its organisers.

The future

The Jolabokaflod Book Campaign will continue to use crowdfunding to help libraries, by running projects in-house and by encouraging people with passion to use the patch at CrowdPatch to organise their own campaigns. The Icelanders Cometh is only the start: they – and we – are here is stay.

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Library logistics: The Icelanders Cometh on 23 October 2016

160524 Books 2Library lament

At a time when libraries in the UK are coming under increasing threat, highlighted once more in The Bookseller (7 July 2016), The Icelanders Cometh campaign is generating good news for a beleaguered sector.

The recent Brexit vote for the UK to leave the European Union will have far-reaching consequences across the economy, filtering down to local government budgets and funding available for public libraries in communities.

A light in the dark

The crowdfunding heart of the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign provides one channel of hope that the future of libraries need not be one of managed decline: the first project, The Icelanders Cometh, shows how funds can be raised for libraries to spend on books (in this case, four award-winning authors and a treasure trove of medieval sagas and eddas).

160524 Books 1The Jolabokaflod Book Campaign is working in conjunction with the London MEP, Syed Kamall, to spread the good news of microfunding and crowdfunding to every Council in the country and – by extension – every public library.

New deadline: let’s do this!

To mark the end of the Frankfurt Book Fair, everyone now has until 23 October 2016 to get involved with The Icelanders Cometh. You can contribute money for rewards; volunteer your help, talents and contacts; and share news about the project to everyone you know, in conversations both online and in the real world.

Let’s make this a season to remember for UK libraries; let’s do this!


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New end date as Melvyn Bragg endorses The Icelanders Cometh

Feel the buzz

After a successful London Book Fair that captured the imaginations of publishers and journalists alike, it became clear that time was needed for The Icelanders Cometh buzz to build and go viral, to optimise the money to be raised via crowdfunding (way beyond the World Book Night figure of £2304.16) for UK libraries to spend on books by Icelandic authors translated into English.

News update

Now endorsed by broadcaster, novelist and Parliamentarian, Melvyn Bragg, the new end date for The Icelanders Cometh is 17 June 2016, Icelandic National Day, to mark the anniversary of Iceland’s formal independence from Denmark in 1944.

Celebration videos

These two pieces of news were first mentioned in two video messages recorded at the Café Royal by Christopher Norris, Founder and Curator of the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign, to mark three auspicious occasions: World Book Night, World Book and Copyright Day, and the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespare.

Watch them here:

Summary for social media (02:21)
Extended version (04:35)

Get involved: let’s do this!

We have until 17 June 2016 to make the campaign happen. Here is what you can do to take part by visiting The Icelanders Cometh in the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign patch at CrowdPatch:

  • Contribute Spend money on a reward and reap the benefit of a range of digital media packages
  • Volunteer Tell us what you would like to do to help us raise as much money as we can
  • Share Spread the news about the campaign to friends, family and the wider world via social media

You can reach Christopher Norris either via The Icelanders Cometh profile at CrowdPatch or via email or phone: contact details here.

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Let’s celebrate Jolabokaflod

Today is the last shopping Saturday before Christmas and tomorrow is the last day for making purchases at online retailers for delivery before the holiday period begins. In preparation for the inaugural Jolabokaflod book campaign in 2016, let’s get alongside our Icelandic friends and celebrate Jolabokaflod this year, too.

Here is what you can do in the coming week:

✶  Buy  Books are high in emotional value. Buy books for your friends and family to build relationships and create positive memories.

✶  Give  Give books to your loved ones to celebrate the festive season, whatever your faith or belief. Download the Jolabokaflof bookplate to show your friend or family member how much you love and value them.

✶  Read  Encourage your loved ones to find time over the holidays to read the books you have given them

Also, commit to asking your friends and family how the are getting on with reading the books you give them. Are they enjoying the book? How does the book make them feel?

Use Jolabokaflod in 2015 as a way of strengthening bonds and showing how much you care about books and about your loved ones having great reading experiences.

This blog will publish items to keep you informed about Jolabokaflod news and about how you can get actively involved in the grassroots, interactive book campaign next year.

Merry Jolabokaflod.

Bauble; gold; red


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Merry Jolabokaflod – get involved with a new grassroots, interactive generic book campaign

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas … at least according to the book trade calendar, with Super Thursday already in distant memory. But how do we pay tribute to the festive season as an industry in the UK, apart from the publication of the Booksellers Association Christmas Books Catalogue, the giving of National Book Tokens as presents, and the marketing efforts of individual companies (such as Quercus for Christmas 2014)?

We can learn to celebrate Christmas (and other ‘Festivals of Light’) the Icelandic way, and help to promote books into the bargain. With more books published and read per citizen than anywhere else in the world (BBC News Magazine), our friends in the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ clearly know how to get people reading!*

This is where Jólabókaflóð comes in.

Every year, virtually all the new books in Iceland are published in a narrow window in the run up to Christmas. The season starts with the autumn publication of a new books’ catalogue – the bókatíðindi – and ends with the giving of presents on 24 December. Tradition has it that everyone in Iceland spends Christmas Eve reading.

How fabulous is that!

The whole festive rush, from publication dates to getting books into readers’ hands, is called Jólabókaflóð, which translates roughly in English to ‘Christmas book flood’.

There is no reason why the Jólabókaflóð phenomenon should remain a well-kept secret in Iceland. A series of digital platforms were launched on 16 November 2015 to make it happen here, too, via an article at BookMachine and via an RSA Bounce event in London

Here is the plan to start to make an Anglicised version – ‘Jolabokaflod’ – a fixture in the hearts and minds of book lovers like us in the UK and beyond. We can have fun at the same time.

In the run up to the festive season in 2015, join in pledging to get into the spirit of celebrating Jolabokaflod by doing the following:

  1. Buy books to give to your nearest and dearest as presents.
  2. Encourage your loved ones to start reading your gift books during the Christmas holiday season.
  3. Copy and paste the Jolabokaflod name and slogan – as shown below – into your email signatures between now and Christmas:
    Jolabokaflod | Buy * Give * Read | Books are not just for Christmas
  4. Mention Jolabokaflod in your emails and on social media. Use the hashtag #Jolabokaflod whenever you chat about the campaign online. Name-drop Jolabokaflod liberally at Twitter (@Jolabokaflod), Facebook (/jolabokaflod), etc., ‘Like’ the campaign wherever it exists online, and encourage your family, friends and followers to do the same.
  5. Download and print out this Jolabokaflod bookplate PDF to insert into the books you give as gifts over the Christmas period this year.

The core message of Jolabokaflod is a three-stage invitation for everyone to ‘Buy’, ‘Give’ and ‘Read’. Jolabokaflod is a generic retail and reading campaign rolled into one.

For Christmas 2016, here is how you can play an active part in taking Jolabokaflod from a trickle to a flood. Take control and be a star in your local community and networks:

  1. Run a crowdfunding campaign, join one as a volunteer and/or donate money at the Jolabokaflod CrowdPatch for an event or project to help disadvantaged people and vulnerable groups in your local neighbourhood.
  1. Champion Jolabokaflod in your place of work or study to encourage everyone to get involved. This is a campaign where everyone can join in.
  1. Tell me your Jolabokaflod news, write for the various branded websites, add comments on blogs, make contacts, and share stories on social media.

Here are the places where you can find Jolabokaflod online:

Join in the conversation, get actively involved and share your enthusiasm for Jolabokaflod both online and face-to-face.

Get in touch with Jolabokaflod via email at to share your news, stories, photos, videos, suggestions, comments and opportunities about the campaign.

Let’s have fun with the Jolabokaflod campaign this year and next – as has already been said, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.