Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading


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Freedoms to report and prosper

Another day, another international occasion to commemorate: today is World Press Freedom Day (3 May), hot on the heels of World Intellectual Property Day (26 April); both United Nation’s designated awareness days

World Press Freedom Day is an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

In parallel World Intellectual Property Day creates the chance to learn about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity.

The two concepts are linked: freedom to investigate and report news stories that impact society is fuelled by the opportunity for authors to benefit financially from their work, including books that build on the findings on investigative journalists.

When these human rights are denied, the likes of Amnesty International, PEN International, Reporters Without Borders, Witness, and Prisoners Abroad step in to highlight bad behaviour by leaders and regimes that exclude dissenting voices from public conversations.

When the press has the freedom to investigate and when intellectual property laws give writers an income to support their work, we all benefit and have the chance to live in a better world.

 


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The First Days of Summer: Sumarbokaflod campaign launch

Today – 1 May – is May Day, a celebration of the seasons changing, especially in Celtic festivals like Beltane as well in modern times as International Workers’ Day, an occasion to celebrate workers’ rights, and International Day of the Icelandic Horse.

In Iceland, this seasonal tradition is slightly earlier: the First Day of Summer (sumardagurinn fyrsti) is an annual public holiday held on the first Thursday after 18 April. This year, the First Day of Summer was marked on 25 April 2019. The occasion is marked around the country with parades, outdoor entertainment (including sporting events and children’s games) and free access to museums and exhibitions. This custom derives from the nation’s former use of the Old Norse calendar, which divided the year into two seasons: winter and summer. Years were considered less important than seasons: people saw their age in terms of the number of winters they had lived.

Here at Jolabokaflod CIC, we are celebrating these First Days of Summer by promoting our current Book Bulletin catalogue, full of book recommendation ideas for taking on holiday over the next few months, and to highlight our crowdfunding campaign for you to get your book title suggestions into the Book Bulletin – along with information about you and any project or issue you would like to promote – at a starting contribution of £10.00.

We shall be active online over the summer publicising all things book-related of interest to readers and book-trade professions. We call this campaign Sumarbokaflod (Sumarbókaflóðið, the summer book flood) to both name-check the long-standing Jólabókaflóðið Christmas tradition and to remind everyone that books make for great gifts at any time of year, especially for taking on vacation during our summer breaks.

 


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Happy Sant Jordi’s Day

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.

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

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:

Date of birth

Date of death

Other celebrations on the day

 


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Book your recommendations with Book Bulletin: Winter 2018

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.

Note: For those of you who are native speakers, here is this year’s Bókati∂indi (the original Book Bulletin), the catalogue of newly published Icelandic titles for Jólabókaflóðið in 2018.


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Jolabokaflod CIC at the London Book Fair

If you are planning to attend LBF, you are most welcome to come and visit our Jolabokaflod CIC stand (1G41) to find what all the fuss is about. We have a few deals on offer for the duration of the book fair:

  • One free Book Bulletin recommendation – If you register with the Jolabokaflod patch at CrowdPatch (via this online form – choose ‘Jolabokaflod CIC’ from the drop-down box options), you get one book recommendation in the current online book catalogue along with our promotion of you, your projects and your company. Once you have registered, send me your book choice and what projects, etc. you would like me to publicise.
  • Free seminar – Attend our seminar tomorrow: Jolabokaflod: Iceland’s Christmas gift to the world (Buzz theatre, 3A55: 13:00-14:00).
  • Free liquorice: Icelanders are obsessed with liquorice, so we are offering free Liquorice Allsorts to visitors to the Jolabokaflod CIC stand (1G41)

Also, visit our ‘For the Book Trade’ web page to find out how Jolabokaflod CIC’s Book Bulletin can help you sell more books whilst promoting you and your recommendations (website | crowdfunding campaign)

Have a great London Book Fair; we look forward to seeing you.

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May Jólabókaflóð bring you reading joy

‘So this is Christmas, And what have you done,’ as John Lennon once sang.

Hopefully, by now you’ll have enjoyed the Jolabokaflod season of discussing the books you’d like to receive for Christmas and the special delight that comes from spending money on books you hope will share your mind, love and soul with your loved ones.

Not long to go, now: one more sleep until Icelanders eat their big Christmas meal, open their presents and spend the evening reading their new books.

As John and Yoko continued, ‘Another year over, And a new one just begun.’

Well, almost. But for the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign, the New Year can’t come soon enough. We have plenty of Good News to share when the time is right to make 2018 the year when the world gets to hear about the Christmas Book Flood.

Merry Jólabókaflóð, everyone.

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