Jolabokaflod

Christmas Book Flood | Recommending reading


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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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The Advent of #FutureBook17

The Bookseller’s showcase conference – FutureBook 2017 – was held in London, England, today. According to the trade journal of record, ‘FutureBook brings together leading thinkers in publishing, retail, editorial, writing, marketing and tech, along with speakers from other industries.’

What better occasion is there, on this first day of the Advent calendar, to open a window on the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign for 2017?

The Book Bulletin will evolve between today and International Book Giving Day (14 February 2018) into a rich collection of your recommendations and favourite books. Get involved by reading our advice for the book trade and by contributing to our Book Bulletin: Winter 2017 crowdfunding campaign.

To mark FutureBook 2017 today, the 1 December ‘Book of the Day’ recommendation is provided by J K Rowling, one of the best-known writers in the world, who is famous around the world for her novels, films, stage plays and philanthropy.

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Jolabokaflod visits the Frankfurt Book Fair

The Jolabokaflod Book Campaign is about to announce itself to the global book trade.

We are in Frankfurt between 11-15 October 2017 to tell the world of books about our take on the Icelandic Christmas book flood tradition.

We are attending Frankfurter Buchmesse (the Frankfurt Book Fair) to introduce the Jolabokaflod Book Campaign to every country exhibiting at this year’s event – the biggest book expo in the world – and to collect book recommendations for our next Book Bulletin (Winter 2017).

The Frankfurt Book Fair describes itself as ‘the most important international trade fair for content, the centre of the international media world and a major cultural event. Nowhere else in the world does the publishing and media industry show itself from a more diverse, innovative and international side than during these five days in October.’

Our new catalogue and Book Bulletin crowdfunding campaign will launch on the First Day of Winter in the Old Nordic calendar (21 October 2017) and conclude on International Book Giving Day (14 February 2017).

So many titles from which to choose; the time draws near for deciding which ones to buy to give to loved ones for them to read this Christmas – and which ones you fancy treating yourself to get hold of and read.


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Jolabokaflod in the USA

The world of Jolabokaflod is expanding.

We are in New York between 31 May and 4 June 2017 to introduce the Christmas book flood tradition to the US book trade and the North American literary world in general.

We are attending BookExpo America (the US book trade fair) and BookCon (the US authors’ convention) to talk about bringing Jolabokaflod to the USA, Canada and the rest of the continent and to collect book recommendations for our next online catalogue, which will be launched in June.

So many books, now is the time to read them.


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What Jólabókaflóð means to me: Hallgrímur Helgason

hallgriemur-helgason-2016-ljosm-gassiHere is the second in our Icelandic Perspectives series of reflections by famous writers and prominent public figures on their memories, thoughts, opinions  and anecdotes about the long-standing national tradition of Jólabókaflóð.

The second writer to feature in the series is award-winning novelist, playwright, columnist and painter, Hallgrímur Helgason.

Read Hallgrímur’s personal take on the Christmas Book Flood – ‘Book lives matter‘ – and compare his thoughts with his compatriots’ reflections as they are published in the Icelandic Perspectives section of this website.


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What Jólabókaflóð means to me: Gerður Kristný

gerdur-kristny-1Here is the first article in our Icelandic Perspectives series of reflections by famous writers and prominent public figures on their memories, thoughts, opinions  and anecdotes about the long-standing national tradition of Jólabókaflóð.

The first writer to feature in the series is award-winning poet, playwright, biographer and novelist, Gerður Kristný.

Read Gerður’s personal take on the Christmas Book Flood – ‘Deck the Halls with Books‘ – and compare her thoughts with her compatriots’ reflections as they are published in the Icelandic Perspectives section of this website.


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Hygge and Jolabokaflod

story-tellingAt this time of doom, gloom and austerity, we are all in need of learning about what makes us happy. With nifty commercial nous, publishers have spotted an opportunity to haul us out of our malaise and depression: the Danish concept of hygge.

What is hygge?

The reason books have been written on the subject is because hygge does not have a direct translation equivalent in English. As Winnie-th-Pooh tells Piglet. ‘You don’t spell it [love], you feel it’. Here are some approximations, suggested by Meik Wiking in his recent book, The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well:

  • red-bk-mid-left‘the art of creating intimacy’
  • ‘cosiness of the soul’
  • ‘the absence of annoyance’
  • ‘taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things’
  • ‘cocoa by candlelight’

He gives by example an idyllic scene, to describe the experience. Imagine a group of friends, retired to the lounge of a ski chalet after an excellent meal, sipping hot, percolated coffee and liqueurs in comfy armchairs next to a roaring log fire – oblivious to the snow blizzard doing its worst outside. Hygge suggests a sense of warmth and comfort in the throes of the worst the world can throw at us.

Iceland int; woman readingIs Jolabokaflod hygge?

In the Utopic scene above, imagine that the friends are on holiday in Iceland and it is Christmas Eve. The friends have just eaten an amazing Christmas meal to mark the festive season and are settling into their armchairs to open their presents, some of which are books. The friends spend the rest of the evening – Christmas Eve – exchanging intelligent conversation, drinking mulled wine and reading.

This is Jokabokaflod in action: a prime example of a hygge tradition.