The book flood before Christmas / "Jólabókaflóðið"

The Icelandic tradition of buying books for Christmas gifts

1. December, 2016 News

This great boost in sales and publications around Christmas, fueled by the Icelandic tradition of buying books for Christmas gifts, is what sustains Iceland's vibrant publishing scene.

JolabokaflodThe majority of Icelandic book titles are published in October and November. The result is that between then and Christmas, the media is inundated with coverage and advertisements on books, and a flurry of readings takes place in bookstores, cafés, bars, libraries, schools and local businesses all around the country. (For example, it is popular to book an author reading for the Christmas celebrations of Icelandic work places.)

The deluge of Christmas books comes to a head in the final weeks before Christmas, when all books are in place in the stores, and the publishers and authors wait in nail-biting apprehension to see how their works will fair in the great affair. This great boost in sales and publications around Christmas, fueled by the Icelandic tradition of buying books for Christmas gifts, is what sustains Iceland's vibrant publishing scene. Most Icelanders receive a book for Christmas, settling into bed at the end of Christmas Eve (which, rather than Christmas Day, is when Icelanders open their presents) with a brand-new book.


Latest news

Books from Iceland 2021 - The video! - 5. May, 2021 News

Here you can watch the animated version of our selected titles in Books from Iceland 2021.

More

36 grants awarded for translations into Icelandic from English, French, Latin, Spanish, Catalonian and German - 5. May, 2021 News

Works by authors Olga Tokarczuk, Alejandro Palomas, Carson Ellis, Friedrich Hölderlin, Kim Thuy, Hal Sirowitz, Barbara Demick and many more receive translation grants.

More

Books from Iceland 2021. Selected titles of fiction, non-fiction, children & YA, crime fiction and more. - 14. April, 2021 News

In our new edition of Books from Iceland you'll find selected titles in different genres, a list of titles sold abroad, an overview of Icelandic literary awards and nominations in 2020 & information about our grants.

More

All news