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Saturday, December 08, 2018

Compulsory Pre-Christmas Post - Happy Jolabokaflod!

In case you haven’t heard of it, this year’s compulsory pre-Christmas post is on the theme of Jolabokaflod, “Yule book flood” the Icelandic tradition of giving books for Christmas. It’s one tradition that almost makes me wish Christmas was my holiday, though I don’t really need an excuse to read. Neither, apparently, do the Icelanders. According to this this article, 93% of Icelanders read at least one book a year. Do follow that link, by the way - the author mentions doing it herself, though not how it went over.

The event started with World War II restrictions on imported stuff, but paper was cheap, so...who knows a terrific thing made of paper? Also, the publishing industry isn’t likely to be huge in a fairly small country, so they release the new books in a binge later in the year - and every home in the country gets a catalogue of new releases in time to do their Christmas shopping!

The idea is this: you exchange books on Christmas Eve and then settle down to read for the evening. That alone would get me on side - imagine being able to curl up with your new book right away without having anyone complain about your rudeness for not being sociable... sigh! Only one of my family members would get this,one with whom I have had afternoon tea enjoying our new purchases. We all love reading, but everyone else is too polite to crack their new book open and start reading immediately.

I can well imagine that it would be a terrific way to spend a cold winter night, in a place that looks like this.

Aurora Borealis in Iceland. Public Domain

But on Christmas Eve here we have daylight saving and potentially a long evening to sit in the sun reading. I just might do that, on my balcony with a cool drink, if I can’t get down to the beach.

Happy Yule Book Flood, everyone! 

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