Jolabokaflod: an Icelandic Reading Tradition

In recent years, a meme about an Icelandic reading tradition went viral. The image featured the following text: "In Iceland, books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, and you spend the rest of the night reading. People generally take their books to bed along with some chocolate. How cozy and wonderful does that sound?" The reading tradition captured the imagination of the internet. But how did it begin?

NPR reports:

"Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country in the world, with five titles published for every 1,000 Icelanders. But what's really unusual is the timing: Historically, a majority of books in Iceland are sold from late September to early November. It's a national tradition, and it has a name: Jolabokaflod, or the "Yule Book Flood."

If you're inspired by this reading ritual and are interested in reading an Icelandic book, try one of the suggestions from Reykjavik Grapevine.  The magazine asked six Icelandic authors for their favorite Icelandic novels available in English.

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