Iceland, though a tiny Nordic island nation that was founded by Vikings and has a miniscule population of 375,000, is a HUGE country for books. In fact, their Yule Book flood tradition is one worthy of the US to model.
Every citizen in Iceland is given an annual catalogue called the Journal of Books, distributed to all households for free in the fall. A list of new books prompts citizens to purchase books to be gifted on Christmas Eve. This tradition makes books them ost popular gift for the holidays in the country. Icelanders will often read their new books and drink hot chocolate on Christmas Eve.
According to Wikipedia, “The tradition officially began in 1944, when the Journal of Books was first published, as a result of the post-World War II economy. 1] Many nations isolated themselves as they rebuilt their economies, most notably in western Europe. This diminished the number of imports Iceland received from other nations, which included most forms of giftware. Limitations on paper goods were not as restrictive, making them a more common import during the post-war era. Is| Due to their neutrality in the war, Iceland had not faced the same economic crash that most of Europe had, which left them with an above-average spending capacity and fewer items to spend on. 4] When the holiday season came, books were the most available gift.”
Iceland has a rich, long-standing love affair with books.
says Wikipedia, “a collection of works known as the Icelandic Sagas began
the true Icelandic fascination with literature in a way that was independent of
any other nation. These works were written between the 12th and 15th centuries,
though it is believed that they existed first as oral tales before they were
written down. 7] Their subject was that of historical records that became more
narrative over time. For the Icelanders, this meant written tales of certain
families and individuals that allowed for the record keeping of Icelandic
society. I71 With a foundation of writing and reading established at the base
of the nation's culture, the trend of literature was established and continued
WordsRated.com, “almost 255 of all book sales over the year occur during the
holiday season. Almost half of that, around 12%, happens around Christmas,” So,
books are bought at a faster rate during the holidays here which is great, but
now let’s start pushing “Bookstimas” – my coining of that holiday season where
books are bought, read, shared, and gifted with a passion.
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