Iceland is known around the globe for its spectacular natural wonders, ultra clean environment, dynamic music scene, and hot springs skinny-dipping, but most folks are unaware that it’s one of the most literate nations in the world.Each year, more than 95% of the adult population reports reading at least one book and more than 50% read at least 10 books. In fact, more than 10% of Icelanders claim to have written at least one book or periodical article.
So, it should come as little surprise to learn that Iceland kicks off the Christmas holiday gift-giving season with the annual Bokatidindi—a catalog of every new book published during the year in the country. The Icelandic Publishing Association even mails a free copy to every household in mid-November.
The Bokatidindi is the foundation the uniquely Icelandic holiday tradition of Jólabókaflóð—the Christmas Book Flood. Nearly every Icelandic family exchanges book gifts on Christmas and starts the holiday by reading their new books.
You can help this wonderful concept to spread to your own country. Just buy book gifts for everyone on your holiday list and request literary gifts for yourself. Before we know it, the entire world will be celebrating a Yule-time book flood.