Celebrate Jolabokaflod

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Celebrate Jolabokaflod? Jolabokaflod, also known as the “Christmas Book Flood, ” is a unique tradition in Iceland that is celebrated on Christmas Eve. This tradition began during World War II, an era marked by economic constraints and strict currency restrictions across Europe. In Iceland, these conditions and the relative leniency on paper imports made books an accessible and highly valued gift choice.

What is Jolabokaflod?

This tradition involves giving and receiving new books, but its essence lies in the joy of reading them together. Jolabokaflod reflects Iceland’s profound love of literature and storytelling. It is often accompanied by treats like hot cocoa, Icelandic chocolates, or even a special beer. The night is spent in the company of loved ones, reading and sharing stories, creating memories that last a lifetime.

Why do Icelanders Love Books?

Iceland’s love of books is deeply rooted in its culture and history. With one of the highest literacy rates, Icelanders immerse themselves in literature. This nation leads the world in terms of writers, books published, and books read per person. About 1 in 10 Icelanders will publish a book in their lifetime, and ⅓ of the Icelandic population reads books daily! That’s impressive and reflects their love for writing and storytelling.

It is particularly exciting for children who eagerly anticipate book presents from their parents. But the real magic happens on Christmas Eve when families gather to unwrap and dive into new books together. There’s even an official Jolabokaflod catalog sent to every house in Iceland in November, called the “Book Bulletin,” which lists the most popular books and new releases that they can order.

Facts about Iceland and Books

  • Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country, with around 80% of its annual book sales happening during the Jolabokaflod period​.
  • Icelanders read an average of 2.3 books per month, with women and families with children being the most avid readers​.
  • Icelandic youth frequently read in languages other than Icelandic.
  • Most Icelanders believe that it is essential for Icelandic literature to have access to public support and funding​.

Christmas in Iceland

More information to celebrate Jolabokaflog. This is an excellent article.

If you would like to know more about the 13 Days of Christmas and the 13 Yule Lads, you will enjoy this post.

Thoughts …

Since I am a book lover, I think celebrating Jolabokaflod is a wonderful tradition. It’s a time for share new books, and enjoy the warmth of shared stories and treats! This tradition is about more than just gifting; it’s about fostering a love for reading and spending quality time with loved ones. What better way to celebrate than with a book!

With gratitude …

I am glad you’re here. Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I am grateful that I can share my writing journey with you. It is an endless journey of learning and growing. A journey that I am enjoying. 

I am now booking author visits for the 2024 school year. If you are a classroom teacher, teacher assistant, Parent Teacher Association President, or After school Director I can work with you to create a visit that will meet the needs of your students. Please contact me to book your visit. 

Have you checked out my website. There are surprises everywhere. Click on the balloons and see where they take you. Can you find two writing videos? Freebies? A chocolate chip recipe? There’s even a special freebie to anyone who subscribes to my monthly newsletter. I have a number of FREE resources for childrenparents and teachers that librarians and homeschooling families can download and use. 

A Call to Action … 


With the holiday season here, please consider purchasing a book for a child and starting a tradition of your own. I have 2 books, Gertie Saves the Day and Two Wins for Wiley. They would make a wonderful gift for a child or a teacher. If you purchase either book for a teacher, contact me through my website. I will send you a digital copy of the Reader’s Guide for the classroom. The Reader’s Guide has lessons, games and activities for the classroom. 

If you have any questions or you would like to share your thoughts about this post, please leave your comments below. Thank you!

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