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Jólabókaflóðið (Icelandic for "Yule book flood") is the annual release of new books in Iceland occurring in the months before Christmas,[1] a national publishing tradition for new titles.

Newly published books are listed in a yearly compilation called bókatíðindi ("book news") that is distributed to all households for free; the total number of new books published was about 800 in 2007[2] and 760 in 2008.[3] A further ramification of the custom stems from both Iceland's centuries-long literary tradition, and strict WWII currency restrictions which limited the amount of imported giftware. Given that restrictions on imported paper were more lenient than on other products, books became a massively popular Christmas gift, and indeed the default gift, and thus the custom was established for the settling in and of the reading of said books. [4]


  1. ^ Elliott Brandsma, "Too Many Books: Do Icelandic Publishers Need To Chill Out?", Reykjavik Grapevine, May 5, 2015 (retrieved 23 Oct 2015)
  2. ^ Christian Praetorius (2007-11-21). "Weihnachten naht". Island-Blog (in German). Retrieved 2007-11-29.
  3. ^ Alda Sigmundsdóttir (2008-12-28). "MY ICELAND: the Christmas books". The Iceland Weather Report. Retrieved 2008-12-28.
  4. ^ JORDAN, TEICHER (2012-12-25). "Literary Iceland Revels In Its Annual 'Christmas Book Flood'". NPR. Retrieved 2017-12-15.

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