I recently discovered a Christmas tradition from Iceland called “Jolabokaflod” (which roughly translates to “Christmas book flood” in English), wherein folks give each other books on Christmas Eve, and they all spend the evening quietly reading their new treasure in front of a roaring fire and sipping cocoa.
Sounds like heaven, right?
The tradition began in World War II. Because paper was one of the few things that was NOT rationed during this time, books became the one present that Icelanders could count on being readily available.
Since 1944, the Icelandic book trade has sent a catalog of the newest available books to every household in Iceland (can you even imagine??), starting in mid-November so people can start planning which books they will order to give as gifts on Christmas Eve. Though I obviously cannot read Icelandic, I still had a blast looking at this year’s Bókatíðindi.
Obviously, as a reader and a writer, I LOVE this tradition and very much plan on starting it at my house. I’ve chosen books for each member of my immediate family, and it’s been great fun thinking of their personalities and what they like the most, and then trying to tailor my book choices to those personalities. For example, my husband is from Wyoming, so the next book he’s yet to read in Craig Johnson’s Longmire series will work for him. My son, who has never been one for fiction but loves facts and curiosities, will receive this year’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not annual book. I will search out a fantasy novel for my son-in-law, who loves Tolkien, and find a quirky novel for my daughter, whose tastes in books are usually much like mine. I also very much look forward to opening the book my family decides fits ME, too!
If White River Red: A Novel fits the bill for someone in YOUR family, well, it’s available in several formats. It’s also very easy to wrap, and is 100% calorie-free! 🙂
And hey! If you’re in reasonable driving distance of Siloam Springs, AR, I’d be more than happy to personalize a copy of my book for you. Adding a “Merry Christmas” from the author makes the gift even more special, right? Just drop me an email and I’ll see what I can do!
Let the flooding of books begin!!