With Book Week Scotland 2017 kicking off today, Publishing Scotland is delighted to announce ScotBookFlood. Inspired by the unique tradition of book gifting in Iceland, Jolabokaflod, ScotBookFlood will celebrate Scottish-Nordic links and encourage thoughtful book giving in the run-up to Christmas.
Jolabokaflod (which translates roughly as ‘Christmas book flood’) is the Icelandic tradition of giving books to one other on Christmas Eve and then spending the night reading. It’s such a popular custom that it is the reason why the majority of books in Iceland are sold between September and December.
ScotBookFlood reflects the recent Arctic Circle Forum in Edinburgh, at which First Minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the importance of continuing to forge strong relationships between Scotland and its northern neighbours. Iceland and the UK publish more books per capita than any other countries, and with more books sold in the run-up to Christmas than any other period, ScotBookFlood presents a timely opportunity to highlight dynamic Scottish-Nordic cultural connections.
Kristín Viðarsdóttir, Head of International Cooperation at Reykjavík City of Literature, comments: “Our literatures have crossed paths through the ages as have our people and our languages. We can trace our connection to the very settlement of Iceland, as many of our ancestors came here from the British Isles.”
Marion Sinclair, CEO of Publishing Scotland, says: “The vibrant publishing scene in Scotland moves into the spotlight during Book Week Scotland, and with Christmas ahead, this is a hugely busy time for publishers and bookshops. An increasing emphasis on book design and creating beautiful books these days means ScotBookFlood is an excellent opportunity to showcase books as the perfect gift.”
Duncan Furness, Senior Bookseller at Topping and Company Booksellers in St Andrews, one of Scotland’s newest bookshops, echoes this: “The gift of a book at Christmas provides much more than a diverting story or set of facts. Books contain entire worlds, and have the power to change our perception with every read and re-read. They are paper treasures which last a lifetime.”
The #ScotBookFlood digital campaign is delivered throughout Book Week Scotland (from 27 November to 3 December) via social media and the Books from Scotland website. Books from Scotland features a special ScotBookFlood issue launched today. Highlights include:
- Interview with best-selling author Matt Haig about his new book for children Father Christmas and Me.
- Exploring Edinburgh and Reykjavík as UNESCO Cities of Literature.
- Exclusive Scottish gin cocktail recipe, inspired by Iceland’s volcanic outdoor pools.
- Acclaimed author Kirsty Logan recalls sheep, wild swimming, and solitude in an article about her writing residency in rural Iceland.
- Scottish Publishers reveal what Scottish books they will give this Christmas.
- Extract from McSmörgåsbord: What Post-Brexit Scotland Can Learn from Our Northern Neighbours by Eberhard Bort and Lesley Riddoch.
- Giveaways of books for adults and children.
- Pinterest boards highlighting Scottish-Nordic literary links.
Author Kirsty Logan, who features in the ScotBookFlood campaign, remarks “I’ve always been inspired by the idea of north, and my time in Iceland strengthened and sweetened my northern heart. To say it’s a place of pure, terrifying magic is an understatement.”
This week, Books from Scotland and Publishing Scotland will ask about what Scottish books people plan to give this Christmas, or what books from Scotland people plan to read over the festive period. They invite the public to join the conversation, using hashtags #ScotBookFlood, #BookWeekScotland, and tweeting @scottishbooks.
Notes for Editors
- Publishing Scotland is the trade, network and development body for the Scottish book publishing sector. For more information visit www.publishingscotland.org and its books site www.booksfromscotland.com.
- Book Week Scotland, a Scottish Government initiative, is the annual celebration of books and reading, facilitated by Scottish Book Trust. It runs from Monday 27 November to Sunday 3 December 2017.
- Edinburgh was the first UNESCO City of Literature in the world. Reykjavík became the fifth UNESCO City of Literature in August 2011 and was the first non-English speaking city to join the Cities of Literature Network.
- The Books from Scotland ScotBookFlood Issue is live at www.booksfromscotland.com/issue/scotbookflood. See alsoBooks from Scotland on Twitter (@scottishbooks) and Pinterest.
- We are available for interview on topics relating to the ScotBookFlood campaign. Please contact Gill Tasker –firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 228 6866. Campaign logos and images are available on request from Gill Tasker.