This year we're urging you to join us in adopting the Icelandic gifting tradition of Jólabókaflóð (pronounced yo-la-bok-a-flot), which translates roughly to "flood of books." We'll be celebrating each day we're open during the week before Christmas by offering wrapped books for purchase in the store (somewhat like a blind date with a book) and raffling off a Jólabókaflóð Gift Box at the end of each day. All wrapped books are only $10.00 each.
Where did this tradition originate? During World War II, paper was one of few items not rationed in Iceland, who had just gained independence from Denmark. Books were gifted due to the value they brought while a lot of other gifts were in short supply. The increase in books being purchased and gifted led to a nation of bookworms and an annual tradition. In fact, according to a 2021 article in Country Living, "[e]ver since 1944, the Icelandic book trade has sent out a book bulletin to each household in the middle of November when the Reykjavík Book Fair happens. People use this catalogue to order books to give to their friends and family on Christmas Eve, the main gift-giving day in Iceland. After all the presents are open, everyone grabs a cup of hot chocolate and cozies up to spend the rest of the evening reading their books.”
Each gift box being raffled off will contain one or two signed books, a gourmet chocolate bar, a Book Bungalow mug (from which to drink your hot cocoa), and a pair of cozy bookish socks. For every wrapped book purchased, you'll get a raffle ticket and we'll draw the winning ticket at 6 pm every day, including Saturday, December 23rd. Then on December 24th, we can exchange our gifts with our loved ones and settle in to read in the Icelandic way.