Iceland has its nose in a book. In the island nation of just over 300,000 people, one in 10 will publish one,
according to BBC News’ Rosie Goldsmith.
“I live with my mother and partner, who are also full time writers,” novelist Kristin Eirikskdottir told Goldsmith. “But we try to publish in alternate years so we do not compete too much.”
Writers are respected in Iceland according to Agla Magnusdottir, head of the new Icelandic Literature Centre. “They live well,” she said to the BBC. “Some even get a salary.”
Especially if they’re writing crime novels, whose sales figures are exploding lately.
A lot of Icelanders could be unwrapping those books as presents soon. The Christmas Book Flood, called “jolabokaflod,” starts now, when more books are published than any other time of year. Households across the nation will be pouring over their book catalogues and deciding what to buy for the holiday season.
“We are a nation of story tellers,” novelist Solvi Bjorn Siggurdsson said in the BBC, “When it was dark and cold we had nothing else to do.”
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