Zenith Bookstore in Duluth, Minnesota, is bringing the Icelandic tradition of “Jólabókaflóð,” which roughly translates to “Yule Book Flood,” to the store this December for two full weeks of books and chocolate.
In Iceland, residents have created their own special tradition to cope with the winter darkness that comes with getting a mere five hours of sunlight in December: Jólabókaflóð (pronounced YO-la-po-ka-flohd).
From Sunday, December 10, to Sunday, December 24, Zenith Bookstore will promote this restorative holiday practice of giving gifts of books and chocolate for the holidays by traditionally gift-wrapping book purchases with a complimentary chocolate bar big enough for a full fortnight of cozy winter evenings.
Zenith Bookstore will partner with Fergus Falls-based Terroir Chocolate to provide a complimentary choice of the company’s locally made, organic, dark chocolate bars. During these two weeks, the store will also offer free hot cider, author events, readings, and other community activities. Zenith Bookstore opened on July 1, 2017, and sells new and gently used books.
“Duluthians embrace winter with a love of the outdoors, but we’re also an active literary community,” said store owner Bob Dobrow. “Another way we can enjoy the winter months is through this wonderful Nordic tradition of giving books and chocolate. Settling in with a book, chocolate, and warm beverage is an incredibly comforting way to spend a winter’s night.”
In Iceland, the start of the annual “Yule Book Flood” is also accompanied by the release of Bókatíðindi, a catalog of new books distributed free to every Icelandic home during the Reykjavik Book Fair in November, so Zenith will also be providing customers with the new Midwest Independent Booksellers Association’s “Give the Gift of Books” seasonal catalog.
“The catalog is beautifully illustrated with pages of outstanding book choices for holiday gifting,” said co-owner Angel Dobrow.
The Jólabókaflóð tradition began during World War II after Iceland gained its independence from Denmark; at the time, paper was one of the few commodities that was not rationed. Learn even more about Jólabókaflóð here.