By Toni Marie LaGree
For the Courier 

A Flood of Books, Chocolate

 

December 20, 2017



Several local businesses have teamed up to promote literacy and good eats in Glasgow with a community book and chocolate swap.

On Sat, Dec. 23, from 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Sean R. Heavey Gallery, you can participate in Glasgow’s very own Book and Chocolate Swap. To take part, bring a wrapped, new or gently-used book, with the genre written on the tag, as well as a wrapped chocolate treat. Books and their accompanying chocolate will be sorted by age group and then each person participating will choose a new book and its chocolate partner to take home and enjoy. Cider and cookies will be provided.

Iceland is recognized as the home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world’s most active volcanoes, thus its often known as “The Land of Fire and Ice.” Iceland is also home to a unique tradition known as the jólabókaflóð, or the Christmas book flood, which developed around the prolific book publishing that occurs every December. The Christmas book flood is a quaint tradition where Iceland’s residents trade books and chocolate on Christmas Eve, and then spend the rest of the evening reading and eating chocolate, oftentimes taking their literary and confectionary goodies to bed.


The history of the Christmas book flood is obscure. It is said the tradition grew out of international scarcity and local availability. Around World War II, restrictions on imports to the country were harsh, and Icelanders didn’t have the proper currency to purchase goods from other countries, which made Christmas time gift giving limited. Yet, this scarcity did not apply to the publishing industry in the country, which is prolific for a country that has a population of only 330,000. The majority of publishers also lacked the resources to publish books year round, which led to the Christmas book flood as both a strategic marketing and publicity stunt as well as a beloved holiday tradition.

Now there is no need to go to Iceland to enjoy Christmas Eve with a good book and excellent chocolate.

The Book and Chocolate Swap is sponsored by the Yoga Wellness Center, Glasgow City-County Library, Boxcar Road Books and the Sean R. Heavey Gallery.

For more information, call 406-942-0378.

 

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