Jólabókaflóð: I love a good Christmas filled with books!

Happy December! How the year has flown by! It’s been quite a rollercoaster ride for me, personally, this year. It is hard to believe that it’s already Christmas time again. More importantly, it is that time of the year, the Bókatíðinda is out and Jólabókaflóð (yo-la-bok-a-flot) is well on its way!

I am one of those people who refuses to put up Christmas decorations or play Christmas carols until Halloween and Thanksgiving have passed. I prepare for Christmas in only one way before the 1st of December, buying books, because, in my opinion, the best Christmas gift is a book. At least two of my closest friends agree, Mary and Tamera.

Three years ago we three gals started our own tradition, participating in Jólabókaflóð or Jolabokaflod (the Christmas Book Flood). The Icelandic tradition of giving books (and Chocolate!) as gifts on Christmas Eve, physical books… not digital. After perusing around for months on Indie Bound I finally found what I believe will be the perfect books to gift my friends.

This is something that I look forward to all year long. It is a great way for us to share our love of literature and a nice way for us to stay connected now that Tamera and I no longer live in Jackson, Wyoming. In all honesty, given our love of books, we should all probably be living in Iceland, Finland, or Norway, the top three most literate countries in the world (according to this study).

2020 will be different in that I will also be gifting books to pretty much everyone on my Christmas list. Including the Kunz girls Christmas party, of which, I have only ever attended one. It has always been pretty far out of the way, but this year I am in town and will be bringing books for our gift exchange. Hopefully, someone will love them.

So, why books for gifts over the Holidays?

I have never really enjoyed Christmas shopping. It is so hard to determine what someone else needs or would even want (not to mention they might not want little trinkets or gifts at all). Friendship is a gift in itself, but books are the next best thing. If you don’t have any friends around you will always have a book.

Books are the best form of entertainment, and creative brain exercises all in one. I believe that they make us more empathetic. They show us how to see things from other perspectives. They reduce stress, and for me, they help me sleep better at night. Putting down my phone trading it and the TV for a book gives me something to do, and I sleep better, I don’t know how or why, but it works.

Gifting a book, especially a book you enjoy, is like sharing a little part of yourself. Those books that you reread over and over are the best books to gift to those who are closest to you.

My favorite books to gift this season:

  1. History of Bees by Maja Lunde
  2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
  3. A Midnight Summers Dream Play by William Shakespeare
  4. Educated by Tara Westover
  5. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

So, if you must gift, are lost on what to gift your family and friends, gift a book! They are perfect! Even for friends who are not big readers, there is always a book you can find on their interests and hobbies. There is a perfect book for every person out there.

To everyone who received a book from me this year…
Enjoy your reading adventure!

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