1 December 2022 Susannah

Christmas Book Flood

Children reading a book at Christmas

Iceland has a wonderful tradition called Jolabokaflod (Christmas Book Flood), the giving and receiving of books on Christmas Eve.

In late September a free catalogue of Iceland’s latest books hits every mailbox in the country, and all the lovely new books help get people through the long, dark winter. This tradition has many benefits – on average people in Iceland read 2.3 books- a month (most Americans read 4 books per year), one in ten Icelanders will go on to publish their own book one day, there is a strong tradition of story-telling, and the national literacy rate is excellent. I think it’s a fabulous idea and one to be emulated.

Next year this newsletter will reach its 100th issue – quite a milestone. I’d never have imagined, when I first sent it out, that it would reach so many people (over 7000 of you), and that I would still be coming up with new ideas for its pages. A big thanks to my assistant Cheryl who gives me technical support and so much more.

I hope you have enjoyed my ‘Book Addict Visits a Library‘ segment throughout the year (watch this space to see what new ‘theme’ I will choose for 2023), I hope you have been able to follow up on some of my reading recommendations, and I’ve loved hearing how many of you have enjoyed my choice of poems. In the next issue you will be able to read my list of Top Ten Books of 2022.

How long have you been receiving my newsletter? What has been your favourite story? What else would you like to read about? Tell me here in a comment.

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Featured image- Children reading a book at Christmas, from https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/children-reading-interest-book-sitting-on-250681336

Comments (14)

  1. Annie

    I too have been enjoying your newsletters since your visit and talk at the Bangalow ADFAS evening.

    I am on my own so I am never without a good book to read.

    All the best for the coming year

    Ann Blackmore

  2. Christine Bradfield

    Congratulations on reaching the century!
    I’ve been receiving your newsletter since your wonderful talk at ADFAS in Geelong and have enjoyed every issue. I look forward to it dropping into the inbox each month.
    Best wishes for a joyful Christmas and hopefully she time to relax with a good book.
    Christine S.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I’m so glad you enjoy my newsletter, Christine. It’s fun to write. I look forward to celebrating its century next year.
      Best wishes for a merry Christmas and a book-filled 2023.

  3. Brian Doyle

    I’m quite sure Susannah that as you approach your hundredth year you will still be enchanting an ever growing fan base with your endless knowledge in all matters literary and really just about any other topic as well. I don’t know what your taking but perhaps you could package it up and make it available for those of us with less stamina, I’ve tried drinking a few litres of Staminade in the hope of boosting my daily achievements to no effect so far as the book pile never seems to shrink. Warmest wishes for a what I imagine is a packed Christmas schedule full of happy memories and yummy treats.
    Santa B

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Many thanks for your kind comments, Brian. I’m delighted you enjoy my newsletter.
      I must admit that, after an incredibly busy year, I am ready to slow down. I’m thinking of taking Lady Bertram from ‘Mansfield Park’ as my role model – I will take to my sofa, although, unlike her, I will take books with me.
      Very best wishes for a merry Christmas and a healthy and book-filled 2023.

  4. Patty Bruniges

    Well done Susannah for achieving the milestone of 100 issues. I look forward to your newsletter each month and you have expanded my reading choices, particularly in poetry. Keep it up please!!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Well, I’m not quite at the 100th issue yet – that will be next year. But I am so glad you enjoy the newsletters and take up some of my reading recommendations.


    Such a wonderful thing is JOLABOKAFLOD. From childhood on my favourite presents at Christmas or birthdays were books. And now in my forth score of years I still read every day. However I have been to homes recently where not a single book was in sight. I grew up with the saying that books are the soul in a home. What a pity what those people miss out on when they don’t read books.

    • Susannah Fullerton

      It often seems to me that children only read screens these days, and not too often any books on screen either. It is so sad. I totally agree with you that a house without books is a house without a soul.

  6. Jennifer Hatton

    Along with my book group friends, we all enjoy reading your newsletters and following your recommendations. Congratulations on your forthcoming 100th edition and please keep up your inspirational good work!
    Thank you 😊

    • Susannah Fullerton

      Jennifer, I am delighted that all your book group reaads and enjoys my newsletters. Please say Hi to them from me. I will try and keep inspired and continue to bring them out each month.

  7. Rosaleen Kirby

    Susannah, I’d just like to say MANY congratulations on approaching your 100th issue; it is, indeed, quite a milestone. Your encyclopaedic knowledge of the wonderful world of literature ensures that you never seem to run out of ideas for topics of discussion, or indeed of writers! I learn something new (actually, let’s be honest) LOTS of new things, every month when your chatty and accessible newsletter drops in to my inbox, and though I’m always promising myself that I will definitely read that author, visit that library, watch that movie, and actually rarely achieve those objectives, at least I won’t run out of goals!

    Congratulations on this achievement of yours, it definitely deserves at the very least a bottle of champagne to mark your century! Rose xxx

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I am so glad you have enjoyed my newsletter, Rose. I never dreamed it would get to close to 100 issues, so I’ll celebrate next year.
      I hope you have enjoyed some of the reading suggestions. I always love ‘talking books’ with you!

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