Iceland book fact of the day

by on October 15, 2013 at 1:33 pm in Books | Permalink

One in ten Icelanders will publish one [a book].

“Does it get rather competitive?” I ask the young novelist, Kristin Eirikskdottir.

“Yes. Especially as I live with my mother and partner, who are also full-time writers. But we try to publish in alternate years so we do not compete too much.”

The story is here, hat tip goes to Robert Cottrell.

1 Ray Lopez October 15, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Yes, but which Iceland chess player has published a book? Recall Iceland has more grandmasters per capita than anywhere else.

Let me Google this…oh, here’s one: May 3, 2012 – Helgi Ólafsson, an Icelandic chess Grandmaster and a good friend of the late Bobby Fischer, has released a book about his encounters with …

2 mmmwright October 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm

do they write about banks?

3 Yancey Ward October 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Wannabe authors the world over rush to Iceland.

4 Jan October 15, 2013 at 7:50 pm

And then learn Icelandic in one week…like this savant did!

5 Shaun Peterson October 15, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Interesting. There is an unusual number of artists there. I have been twice and I have to say Reykjavik is the most wonderful city I have ever been to in the world. The people are very friendly and the city is very open and cozy, but feels so much bigger than it actually is. Icelanders are a bit odd, but in the best possible way. I have only great things to say about it.

6 Erik Brynjolfsson October 15, 2013 at 4:15 pm

That should be “Kristin Eiriksdottir”, as in daughter of Eirik.

7 Steve Sailer October 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm

In the future, everyone will be a novelist for 15 months.

8 Handle October 15, 2013 at 6:11 pm

In iceland perhaps.

Anyway, that’s the equivalent of a lifetime of Facebook, Twitter and Blogging – it’s equivalent to 15 months of noveling.

9 mikeinaz October 15, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Long winters.

10 Tom T. October 15, 2013 at 8:00 pm

What does “publishing” mean in a nation of 300,000 people? They run off some copies and put them on the shelf in both bookstores?

11 Jess Riedel October 15, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Although Iceland does has a very high rate of book publishing, this comment on reddit suggests the title is misleading at best. arte_misia:

>”Published authors” is what the study stated, not “published a book”.
>I can probably find that study, if you are interested.
>”According to Statistics Iceland there are five titles published per 1.000 Icelanders, but similar statistics for the other Nordic countries are 2 to 2.5.”
>(Ten things to know about Reykjavík, UNESCO City of Literature [ ]
>Reykjavík celebrates a month long festival, Reykjavík Reads in October 2013 [ ]

This would be a pretty egregious mistake by the BBC if true.

He further writes:

> This is not the first time that UK papers mention this, and I have commented on this before. As I mentioned then, the BBC got these numbers, one in ten Icelanders “publish” from a study that came out 2-3 years ago. Included in “published authors” are articles and commentary in newspapers.
> “We are a nation of storytellers..” … that’s putting it politely.
> Icelanders are notorious besserwissers and it is common for people to write short pieces that get printed in the dailies. These “letters from the readers” get printed alongside pieces written by ministers writing on matters of government, explanation of monetary policy by the governor of the Central Bank or other credible authors.
> Everyone thinks that their voice should be heard and people will dish out their displeasure with the government, politicians, policy, declare their opinion on proposed legislature, building of dams or clubs downtown, point out plausible cures for stammer, give detailed plans for the solution of the household debt, how to solve the Euro crisis, why we should/should not join the EU.
> However, Icelandic kids still aspire to be poets and writers.

12 Bjartur October 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Another TC opportunity to discuss the greatness of “Independent People” squandered.

13 Thor October 15, 2013 at 9:53 pm

My guess? Lots of subsidies for writers.

14 freethinker October 16, 2013 at 6:33 am

“However, Icelandic kids still aspire to be poets and writers” Any studies on what they do become as adults?

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