Sunday, 26 September 2021

Book-loving pupils and staff follow Icelandic tradition

Book-loving pupils and staff follow Icelandic tradition

PUPILS and staff at Shiplake College took part in an Icelandic tradition during December and the Christmas holidays.

They held a Jolabokaflod, meaning Christmas book flood, which involves reading and trading books with each other.

The tradition started during the Second World War when paper was one of the few items not to be rationed in Iceland.

On Christmas Eve families would exchange books and spend the night reading in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate.

Richard Ebbage, assistant head (academic), organised the college’s own version and called it ShiplakeBokaFlod. 

In early December, there was a book swap event where staff and students were invited to bring in books they had read and swap them for a new read.

A few days later everyone came together to read by the Christmas tree in the Great Hall with a hot chocolate. On Christmas Eve, people from the college community took part in their own ShiplakeBokaFlod and shared photos of their families reading together on social media.

Finally, the Big Book Bus from student supplier Browns Books visited the school at the start of the new term and students were able to browse and buy books.

Mr Ebbage said: “This was the first year Jolabokaflod had come to Shiplake and it was a great success. When I first read about the tradition of swapping books and reading together around the Christmas tree, I instantly knew it was something that would go down well at Shiplake.

“I am really pleased how much everyone bought into ShiplakeBokaFlod.

“Thank you to all the staff and students who helped with the various events. I hope this is the start of a new tradition at the school.”

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