Readers’ Corner: Prolific Icelanders

Somewhere in Reykjavik, thousands of people are writing their first (or fifth) mystery novel.

There is apparently no more literate or book-mad place than little Iceland. Even without the benefit of trees, the island nation of some 300,000 people apparently has more writers, published books, and readers per capita than anywhere else in the world. According to the BBC:

It is hard to avoid writers in Reykjavik. There is a phrase in Icelandic, “ad ganga med bok I maganum”, everyone gives birth to a book. Literally, everyone “has a book in their stomach”. One in 10 Icelanders will publish one.

“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.”

So get busy everybody, or Icelandic fiction will take over the world before you know it.