Vintage has partnered with budget airline WOW air to launch a campaign centered around the Icelandic tradition of sharing books over the festive season.
In a nod to Iceland's "Yule Book Flood" (Jólabókaflóð), when books are exchanged with loved ones to read on Christmas Eve, passengers flying with the airline on 24th December from London to Iceland will be given a free copy of A Vintage Christmas as a present. The book features stories from authors including Charles Dickens, Alice Munro, Louis de Bernières, John Cheever and Arthur Conan Doyle and, with an approximate reading time of three hours (the same duration as the flight), the idea is that travellers will be able to read the book on route before passing it on as a gift.
As well as A Vintage Christmas, passengers will also be given a Vintage Classics edition of a book by the Icelandic author and Nobel Literature Prize-winner Halldór Laxness.
In return WOW air is sponsoring three special episodes of Vintage's podcast which will feature interviews with people from the Icelandic book trade. Guests include publisher Pétur Már Ólafsson; the director of the Icelandic literature festival, Stella Soffía Jóhannesdóttir; winner of the Icelandic Literary Prize 2018, Kristín Eiríksdóttir; product manager for foreign books and bookseller at Peninn Eymundson, Svanborg Sigurðardóttir; and authors including Icelandic crime writer Ragnar Jonasson and poet, novelist, and lyricist Sjón.
"All guests are experts in the literary field, and can speak to the authenticity of Icelandic culture, including their experiences of an Icelandic Christmas," said Vintage. The first of the episodes, themed around Christmas in Iceland, is now available to listen to on podcast platforms including Spotify and iTunes. Typically the Vintage Podcast attracts 12,000 listeners every month.
Hattie Adam-Smith, brand director at Vintage Books, said: "At Vintage we can’t think of anything better than spending Christmas Eve sharing the gift of books with our loved ones, and reading together long into the night. Iceland has such a wonderful history of storytelling and continues to produce some of the most exciting writers from around the world. Exceptional writing and a passion for books are at the heart of everything we do, so we are delighted to be working on WOW to encourage people to make this Icelandic tradition their own, and read and share books this Christmas Eve."
Svanhvit Fridriksdottir, v.p. Communications from WOW air, said: "Reading is an important pastime for our nation and our capital city Reykjavik is recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature. We encourage our passengers to make the most of their travel time by bringing a book on board, so we are very excited for this partnership with Vintage Books to raise awareness of the national tradition and bring the joy of reading to the skies this Christmas."