During these times of social distancing, self isolation, closure of libraries and cultural institutions, many of us have more time to enjoy literature and other art from our homes. Below we have listed some of the resources available while a ban on gatherings is in affect in Reykjavík, such as home deliveries of books, library services, online poetry and more. The list is of course not complete as new things are constantly being added and there are for sure other things going on that we haven't come across.
The Reykjavik City Library is closed, but the e-library Rafbókasafnið is always open. It is accessible to all patrons who have a valid library card. Digital books have their advantages. They can be read or listend to on your computer or on your smart device via the Libby app. See how to access and use the e-library here.
Other reykjavik city library service
Although the libraries are closed, Reykjavik City Library offers service online and through phone. You will find information about this here on the library's website.
Home delivery from publishers
Many Icelandic publishers offer free home delivery while the ban on gatherings is in affect. Here's a list compiled by the Association of Icelandic Publishers.
Readers in quaranteen are asked to mention that with the order so that the delivery can be placed outside their home.
Publishing houses that offer home delivery are:
Bókaútgáfan Hólar - holar(hjá)holabok.is
Bókstafur (if you buy 3 books or more)
Edda útgáfa - (500 kr. charge for all deliveries, big or small)
Óðinsauga - pantanir(hjá)odinsauga.com
Salka (free delivery if you buy for more than 6.000 krónur)
Home Delivery from bookstores
Eymundsson bookstores offer home delivery of books and other goods if you buy for 5.000 krónur or more.
Many readers use the services of audio book providers, either though subscription or by buying single books. Storytel is a digital subscription service operation in Iceland and publishing house Forlagið also offers a selection of audio books in Icelandic, children's books included.
Poetry readings online
Poetry for a nation
The National Theatre of Iceland and the Icelandic Broadcasting Service RÚV invite people to select a poem that weill be read on the theatre's main stage for an audience of one (the person who selected the poem). The performance is also streamed online for all of us to enjoy. Ljóð fyrir þjóð.
poetry videos with imposter poets
The Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature made six poetry videos with the collective Svikaskáld (Imposter Poets) for 2020 World Poetry Day. The videso are published on the City of Literature's Facebook site from March 21 - 26 mars and can be watched there onwards. The poets read poetry by other poets, Icelandic and from abroad, and talk about the poems. The readings and talks are in Icelandic with English subtitles.
On World Poetry Day, March 21st, the Reykjavík City of Literature challenged people to read their favorite poetry online and share it with other people on Facebook or other social media channels. Many accepted the challenge and therefore poetry readings and pictures of poems can be found throughout Facebook. Some are visible on the Reykjavik City of Literature's Facebook site (visitor posts) but most in different friend groups. Some other UNESCO Cities of Literature have been sharing poetry online as well, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
We encourage people to keep sharing poetry and art online in order to lift us up during these difficult times.
traveling from your sofa
Guided walks on your phone or device
By reading you of course can travel in time and space but you can also go for a virtual literary walking tour of Reykjavík from wherever you are. The Reykjavik City of Literature's free app Reykjavík Culture Walks contains guided walks in English, Spanish, German, French and Icelandic. You will find different walks, such as a crime fiction walk, a walk dedicated to Nobel prize winner Halldór Laxness, a queer literature walk and more.
Reykjavik poetry map
The Reykjavík City Library operates an online map of poetry ljóðakort Reykjavíkur where you can read poetry (in Icelandic) connected to different places in the city.
literary map of iclend
The Reykjavik City Library also operates a map of literary significant places in Iceland, Íslandskort bókmenntanna. The map is in Icelandic.
icelandic broadcasting service
RÚV, the Icelandic Broadcasting Service, offers a large amount of material connected to literature, in Icelandic. The literary part of the culture sector, menning, is a good place to start.
The children's programmimg KrakkaRÚV offeres quality material for children.
Videos on creative writing for children
The Iceland Directorate of Education has made videos with writers Bergrún Íris Sævarsdótir and Davíð Stefánsson (in Icelandic) where they give children tips about creative writing and the art of playing with language. These videos are a good source of inspiration for children and parents who want to use the time at home to create and make stories.
Online Story Hour
Chilren's writer Ævar Þór Benediktsson, who is one of Iceland's most popular writers of children's fiction, offers daily story hours where he reads from his books (in Icelandic). Those who miss a reading can still follow whenever as the readings are saved on his Facebook site.