One in 10 Icelanders Will Publish a Book

There is an Icelandic proverb that says “ad ganga med bok I maganum"– literally, everyone "has a book in their stomach.” Or at least, one in ten do. Per capita, Iceland produces the most writers out of any country in the world; ten percent of the small island’s 300,000 residents will be published at some point in their lifetime. Publishing is so common that one novelist, Kristin Eirikskdottir, said it sometimes gets competitive, “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." Who reads all these books? Iceland is a nation of voracious readers: Iceland boasts a 99 percent literacy rate.