Burning books

Icelandic Publisher Only Prints Books During a Full Moon

Tunglið, meaning the moon in Icelandic, is also the name of a publisher who only prints books in batches of 69 every time there’s a full moon. Although the books are not expensive, nobody is allowed to pre-order or skip the line at events. By the time that the moon wanes, the remaining books bear an ill-foreboding fate, that is, they burn.


A full moon is a stage in the lunar phase that occurs when the moon, sun and earth reach alignment. On average, it occurs every 20.53058 days, meaning that Tunglið would publish on a monthly basis.


Icelandic Publishers

Ragnar Helgi Olafsson (left) and Dagur Hjartarson

Image Courtesy of the Guardian


The key people behind this mysterious business model are writer Dagur Hjartarson and artist Ragnar Helgi Olafsson. However, the owners themselves refuse to acknowledge that their print-and-burn technique constitutes as a business strategy implemented to invigorate the Icelandic publishing industry. Instead, they see burning as a form liberation that prevents books from lingering in the publishing realm longer than necessary. For the Icelandic readers, this implies buying as soon as books arrive on the shelf or else…



Image Courtesy of Giphy


Although owners Hjartarson and Olafsson state that the intentions behind book-burning are not at all related to ancient rituals or political expressions, the local Swiss people in Basel, Switzerland expressed suspicion when they saw Tunglið burning books in their region. What do think? Should they burn the books? Let us know in the comments! 



Feature image courtesy of Electric Literature