- 10 percentage
- Iceland ()
The island nation of Iceland, which has a population of just over 300,000, has more writers per head of population than any country on Earth. Astonishingly, over the course of their lifetime, one in 10 Icelanders will publish a book.
This obsession with books is believed to have grown out of their ancient tradition of sagas, tall tales told during the long dark Icelandic winters. Written down from the 13th century onwards, these sagas have provided source material for works by writers from the Middle Ages to the present day. In a modern variant on the tradition of storytelling, public benches in Iceland are labelled with bar-codes, which one can scan in order to pick up stories that can be listened to on a smartphone.
Additionally, with one in 10 of the population publishing books, Iceland can also claim the record for the most books published per head of population. But it doesn’t stop there as inevitably Iceland can also lay claim to the most books read per head of population.