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books

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The Icelandic tradition of gifting and reading books on Christmas Eve is an introvert's dream.

For families that celebrate Christmas, December can be a whirlwind of preparation, excitement, busyness and, frankly, stress. It's all in the name of good things—festivity, family gatherings, generosity—but phew, it can be a lot.

Perhaps that's one reason why the Icelandic tradition of Jólabókaflóð (approximately pronounced Yo-lah-boke-ah-flode) has grabbed people's attention. What if, instead of hustling and bustling, families spent the night before Christmas quietly reading?

Literally translating as "Christmas book flood," Jólabókaflóð is the tradition of not just gifting books, but actually reading them together on Christmas Eve. Imagine the whole family cozied up in front of the fire, hot cocoa in one hand and a book in the other, quietly enjoying some calm reading time together. Quite a contrast to the sensory overload that can often mark the holiday, and a decidedly introvert-friendly tradition.

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Teen creates book drive for sick kids after her family's fight with cancer

18 year old Emily Bhatnagar has donated over 10,000 books in two years!

It was just days before her sixteenth birthday when Emily Bhatnagar's father was diagnosed with stage four thyroid cancer. After spending months caring for him in between her high school classes, Emily began her own battle with serious health issues and was also hospitalized. During her treatment, Emily found comfort in books – escaping to many different adventures on the page. The relief she experienced while reading inspired her to give this same gift to others. Here's how she did it:

We're all trying to help those we love channel their main character energy. Now, with LoveBook it's never been easier. Whether it's your best friend, romantic partner, parent, child or even yourself, LoveBook is all about sharing the love and making people feel special. Here's how it works:

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Joy

A new picture book, 'Pigeon & Cat,' teaches readers young and old about the power of compassion

“I want it to be like a unifying book, you know? Just to remind us all that we're all in this together,” author Edward Hemingway said.

Little, Brown and Company/Edward Hemingway

Edward Hemingway talks about his new picture book, "Pigeon & Cat."

I’m going to say it right now: I think picture books get a bad rap. They’re written off as silly books for little ones, but there are a lot of picture books out there that have strong messages and deal with real issues. A new picture book, “Pigeon & Cat,” by author Edward Hemingway, may be written for kids, but it’s certainly a book that will teach a lesson to everyone who reads it.

Dealing with issues like homelessness and empathy, “Pigeon & Cat” tells the story of an unlikely pair of animal friends who find each other and lose each other. But it also teaches how one simple act of kindness can change someone’s life.

I got to chat with Hemingway about what inspired him to write such a story and what writing this book has taught him about living life in the last couple years.

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