HEADING outdoors? Don’t forget your wellies and umbrella – a “book flood” is on the way.

Publishing bosses aim to convince Scots to create a deluge of literature that will flow through the festive season.

Organisers want to encourage the public to practice the Icelandic tradition of Jolbokaflod – which roughly translates as “Christmas book flood” – and during which paperbacks are swapped on Christmas Eve and the night spent reading.

The tradition is so popular that most book sales in the country occur between September and December. Now people in Scotland are urged to take part in their own ScotBookFlood to celebrate links with Nordic countries and encourage the sharing of literature as part of Book Week Scotland.

The promotion follows the recent Arctic Circle Forum in Edinburgh, a three-day summit attended by ministers and delegates from Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and is backed by our friends in the north.

Kristín Vidarsdottir, head of international cooperation at Reykjavík City of Literature, said: “Our literatures have crossed paths through the ages as have our people and our languages. We can trace our connection to the very settlement of Iceland, as many of our ancestors came here from the British Isles.”

A social media campaign using the hashtag #ScotBookFlood is already on the go and the campaign will also include giveaways of titles for older and younger readers.

No specific suggestions for swappable reads have been made, but perhaps participants could consider titles with an aquatic edge, like Val McDermid’s crime novel The Mermaids Singing, or The Ebb-Tide, penned by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne.

Ian Rankin’s release, The Flood, must surely be a strong contender, perhaps along with Rain by Barney Campbell.

Marion Sinclair, chief executive of Publishing Scotland, said: “An increasing emphasis on book design and creating beautiful books these days means ScotBookFlood is an excellent opportunity to showcase books as the perfect gift.”

Duncan Furness, of Topping and Company Booksellers in St Andrews, said: “The gift of a book at Christmas provides much more than a diverting story or set of facts. Books contain entire worlds, and have the power to change our perception with every read and re-read. They are paper treasures which last a lifetime.”