Sunday Post - 01.09.1940, Blaðsíða 2

Sunday Post - 01.09.1940, Blaðsíða 2
2 SUNDAY POST Round Reykjavik’s Bookshops. When British troops landed in Iceland j two of the first commodities to boom were beer and books. When after a fort- night the entire supply of beer had been sold, Iceland’s rigid licensing laws forbade the importation of fresh supplies from England. The booksellers were more for- tunate. At least five shops in Reykjavik receive supplies of books ,,magazines'1 and newspapers from England two or three times a week. Periodicals of course are unavoidably late in arriving — ten days is a good average — but the range and variety is excellent and although the de- mand is still greater than the supply it is generally possible to obtain most of the leading dailies in addition to “Picture Post”, “War Illustrated” and other popu- lar magazines. In some directions the selection is even wider than in England. How many Eng- lish newsagents for example can offer the “Psychic News” or “Light” or “The New Times and Ethiopian News”? Where in England is there so large a choice of books on chess? For the Icelander in the long winter evenings has two great standbys, chess and spiritualism. As long ago as 1896 a learned Manchester man travelling in Iceland put on record the great interest in psychic phenomena and noted that “re- markable results are said to have been ob- tained”. Since then it is understood even more remarkable results have been ob- tained, while Icelandic chess-players have already badly worsted more than one member of H. M. Forces. The „New Times and Ethiopian” News however is not so easily explained. Whe this paper (edited by Sylvia Pankhurst the veteran Suffragette) and virtually unknown in England should have so wide an appeal here, remains a mystery. Can it be that the case of the Negus against the man he once unhappily referred to in English as ,,my enema the Douche” arouses more interest here than in England? The best selections of British books have to be found at Snsebjorn Jonssons English Bookshop next door to the Hotel Island, and at Eymundsen opposite the Post- office. Snaebjorn Jonsson is one of Ice- lands leading English Scholars and has a son in the R. A. F. He is the author of an Icelandic Grammar in English which cer- tain; optimists have purchased, though few get further than the chapter on the alphabet, which reminds among other things that “the letter G. has five main sounds in Icelandic” Mr Jonsson is sel- dom there himself but leaves the shop in charge of one or other of two identical twin girls. Besides a full stock of Penguins there is a large number of Oxford Classics, thrill- ers, novels and books on history politics and travel and — of course — spiritalism and chess. There is also a book by a “well known” British Pyramidist by the name of Rutherford which proves coneusively from measurements macfe on the Great Pyramid in Egypt that Iceland will save the World in 1994 (It is expected that we will all get 48 hours leave in celebration of this event). Just across the road is another bookshop which shows another interesting sidelight on Icelandic life. Tucked away in a corner is a large number of manuals on gliding all, significantly, in German, Gliding as a sport has besoee vemy popular in Iceland in recent years largely under the guidance of German instructors who more than probably kept one eye on their pupils while the other sought out possible landing (Continued on page 7.)


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