Norway is the top spot to write a book


According to the Spanish literary magazine, Babelia – El Pais, Norway comes out on top of the best places in the world to be a writer or a publisher.

To inject new life into and protect their culture from the influence of the English-speaking world, the Norwegian government actively promotes book reading by buying 1,000 copies of every Norwegian book published, and 1,500 copies for children’s books.

"It was a very serious situation for a country as small as ours with a territorially so limited language," explains Oliver Møystad, head of fiction at NORLA (Norwegian Literature Abroad) headquarters in Oslo. "There was a fear that it could disappear if something was not done to promote literature, which has always been considered a source of renewal and transmission of the language."  

The scheme has kept many small publishers alive and provides a rare source of income for the country’s writers. 

Bookshops won’t discount a new book in its first year and there is no tax on books. Norway’s support of its writers and other artists has helped to secure their place in world literature, quite the challenge for a country of only 5 million people.

Story sourced from Babelia - El Pais.

A phone booth in Norway converted to a public library. Photo Jo