The Icelandic publisher that only prints books during a full moon – then burns them
Tunglið is a tiny imprint that defies conventional business models, incinerating work that doesn’t sell immediately. Its creators explain their ‘poetic act’
For Tunglið, how you publish is as important as what you publish. Named after the Icelandic word for the moon, the tiny publisher prints its books in batches of 69 on the night of a full moon. So far, so weird. But keen readers must also buy their books that same night, as the publisher burns all unsold copies. Weirder still.
Why? While most books can survive centuries or even millennia, Tunglið – as its two employees tell me – “uses all the energy of publishing to fully charge a few hours instead of spreading it out over centuries … For one glorious evening, the book and its author are fully alive. And then, the morning after, everyone can get on with their lives.”
[We] use only first-grade French cognac to help to fuel the flames.