Sleipnir and the Joy of Reading

Reykjavík City of Literature has made the mythological horse Sleipnir its special partner. Sleipnir is an eight-legged horse from Norse mythology. He is the horse of Odin, god of wisdom and poetry, and can travel freely from one world to another. Thus Sleipnir is a good symbolic for the mind-travel that we experience through reading. It is safe to say that Sleipnir is no ordinary horse, as he stands for the power of imagination.

Reykjavík UNESCO City of Literature has appointed Sleipnir as the Children's Reading Buddy. Sleipnir reminds us about the JOY OF READING - the adventure and travel in time and space that reading brings us. He encourages us to get to know the world through reading. 

In the name of Sleipnir, the Reykjavík City of Literature takes part in projects that encourage children and young people to read. 

The name Sleipnir means he who travels swiftly. Sleipnir is said to be the best of all horses. Some sources claim that he has runes carved on his teeth. In modern times, the saying goes that the canyon Ásbyrgi in North-Iceland was formed by Sleipnir, when one of his giant hoofs touched the ground. This canyon is shaped in the form of a horse-shoe.

Sleipnir is associated with various reading initiatives for the younger generation. His first task for the City of Literature was to invite children and their families to an outdoor literary quiz at the Reykjavík Children’s Culture Festival in April 2012. Since then, the live-Sleipnir has started appearing at events hosted by the City of Literature and a book has been written about him.

Each summer, Sleipnir encourages children of all ages to take part in the Reykjavík City Library Summer Reading program.

How Does the Reykjavík City of Literature Use Sleipnir in Reading Promotion?

Sleipnir visits Reykjavík daycares, libraries and schools.

Sleipnir book and toolkit is available for teachers and library staff.

Sleipnir is the symbol for the Reykjavík City Children‘s Literature Prize.

Reading is Key – Booklet handed out to all Reykjavík parents in infant care visit through cooperation between the Reykjavik City of Literature and Reykjavik Healthcare Centres.