By LOUISE THOMASON
A PROMOTIONAL guide to Shetland was among a set of books launched at the Town Hall on Monday. Shetland Islands Today is included in a collection of four books, which also features guides to Greenland, Faroe and Iceland, created by Icelandic publisher Halldór Pállson.
Launched as a commercial enterprise, the Shetland book comprises a collection of contributions from local journalists, historians, heads of business and environmental experts, and features a variety of aspects of life in Shetland, including culture, food, sport and information on the land itself, as well as a large number of colour photos.
At the launch SIC convenor Sandy Cluness said he was very happy that the Shetland book had been published. “I am pleased to see Shetland included in this collection.”
Also present was VisitShetland manager Andy Steven, who said he was proud to have a copy of the book which he described as “a tangible example of the way countries can work together”.
He said that while it was disappointing that the connection provided by the Norröna between Shetland, Norway, Iceland and Faroe had been lost, the books represented the strong link that Shetland has with these Nordic countries. Shetland Islands Today will be used for both retail and marketing purposes. “I would be keen to see the books used in cruise ships, for example, particularly as a box set,” he said.
Mr Pállson, whose publishing company has also produced books for Gabon, South Africa and Slovenia, said he felt that Shetland should be included in the series after being encouraged to visit the islands by the Faroese, who had told him of the similarities between Shetland and Faroe.
After a positive response from Mr Cluness and Mr Steven, it was agreed the books should be produced and although the process had not run as smoothly as expected, he was happy that there was a good outcome. He said: “I feel very much at home here, the people are very similar to Icelanders. This is the first run of the Shetland books, but hopefully translations will be made into the languages of the other books in the set, that would be great.” Mr Pállson said he would like to thank the Shetland people and in particular Mr Cluness and Mr Steven for their belief in the project and in him.
The books will be used as a marketing tool for the islands, but will also be available in bookshops. The set is being sold for £80, while the Shetland book is available on its own for £20.