“She makes all the decisions; chooses which books are printed and how and chooses the colours and paper, and I’m really just her spokesperson and see to all the things that are difficult for cats to do,” says Birta Ósmann Þórhallsdóttir about her cat and colleague Skriða. The two manage a book publishing company of the same name based in Patreksfjörður in the southern Westfjords.
“I take care of the VAT number, of course, and the company registration number and all of these practical things having to do with book publishing but I don’t do anything without consulting [Skriða] and she consults me as well,” Birta says, admitting that the work is not evenly distributed. “I do most of the dirty work, the accounting. She can’t be bothered to do it.”
Publishing company Skriða was founded in 2019 and has published eight books. The focus is printing good-quality books that have thoughtful content but are also beautiful objects. All of the books are currently printed in Reykjavík, but Birta hopes one day to set up a printing press in her basement so the books could be made on site.
Birta says her working relationship with Skriða is a good one. “It’s genuinely gratifying and fun. She’s not ingratiating, she sets down clear guidelines on how things should be done.”
Skriða the cat was present for the interview but made no comment to reporters.