For 12 years (1987-1998), Kerttu Tapiola organized Kerttu Book Days in front of his own antiquarian shop, the prototype of Sysmä Book Village Days. Since 1999, Sysmä’s Kirjakyläyhdistys ra. has organized summer two- to three-day Kirjakyläpäivät (later Book Village Days) at Sysmä’s market.

At the Book Village Days, the Book Village Prize is awarded to writers near Päijät-Häme (value €1,000). Recipients of the award have been e.g. Sirkka Lassila, Raimo J. Kinnunen, Tiina Pystynen, Katri Lipson, Pirkko Koskimies, Petri Tamminen, Timo Sandberg and Kimmo Oksanen. The prize has been awarded 21 times.

The themes of the Book Village Days have been 2013 Forest Books, 2014 Children and Children’s Books, and in 2015 we celebrated and presented the 30-year history of the Book Village Days, 2016 Sysmä books, 2017 Suomi 100, 2018 Novels, 2019 Contemporary Writers, 2021 The Joy of Reading and 2022 The Joy of Reading.

Since 2011, the literary event Night of Books has been organized. In 2011-2016, Yleisradio’s editor Tarleena Sammalkorpi served as our artistic director. The event consists of two parts, an evening of theater performances and a day of author interviews. Our current artistic director is journalist J.P. Pulkkinen.

In 2019, association published the 120-page book Sysmä’s Kirjakylä, which tells about the history of events spanning more than three decades. The book has been donated to Sysmä’s municipal councilors and high school students of Sysmä’s unified school.

Sysmä declared itself Finland’s Book Village in 1997 and joined the international booktown network (IOB). The International Booktown Days were held in Sysmä in 2002. You can read more about the topic on the website of Sysmä’s municipality. The text is there only in finnish. You can read more about IOB from here (

Sysmä’s Kirjakyläyhdistys ra. operates as a voluntary non-profit association.

According to its rules, the purpose of the association is to promote the citizens’ spontaneous interest in literature and to renew and develop the citizens’ understanding of culture.

The association cooperates a lot with the writers of Sysmä municipality, the library, the writer’s residence Villa Sarkia by organizing literary events and visiting writers to the community throughout the year.