Thanks to the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle for the strange but positive news that alcohol tourism by Finns helps to fund Estonian literature.
What happens is that Finns nip across the Gulf of Finland to Tallinn to stock up on the cheaper booze there, and some of the taxes raised by that spending are ring-fenced to support an Estonian cultural fund.
The Finnish Commerce Federation found that 84 per cent of Finns visiting Estonia had bought alcohol, indirectly contributing to a healthier Estonian cultural scene. In all, Finns imported some 28.5 million litres of alcohol from Estonia, and this contributed to a boom in publishing, with 4,000 books hitting the shelves last year.
It’s the best proof that drinking is good news for literature since Olivia Laing’s "The Trip to Echo Spring": Why Writers Drink" was published earlier this month.