The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Wellby Meik Wiking Published 1 Sep 2016
|The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well.pdf|
Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That's down to one thing: hygge.
'Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight...'
You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.
Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.
Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.
"The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well" Reviews
Lifecycle of an idea:
1) hear about it on NPR
2) identify with it. tell friends about it.
3) buy book about it.
4) begin reading book.
5) realise there are suddenly *a lot* of books on this topic.
6) start to suspect book is just a big advertisement put out by one of those agencies that determines what will be trendy for next season.
7) book seems to really want you to buy woolen socks.
8) book is poorly written and repeats itself.
9) see a new twee danish crap store in your big mall.
10) reach peak despair.
11) burn book. the crackling fire, you are told, is very hygge.
12) find peace with the ease with which the corporate world manipulates your interests and desires.
13) write a goodreads review.
This "Little Book of Hygge", written by the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, sets out to explore the Danish phenomenon 'hygge': What it is and how you can achieve it. It's always fascinating to read about your own people, but to me this petite book was even more fascinating because it explores something that I consider a constant and a necessity in my everyday life.
The question is: Do I agree with everything in this book? Does it give you an honest impression of Danes' lives, happiness and how we 'hygge'? The answer is: Yes! I couldn't find any faults with this book, and I was so impressed with how it defined 'hygge' spot-on that I've been inspired to do a video on just this phenomenon.
If you desire to know more about how to create a 'hyggelig' atmosphere in your home or around people, definitely read this book. It speaks the truth and encaptures the real spirit of 'Hygge', and it doesn't hurt that the book is beautifully designed and comes with gorgeous pictures.
The whole idea of Hygge is really lovely. Actually, I think that everybody follows it, having no idea that it has a name. Well, who doesn’t enjoy the winter evening with a cup of cocoa or the fragnance of just baked cake? It is quite a nice book in terms of appreciating life’s little pleasures, but it lacks actual content. The majority of the book is filled with photographs or some really boring statistics and the author doesn’t say anything insightful. I mean, we all have been there, done that. Just didn’t realise it has a fancy, Danish name. Nice graphic design, poor content.
This book is beautifully presented, nice cover, quality paper, modern typeface, and beautiful photography. Looks like cross between an Ikea catalogue and a Waitrose food magazine. I found the content fluffy, repetitive and patronising. I'm not danish and have not previously heard of Hygge but am aware that candles, real fires, friends and sharing food you have cooked yourself is good fun and makes you happy. I thought the book was going to let me in on some secrets of Danish happiness, I was disappointed to find it stated the obvious, but lots of people seem to really like it.
I should begin my review of The Little Book of Hygge with a confession: I hate winter. I hate everything about winter. I hate the snow. I hate the cold. I hate coats and hats and mittens. The months of January and February could be wiped off the calendar for all I care. I’ll take a double dose of July and August in their place. Sometimes I wish I was a bear so I could just sleep through the whole thing and wake up in the spring. So the concept of hygge, originating from a people long accustomed to dealing with cold weather, is not one that easily resonates with me. At least, not until I read Meik Wiking’s explanation of hyggekrog.
As I was reading, I spontaneously remembered my very first apartment. It was a two room apartment above a store in the heart of the village of Westbury. I furnished it with an assortment of hand-me-downs from my parents’ apartment. Appropriately enough for the topic of discussion here, it was mostly the Danish Modern furniture that was so popular at midcentury.
Since the kitchen was the larger of the two rooms (the second room being the bedroom), there was ample space for a comfy old wingback chair with worn orange upholstery. It fit perfectly in a corner with an equally battered end table, a ginger jar table lamp, and a three shelf bookcase that held my then-tiny library. It became my special reading nook.
The apartment faced the street, so I could sit almost anywhere and look out at the main road of the village anytime I wanted. This was especially pleasant to do during the Christmas season when strings of lights adorned the lamp posts and store windows. This was a time before chain stores dominated the village landscape, when the stores were still all Mom & Pop stores, each with its unique personality. There was a local movie theater, a pizzeria, a delicatessen, and next door to me a card & gift shop that played Christmas carols from a speaker outside.
One day I heard what sounded like a parade going down the street, so I went to one of the windows to see what was going on and it was indeed a parade. A little parade going down my little street. I poured myself a cup of coffee, sat down at my kitchen table next to the open window, and watched the parade. It never happened again, which only served to make the experience more special.
Although I only lived there for three years, and that was over thirty years ago, I still remember it fondly: the street, the stores, the sleepy village atmosphere (even though it was only forty minutes from Penn Station by LIRR), all seen from my little perch on the second floor, and most of all, my hyggekrog with its comfy chair, soft light, and favorite books.
Perhaps hygge is not such a strange concept to me after all.