Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Reading my books - The Book of Hygge

I am sure that you are well aware of the Hygge bandwagon, there have been many books published, websites and blogs writing just about Hygge and then others of us mentioning doing Hygge things.  I don't think you can have failed to miss it!

Hygge is something which has interested me for some time, well before the recent flourishing of all things Hygge.  I think I first heard about it on a television programme maybe five years ago or so.  I have also had a long held - decades long! - ambition, as yet unfulfilled, to travel to any of the Scandinavian countries so it has been on my radar for a while now.

So when these books starting appearing, well, I had to have a read and see what they were all about.  I have bought a few (!) but have only read one so far.  My first was The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits.  I thought it was a great read, and it really explains that Hygge is far more than just a candle and a blanket which I think is often the popular idea of what it is all about.



The book is split into six chapters which really break down the meaning of Hygge.  Belonging, Shelter, Comfort, Wellbeing, Simplicity and Observance.  In a way just those six words explain what it is all about.  However, as you read more you find that it is deeper than this.

It is often said that Hygge does not have a direct translation, although some translate it as "cosy".  At the start of the book the author gives a definition which reads thus

"Hygge (pronounced 'hue-gah') is a quality of presence and an experience of togetherness.  It is a feeling of being warm, safe and comforted and sheltered.

Hygge is an experience of selfhood and communion withpeople and places that anchors and affirms us, gives us courage and consolation.

To Hygge is to invite intimacy and connection.  It's a feeling of engagement and relatedness, of belonging to the moment and to each other.  Hygge is a sense of abundance and contentment.  Hygge is about being not having."

From reading the book, I think it really sums it up well.  It is certainly what I am looking for in life and therefore in Hygge.

I marked many of the passages as I was reading - that is what the little tabs are that are sticking out in the photo! - and I plan to share some of these little pieces in my Five On Friday posts, just a little bit here and there to hopefully inspire you in the way these words have inspired me.

I think we all need to remember the importance of being not doing.  We are human beings, not human doings after all!

I look forward to sharing more of this with you in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, did I enjoy the book?  Was it a good read?  Would I recommend it?  Would I recommend Hygge?  Is it more than a blanket and a candle?  The answer to all of these is a very large and resounding YES!

This is a book that you can read, and then read again and enjoy.  Just the experience of reading it and taking time to read it and think about it is in itself Hygge for me!  I will be reading this book again and referring back to the passages that I have marked.

What are your thoughts about Hygge, do you think there is something deeper to it, is it something you are trying to practice?  Do share your thoughts!

Happy reading!

Amy

p.s. you can read my other book reviews here, or by clicking the "reading my books" link at the top right of the sidebar.

31 comments:

  1. Staying in Copenhagen I got a great sense of hygge from these people. Their whole way of life seems so much more relaxed than ours. Definitely enjoying the moment rather than seeking the impossible that most of us seem to try to do. Have a lovely day. B x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for this very interesting post and book review Amy. I am tempted to get this book now. Love the whole concept of hygge and think it is something I've always tried to do before I realised it had a name :)
    Have a happy week.
    Helen xox

    ReplyDelete
  3. Loved to read your review Amy! I am sort of 'struggling' with hygge.... When we were in Denmark some years ago we didn't feel it at all ;-)! And also because it feels like something you have to do at the moment because of all those books. Having said that, the whole idea speaks to me very much, so I will at least read one if those books! Love from Mirjam xxx.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hello Amy thank you for this book review ,I too have been interested in all this Hygge hype .I feel I've already been practising Hygge but called it Christian mindfulness ,that is to be contented with life ,see the beauty in the everyday and good in everyone .My life changed drastically 14years ago when I was left to raise my third baby alone alongside my older son who has mental health issues .I gave up my career in order to take up this challenge of a path I now believe was sent by our Lord .To me hygge is learning to live a simple life ,to count your blessings ,to believe in prayer ,hope and love .To slow things down to live in the moment and know that things will be ok ,to keep faith .I now live a simple carefree and happy life with two wonderful sons .

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have been seeing the word "hygge" everywhere lately. Thanks for helping me understand its meaning a bit better :)

    Colletta

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think it is very trendy now. It came up on my radar about five years ago when some of my blog photos landed in a folder at Pinterest titled Hygge. What?! Despite the trendiness, its meaning is as old as time and many people of all nationalities have been practicing it for ages. The book sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for this review, Amy. I actually have this book sitting in a stack beside my bed. I need to move it to the top and have a read! Like you, I've been interested in hygge long before it became "a thing." A couple years ago I even did monthly posts on the subject.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I must put that on my list to read, I am hoping to catch up with some reading once we have moved and life calms to a more relaxing pace. Take care.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have been noticing the trend too, and had that same response that other's have mentioned: I've been doing this all along, in my life, my home, for family and friends, without knowing it had a name. Trendy or not, I like reading about how others approach life at home. I have been reading The Cozy Life by Pia Edberg, a Canadian of Danish descent. I will have to keep my eye out for the book you mentioned. I think a book of this sort, with some candles, extra special hot cocoa mix, etc. would be a nice wedding gift for a young couple.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hygge was the fad of 2016...this year it appears to be "Self Care Boxes"!
    Hygge is something that has been around for decades all around the world by a variety of names.
    I do so hate it when something, that is part of the everyday lifestyle for ordinary folk becomes 'trendy' and then exploited.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amy, I love the focus on this way of living. I have a small book that lists 33 ways to practice it in your own home. I have to admit though, my father ingrained this sense of GO GO GO , Have GOals, BE busy, idle hands are bad etc. So It is hard for me to do this and not feel guilty. I know my fathers way now, was not a healthy way, but it was all he knew

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love the Scandinavian lifestyle and this hygge practice is something I think we all do in our homes in order to live in a happy, comfortable and friendly environment. Hygge just sounds cute and trendy!

    ReplyDelete
  13. It sounds very interesting Amy, I have read similar books in the past but not this one, I do like this type of book it keeps me grounded. :) xx

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've saw this book and several others around such a lot before Christmas and have been tempted to try one of them. Like you I first heard of Hygge on TV a few years ago and I've just remembered it was a Coast programme with Neil Oliver visiting the Danish coast and islands:)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have never heard of hygge - many thanks for enlightening me.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've heard about Hygge from a friend & think I'll look out for the book & feel that it might be a help for me. Thanks Amy & take care.

    ReplyDelete
  17. A very helpful book review. All these Hygge books rather appeal to me but I haven't read (or bought) any yet as I don't know which one to go for! This one sounds pretty good!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hygge is another Scandinavian thing that's become trendy here in the UK. But as many here have said, we're already practicing it in our own everyday life, in our homes, within our family and friends. It's definitely more than just candles and a cosy blanket and it's good to have books like this one so we can find out more about it. x

    ReplyDelete
  19. I look forward to seeing your 5 on Friday post on this subject! I'm really so tired of seeing the word "hygge" for what so many of us do naturally but I am open to reading your thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I honestly don't know a lot about hygge, but I saw a book that our library had on its ebook list and am on the waiting list to read it to find out more.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This sounds like an interesting book Amy and worth reading. Thanks for the review and I shall certainly look out for it in the bookshop. Looking forward to your Five on Friday too.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I came home from school today, made myself a plate of crackers and cheese, and settled down in front of the fire with the computer. I feel content and will soon get up to make dinner. Taking time to replenish oneself is part of hygge, I think. Looking forward to more writing on this topic.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have also read about this on several blogs and I think I could use a little hygge in my life, sounds lovely. xx

    ReplyDelete
  24. This sounds very interesting, Amy. I've heard of this concept and am interested in reading more of your thoughts......Sending hugs xx K

    ReplyDelete
  25. I can confirm from our stay in Copenhagen there is a definite feeling of huge everywhere. It's as much to do with the attitude of the people as much as anything. I got that book for Christmas too!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love it, too! A book to savor!

    ReplyDelete
  27. It's interesting how it's gained awareness in recent times. A perfect antidote to all the inward looking selfishness and mistrust loud in the world right now x

    ReplyDelete
  28. While I have seen it mentioned in a variety of posts this year, I have not actually read a book about it, so I am interested to read what your reaction is to the book you read. From what you typed I think I experience hygge as I try to be a Christ follower...I look forward to reading when you share more about it. xx

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ever since I was a little girl, 'cozy' was my most favourite word and feeling. I might have to go chase that book down. A lovely post.

    Wishing you a beautiful weekend, Amy.
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  30. There are so many books out there trumpeting this style of living it's difficult to know which ones explain it properly and which ones are just jumping on the bandwagon. It's definitely more than just candles and more than a lifestyle fad.
    Lisa x

    ReplyDelete
  31. Either I have been living under a rock (quite possible) or this latest craze has yet to hit Australia. I will buy the book when I am in the UK in a few weeks as you have got me really interested now!
    Wren x

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so very much for stopping by to visit and for leaving a comment, I love hearing what you have to say and I read all of your messages.

All comments are moderated, so it might take a little while for your comment to appear, but it will once I have read it!

Thank you again for visiting!

Amy xx