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!
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.