this is not a review: ‘the little book of hygge’, by meik wiking

 

Lovely read, a couple of hours tops is all that’s needed. Pretty pics, very lifestyle magazine in vibe, but don’t discount it because of that. The hygge principle is worth inhaling even if, like me, you’re already pretty hygge’d up, that is, you’ve got a life where simplicity, joy, chocolate and tea play a big role.

The Little Book of Hygge is still a sweet thing to thumb through on a grey afternoon.

— My favourite part is ‘Ten Unique Words and Phrases from Around the World’, which includes…

Iktsuarpok (Inuit) The feeling of anticipating that leads you to look outside to see if anyone is coming.

Friolero (Spanish) A person who is very sensitive to cold weather.

Hanyauku (Rukwangali; Nambia) Walking on your toes on warm sand.

Tsundoko (Japanese) The constant act of buying books but never reading them.

Schilderwald (German) A street with so man road signs that you become lost.

**

Hygge itself, a kind of deep comfort, is described by the author Meik Wiking (is that not the best name?) as “…humble and slow. It is choosing rustic over new, simple over posh and ambience over excitement. In many ways, hygge might be the Danish cousin to slow and simple living.”

There’s a lot about soft, comfy blankets and fires. Much chocolate. Doing simple things (simplicity is key). Much about friends, food, games, music. Much of hygge takes place indoors, the Danish weather, apparently being what it is, especially in winter. Many candles, much coffee, socks.

There are actual Hyggesocken.

In one of the wee sections (all sections are wee) the author tells of their own hygge TV viewing preference which is to watch only one or two episodes at a time of a favourite series, then wait a week or more to watch another one. The opposite of binging. Made me think of The World Before Taping Things Much Less Netflix and how restaurants would empty at 8:30 because the next episode of Shogun was on that night. I’m referring of course to the eighties.

Hygge also suggests that we allow ourselves to play.

“One of our issues as adults is that we become too focused on the results of an activity. We work to earn money. We go to the gym to lose weight. We spend time with people to network and further our careers. What happened to doing something just because it’s fun?”

Like I said, I think I’m already doing hygge.

Including leaving restos by 8:30.

Seems I like reading about hygge every few years.

Also worth reading is this on Denmark’s social framework and its role in creating a deep-breathing, hyggesocken-filled society.

 

 

6 thoughts on “this is not a review: ‘the little book of hygge’, by meik wiking

    1. It occurred to me that I already own a pair of hygge socks… mine came from Mark’s Work Warehouse. They are amazingly soft and warm, very thick and almost like wearing slippers. And I don’t like socks OR slippers. I prefer bare feet year round. My only exception (indoors) is my Mark’s hyggesocken, haha!

  1. I was actually sitting under a soft, comfy blanket by the fire eating chocolate as I read your review (still am except the chocolate’s gone) so I appear to be doing it too, but I still think I’d like the book. It just sounds so comforting. One thing though, even if hygge is mostly indoors, I do think it’s enhanced by having been outdoors doing bracing things earlier in the day, don’t you?

    1. Yes, absolutely, Elizabeth. And I think the outdoors figures hugely in Danish lifestyles. Which, just as you say, makes the ‘hygge’ elements even stronger, more appreciated. There’s another book that talks more generally about all this, ‘The Year of Living Danishly’, which I also reviewed on Matilda. https://matildamagtree.com/2016/11/22/this-is-not-a-review-the-year-of-living-danishly-by-helen-russell/

      That books also touches on their social infrastructure… a glorious thing by the sound of it.

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