For a few weeks now, I keep seeing more and more flatlays on Instagram capturing this tiny book with light beige, blue and gold vintage design. It’s called The Little Book of Hygge – The Danish Way to Live Well. So when I found it on 50% sale, I had to buy and read it to see what all the fuss is about.
The Little Book of Hygge is written my Meik Wiking (close enough to Viking), who’s a researcher at The Happiness Institute in Copenhagen. Northern countries, especially Denmark, are famous for being one of the happiest countries in Europe and in the world. So what better way than a cute, little book to explain Danes’ lifestyle?
But first things first: what does this weird word – hygge mean?!
Wikipedia says that hygge means:
“In both Danish and Norwegian, hygge (pronounced hue-gə or hoo-gə) refers to “a form of everyday togetherness”, “a pleasant and highly valued everyday experience of safety, equality, personal wholeness and a spontaneous social flow.”
I still have issues pronouncing it right. But I guess it’s ok to pronounce it as you wish, since we’re all foreign. 🙂
I’ve read the book in less than a day. That’s because, although it has almost 300 pages, there are a lot of pictures. Yay! It is easy to read and to understand, so what better way to spend a Saturday if not reading a book about a happy lifestyle?
This book has the perfect ingredients to become an Instagram obsession:
- it had a really cool front cover design – so it looks amazing in flat lays;
- it’s tiny;
- it’s about lifestyle.
The Little Book of Hyggee takes you through each chapter of Danmark’s lifestyle: food, clothing, home decor, cooking, travel. Meik Wiking gets through each of these chapters and explains why and how Danes are the happiest. (One of the reasons is that they consume twice Europe’s average quantity of sweets. Cool.) One of the main points of their happiness is their life/work life balance. While we can’t always separate these two, Danes are apparently very good at it. The truth is, although we have the same working schedule (well, four weeks of paid leave, not five) we can’t leave work at the office. And it’s difficult to let your work life at the office when you enjoy your job.
You get a full tour of the Danish culture because Wiking included some recipes (including mulled wine), cafes and must-visit spots in Copenhagen. Danish lifestyle is all about feeling nice and cosy. Living in a cold, Northern country will make you wanna feel cosy. Especially when you have to spend almost 6 months indoors because it’s dark and cold outside.
So, without further ado, here are the reasons I think this book is an obsession:
- it has a lot of Instagram – cosy pictures;
- it includes pretty much everything: nice cafes to visit in Copenhagen, some traditional recipes, a DIY project, suggestions of activities that will make you feel the Danish lifestyle, some home decor tips, a little bit of fashion, travel recommendations and some stats about different cultures and happiness;
- in a very weird way, you feel really cosy, nice and warm while reading it. Wiking has a free way of expressing everything, which is attractive and easy to read;
- it includes references to Game of Thrones and other TV series;
- let’s be honest: it’s about happiness and cosiness – who wouldn’t enjoy these?!
The Little Book of Hygge is about culture and how to live better, happier. Why wouldn’t you want to read about how you can be happier? As far as I understood, the Danes are all about finding happiness in small things, living the moment and appreciate it all.
There is an ugly truth that I have to say: the Northern lifestyle obsessing came all of a sudden. Everyone is now obsessed with Scandinavian home decor, everything from IKEA is amazing and so on. I don’t think that something changed in the lifestyle of the Northern people since we got obsessed with their lifestyle. People just started to advertise it more intense and this book came out as perfect timing. But overall is a nice and easy read. As I mentioned, nothing fancy about it, just a nice read to find out more about a new culture and its (happy) lifestyle.
This book must be read while drinking a nice, warm mug of tea.