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the little book of hygge

Why Instagrammers are Losing It to The Little Book of Hygge

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 batter way than a cute, little book to explain Danes’ lifestyle?

A post shared by Cristina | *janded (@janded) on

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 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.

Perfect combo.

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 the Europe’s average quantity of sweets. Cool.) One of the main point 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.

the little book of hygge

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 moths 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 the 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 a 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.

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  • Great recap. I also purchased this book. I love the concept being cozy and warm inside and out is right up my alley. Not that I needed a reason to buy more candles but this book made me go out and get more. Thanks for sharing. Also the flatlays on instagram under the hygge tag are amazing.

  • Brittany Strawbridge

    hahah Love this! I got this book last year and LOVE it so much!! & so true, I see it everywhere!

  • Jessica Jacobowitz Weinberg

    It sounds like such an interesting book. I am definitely going to pick it up. And it has such an instagrammable cover!
    xo Jessica

  • Victoria

    Thank you for giving me the 411! I had been wandering about this. I’d like to read it soon! Totally going to look up this hashtag now too.
    Victoria | http://www.thesoutherntrunk.com

  • I’m really intrigued about this practice. I don’t yet know much about it so sounds like I need check the book out!

  • I’ve been hearing about this book a lot lately too! I’ll have to check it out! My uncle actually lived in Denmark for several years after college, I bet he’d enjoy it too!

    • Then he should give some really nice advice of how to live the Danish dream.

  • Sounds like a great read! Sometimes it’s the little simple things that we need to make us happy but we just overcomplicate and forget to focus on what matters the most

  • Nailil Ivaldi

    This is my first time hearing about this book. I may have to check it out because I’m curious now.

  • John

    What a cool book! I need to check this out.

  • Lisa

    I read this book in an afternoon, cosiness of the soul describes my ideal state – always! haha

    Lisa | http://www.abadvegan.co.uk

  • Hena Jose

    Good sum up on this book. would try to get a copy soon

  • Oh yeah, I’ve heard of this! Another BPPer talked about this in a post a couple of months ago. I actually haven’t seen this book in my feed, but I can totally see it being popular!

    • Really? Then I guess it’s stalking me everywhere on Instagram and Insta Stories.

  • Mattie | Growing The Givens

    Sign me up for happy and cozy! And also all the sweets :)

  • Sara C

    I’ve never heard of this book, it looks adorable and right up my street. Perhaps I’ll have to start featuring it in some of my instagram photos :) Thank you for sharing :)

  • Amanda | Maple Alps

    Definitely have to look out for this book! How fun!

  • I’ve been seeing this book everywhere! I guess I need to find it and read it.

  • Jamie

    How interesting!! I need to sit down and read this book with a hot cup of tea. I love learning about new cultures, and who doesn’t want to read a book about how to live a happier life!?!

  • love the little book of hygge!! such a cool trend

  • Isn’t it crazy how a flat lay can make a book about Danish lifestyles explode! It’s so awesome.

    • Yes, the power of social media should never be underestimated.

  • I’ve never heard of this book but it sounds amazing. I love learning about other cultures; the Danes really seem to have the secret of life and they consume twice the amount of sweets?!?

    • Yes, I know! And they’re not the fattest or the most sick people in Europe, on the contrary – they are the happiest!

  • How interesting, I hadn’t heard of this book! I have a friend who lives in Norway and I’m always fascinated by the culture over there.

  • Lacee Lynne Glidewell

    I’ve heard about this book too. I’ve been curious what it was about also. Thanks for the info!

  • Leighann Hall

    I’ve seen this a few times but never knew what it was about! I’m certainly interested!

  • jillconyers

    I have used Hygge concepts for the last few years. The concepts are simple and it feels good.

    • I’m going to start using them more from now on too.

  • Wow I’ve actually never seen this book before, but now I want to check it out!

  • Sheila Jo Spencer

    Thanks for the vocabulary lesson today! Haven’t heard of this book before, but the cover does look great in photos! Not a tea drinker, but I’d be willing to sip one of the mulled wine recipes while reading this book…

    • Hope you’ll enjoy the book, Sheila, if you decide to read it.

  • Very cool, I’ll have to check it out!

  • I hadn’t heard of this book before, but now I might just have to add it to my to read list!