Author Topic: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well  (Read 6467 times)

BPA

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The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« on: December 21, 2017, 02:04:37 PM »
Thanks to the New York Times, I came across this concept which totally speaks to my love of coziness.  I followed links to other articles about the same concept and decided to get the book mentioned in the subject title out of the library. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/24/fashion/wintering-the-danish-way-learning-about-hygge.html

What do others think of the book? I have just started reading it.

And I'm curious to know what Danes think of the current North American interest in their idea.  Maybe I should ask Jacob over at ERE. 

I did read some criticism somewhere that while hygge is not about spending a ton of money to create the right atmosphere, some North Americans are trying to market it that way.  There is one NYT article that featured hygge wallpaper selling for $135-$175 a roll.  That seems contrary to the spirit of the book I'm reading...at least so far.

I plan to hygge with the book, my favourite tea, and my fireplace during tonight's snowfall as I wait for my boyfriend to fly in for Christmas. 

EscapeVelocity2020

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2017, 10:30:26 PM »
You would do well to study the concept while living in a Scandanavian country during the winter :)  Sort of like 'how stoicism will make life pure gold'.  If it's voluntary, it's super-powerful. 

[modified to add - I just noticed that my replies are watched since I was banned for a month from the forum.  Please PM me if I said something that offended you or a Moderator so that I can take proper corrective action before being banned again]
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 10:32:44 PM by EscapeVelocity2020 »

kaypinkHH

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2017, 05:43:09 AM »
I just watched a youtube video where a girl does "5 days of Hygge" following this book.

I have personally not read the book, but I do think it is interesting how quickly this is becoming a capitalized trend. I also think it is interesting how it seems to be a forced thing.  From the comments of the video they brought up this example:

In the video the girl wanted to get the hygge feeling so she made some hygge "goals" and planned a board game night with friends. A Danish person commented that they would never think of doing/planning something "for Hygge", but more so after a really nice night of being inside and cozy with friends, they would get the feeling of hygge.

I do think though that allowing ourselves to embrace moments that have that feeling is awesome. Appreciating the simple things definitely can't hurt! But I worry that people are going to stress themselves out trying to be the most hygge.


BPA

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2017, 12:04:42 PM »
You would do well to study the concept while living in a Scandanavian country during the winter :)  Sort of like 'how stoicism will make life pure gold'.  If it's voluntary, it's super-powerful. 

[modified to add - I just noticed that my replies are watched since I was banned for a month from the forum.  Please PM me if I said something that offended you or a Moderator so that I can take proper corrective action before being banned again]

As I've been reading I've been thinking of how it's like stoicism.  And how much appreciating the simpler comforts like hygge can come after having exerted oneself physically in some way.

I am Canadian and will be moving to an even snowier part of the country with a longer winter in a couple of months.  I think that's another reason why hygge appeals to me.


BPA

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2017, 12:11:14 PM »
I just watched a youtube video where a girl does "5 days of Hygge" following this book.

I have personally not read the book, but I do think it is interesting how quickly this is becoming a capitalized trend. I also think it is interesting how it seems to be a forced thing.  From the comments of the video they brought up this example:

In the video the girl wanted to get the hygge feeling so she made some hygge "goals" and planned a board game night with friends. A Danish person commented that they would never think of doing/planning something "for Hygge", but more so after a really nice night of being inside and cozy with friends, they would get the feeling of hygge.

I do think though that allowing ourselves to embrace moments that have that feeling is awesome. Appreciating the simple things definitely can't hurt! But I worry that people are going to stress themselves out trying to be the most hygge.

I see what you mean.  It shouldn't be forced.  One article on the NYT website listed five "inexpensive" things to make your home more hygge.  That seemed forced.  Because it was about buying the experience rather than experiencing the experience.  (Not that I'm any expert on hygge.)  One of the things you could buy was a dog bed.  Nowhere in what I'm reading is a dog bed part of the experience.  If anything, having the dog lie with you on the couch would be more hygge. 

There is a section in the book entitled "The Best Things in Life are Free."  Certainly hygge can be done frugally.

And yeah...it doesn't seem to me from what I've read so far that hygge fits the whole SMART goals model.  Quite the opposite. 

birdman2003

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2017, 12:18:13 PM »
We vacationed in Denmark this summer and our AirBnB hosts in Copenhagen had this book in our room that we rented.  My wife and I both enjoyed reading it and noticed that the Danes do like and live hygge.  Our hosts were awesome, and I would definitely visit Denmark again.  My favorite part about hygge is that if you have friends over, the burden of entertaining should not fall on one couple, but all the people at the party help with cooking and clean up.  It affords more time for visiting and reduces barriers to "I can't have people over because it would be too much work."  We also now try to have candles lit in our house on a regular basis.

BPA

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 12:26:40 PM »
We vacationed in Denmark this summer and our AirBnB hosts in Copenhagen had this book in our room that we rented.  My wife and I both enjoyed reading it and noticed that the Danes do like and live hygge.  Our hosts were awesome, and I would definitely visit Denmark again.  My favorite part about hygge is that if you have friends over, the burden of entertaining should not fall on one couple, but all the people at the party help with cooking and clean up.  It affords more time for visiting and reduces barriers to "I can't have people over because it would be too much work."  We also now try to have candles lit in our house on a regular basis.

I like that pressure being off too!  It seems definitely to be more about relationships and experiences than appearances than I am used to.  Certainly, when my boyfriend's mother comes over and makes comments about how she thinks my backyard is overgrown (I actually like a lot of shade in the backyard) or my level of housekeeping, I only feel stressed and like having her over less. 

The guy who wrote it works for the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. 

StarBright

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2017, 12:42:27 PM »
I love the concept and find it a pleasant way to approach cold weather but found this snarky article about hygge absolutely delightful:
https://www.bonappetit.com/story/what-is-hygge


BPA

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 12:57:20 PM »
I love the concept and find it a pleasant way to approach cold weather but found this snarky article about hygge absolutely delightful:
https://www.bonappetit.com/story/what-is-hygge

Ha!  That's hilarious.  Almost like it could be dovetailed with that Williams-Sonoma parody.  I especially thought this part was funny:  "Itís important that you know that hygge is not cutsey, but is cute. For example, it is not something with a bunny on it, but rather, something that a bunny would use, if a bunny had a kitchen."


BPA

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2018, 05:56:15 PM »
Well, finished the book and loved it. At first I was afraid it might go in a spendy direction (which is fine I could just adapt for what I'd like it to be), but then I read the chapter Hygge on the Cheap and found this:

"Hygge might be bad for market capitalism, but it may prove to be good for your personal happiness. Hygge is appreciating the simple pleasures in life and can be achieved with very little money."

Also, bike riding is a part of it.  There is a section of a chapter entitled "Bikes and Happiness."  Very MMM indeed.

So, while I've always loved getting cozy (particularly in the winter), I'm glad I found this book. 

StarBright

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2018, 07:48:13 PM »
I love the concept and find it a pleasant way to approach cold weather but found this snarky article about hygge absolutely delightful:
https://www.bonappetit.com/story/what-is-hygge

Ha!  That's hilarious.  Almost like it could be dovetailed with that Williams-Sonoma parody.  I especially thought this part was funny:  "Itís important that you know that hygge is not cutsey, but is cute. For example, it is not something with a bunny on it, but rather, something that a bunny would use, if a bunny had a kitchen."

BPA- that was my favorite line too! And also the caption on the picture of the man cooking in front of his yurt.

Suzanne

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2018, 01:12:12 AM »
Book of Hygge is good i have gone through it.
Beauty lies with in the scrolls of writter.

adventurestache

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2018, 07:39:02 PM »
I know this is an old post, but if you liked that book you should also give The Year of Living Danishly - Helen Russell a shot. I wasn't the biggest fan of the author sometimes throughout the book (she was a bit condescending towards other cultures), but I learned a lot about Denmark and it inspired me in many ways!

StarBright

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2018, 07:54:35 AM »
I know this is an old post, but if you liked that book you should also give The Year of Living Danishly - Helen Russell a shot. I wasn't the biggest fan of the author sometimes throughout the book (she was a bit condescending towards other cultures), but I learned a lot about Denmark and it inspired me in many ways!

I second the book! I also just finished it and I thought it did a great job of going beyond Hygge and really digging into the positives and negatives of Danish culture.

BPA

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #14 on: December 29, 2018, 11:06:18 AM »
I know this is an old post, but if you liked that book you should also give The Year of Living Danishly - Helen Russell a shot. I wasn't the biggest fan of the author sometimes throughout the book (she was a bit condescending towards other cultures), but I learned a lot about Denmark and it inspired me in many ways!

I second the book! I also just finished it and I thought it did a great job of going beyond Hygge and really digging into the positives and negatives of Danish culture.

Wonderful! I will see if my library has it. I've noticed that they do have Lykke, so I'll be wanting to read that one as well. Thanks again for the recommendation.

BPA

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2019, 04:03:52 PM »
@adventurestache  and @StarBright Thanks for the recommendation. My public library did have it and I'm loving it so far even if I'm only on chapter two.

The author is so funny. And chapter two is really resonating with me, because even though I retired from a stressful teaching job where I could make $95k a year, I have gone back to substitute teach and I'm loving it. It's all of the things I loved about teaching and none of the stress. I might make much less money ($191 a day and no guarantee of work), but I really, really enjoy it. Just like the philosophy outlined in chapter two at Lego.

Really grateful for the recommendation. :)

Budgie

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2019, 07:53:59 PM »
I know this is an old post, but if you liked that book you should also give The Year of Living Danishly - Helen Russell a shot. I wasn't the biggest fan of the author sometimes throughout the book (she was a bit condescending towards other cultures), but I learned a lot about Denmark and it inspired me in many ways!

Thanks for the recommendation-- I just ordered this from my library.

I got a chuckle and an eye roll out of hygge being "marketed" in blogs and catalogs, but I won't let that stop me from enjoying the actual feeling. Cozy without being cluttery (and that's a different boundary for different people) is a wonderful space to enjoy, and not everyone has the instinct for creating it on their own.

Same with the difference between just hosting and actually creating a hospitable gathering--some folks need to be told it's not a Martha Stewart competition, it's nice to just have people over for chili dogs and a beer and actually enjoy them. If marketing that more relaxed state as hygge will help people get there, hooray!

Trudie

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #17 on: September 11, 2019, 10:46:10 PM »
I live in the upper midwest -- land of the long, cold winter without sunshine.  So, I relished this book and a number of others that have focused on hygge and the similar Nortwegian concept of koselig.

I think their ideas on lighting candles and using lights are brilliant.  It's all about learning to embrace the suck.  Learning to recreate in the cold and snow and not avoiding the reality of long winters.

StarBright

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2019, 07:50:04 AM »
I'm also in the midwest and we have gloom for months on end (November until early June this last year - it was awful!)

We had a gloomy false fall last week and I immediately got out my woodwick candle! It made me feel better about life.

elliha

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Re: The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well
« Reply #19 on: September 12, 2019, 08:07:45 AM »
I live in northern Sweden and during the winter we have about 4 hours of daylight every day. If you don't light a fucking candle sometimes you die. It is not so much because it is cozy, you just need to remind yourself that life is not permanent darkness all year round. I love autumn but every day is a reminder that you are moving closer to "that period". Once the snow comes it gets better but since I live relatively close to the coast it is quite warm and November is often snow free but the darkness equally dark but you are walking around in the rain and wondering if you should just give up and lay down on the wet and cold sidewalk and die. Getting a cup of tea from a friend might be what saves the day. Hopefully the snow comes in December and some time in February you start breathing because you notice that something that can be described as a day has appeared. I swear that despite being Christian I consider giving a blood offering to the old gods if they will just guarantee that light will come back even in this day and age I despair, every year.

Sorry for the depressing writing but the dark is something to survive and without little things like cozy night in the sofa it can't hardly be done. Not that I don't enjoy it but it is not really optional. That reminds me, I need to get some new candles in preparation for October and find the nice blankets so we can park ourselves in the sofa when necessary.