Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

I’ve been seeing the word “hygge” pop up a lot in the past year or two, but never really felt the desire to read books about it until Kimberly at Turning the Pages reviewed this. Since she made it sound good (and because I need to expand my range of emotion concepts), I decided to borrow this.

And you know what? Hygge (pronounced “hooga” but read in my head as “haigg”) is something that I can totally get behind. It seems to be a uniquely Danish word, but as far as I can understand, hygge is a state where you feel loved, stress-free, and totally happy. Plus, it’s often associated with coziness.

The book is divided into fifteen chapters, covering a variety of topics from the elements of hygge to hygge and happiness. The book is lavishly illustrated and when the author is talking about the elements of hygge and how it comes about, he also gives concrete ideas and recipes for the reader to do.

Obviously, not every element of hygge can be mimicked wholesale. For example, candles are a huge part of hygge, but I’m don’t think they’re appropriate for Singapore’s climate. Japan, maybe, although when I think of hygge in Japanese terms, I picture eating ice-cream while under the kotatsu, with the TV on.

That’s probably why the book also mentions that hygge can differ from person to person. In the section about smells, the book says that “what makes a smell hyggelig differs very much from person to person, because smells relate a situation to ones experienced with that smell in the past.” In the same way for many elements of hygge, what would evoke the same feeling in non-Danes will probably be something slightly different.

If you’re new to the concept of hygge, I think this book would be a great place to learn more about it. Apart from explaining what it is, the author also provides a lot of concrete suggestions for achieving hygge.


  1. I don't think I've heard of “hygge” before, but just from your review I can get behind the concept. Candles aren't really conducive here either--mostly because of my young daughter and the cat. :-) I think I can think of alternatives though . . . Your mentioning ice cream, for example. :-)

    1. Ice-cream and a cozy blanket would probably do it for me! It's a very appealing concept!


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