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My Hygge Home by Meik Wiking

My Hygge Home by Meik Wiking

I'll be honest, it was the artwork that initially drew me to My Hygge Home and others like it. It's difficult to tell in this picture because it's the ebook version, but the cover (and most of the other hygge books I've seen) all feature similar artwork with pleasing colors. That combined with the topic—cozy living—were enough for me to give this book a try.

It's difficult for me to rate nonfiction. Fiction is easy—it's all a matter of how well the author tells the story and how interesting the story is to begin with. With nonfiction, it's more a matter of if the author got their information across, and perhaps points for doing it in a creative or interesting manner.

With that in mind, I would say the author mostly hit their target. I did learn some things about hygge, as well as confirmed some things I already knew about how to make my living space cozier.

My biggest issue with the book had to do with the idea that what works for one will work for everyone. The author did acknowledge that everyone will have their own unique preferences for things, but that was mostly in the style area. For example, what you collect or maybe what colors you prefer. Apart from that, they seem to think everyone should do x, y, and z, such as being friendlier with their neighbors (and that they will be happier for it). I use that as an example because that one definitely doesn't work for me.

Not that I'm against having friends; I just believe my friendships are based on more important things than whether I live next to someone or not. In today's world, most of my best friends live hours away, and sometimes many states away. On top of that, I live along a highway where the houses are widely spaced apart, with several acres between them. That's intentional: none of us want to live next to each other, and we prefer not to interact if we can help it.

My point is that people are not a one-size-fits-all. You can do as many surveys as you like to see what makes people happiest, but at the end of the day, just because a hundred people in my small town say one specific thing makes them happy doesn't mean that same thing will make me happy, and I can guarantee the things that do make me happy won't show up on the lists of anyone else in this town.

My other small complaint had to do with what appeared to be a misunderstanding of what introverts are. I guess I can't complain too much about this one; a lot of people misunderstand what it means to be an introvert. The author gave an example of a kid interacting with other kids and said something along the lines of "a kid who would normally be considered an introvert..." They then went on to describe them interacting with the other kids.

Here's the thing: introversion does not equal shyness. What they described was someone who was shy. An extrovert can be shy when meeting new people and an introvert can be completely fine in the same situation. It's just more likely that the introvert will be shy. But the introvert is still an introvert and the extrovert is still an extrovert.

That's because those words have nothing to do with shyness. It's about where your mental energy comes from and how it's used/drained. Extroverts are energized when around other people and tend to get drained when they're alone. Introverts are the opposite: being around people drains them, while alone time energizes them.

That's it. Shyness can sometimes be a factor, but it's not an integral part of what it means to be one or the other. An introvert is still an introvert even if they make a couple friends when they're forced into a crowded situation. They'll still get drained after a while and need to be alone.

Anyway, those are my main nitpicks. They're important topics to me, which is probably why they stuck out while I was reading this book. Apart from those things getting under my skin, I did enjoy this book, and I would pick up other books about hygge.

If you're interested in the subject, give it a try. It's not a bad place to start as far as introductions to the topic go.

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