Hygge might be a Danish concept and seem foreign to you, but it’s easier to incorporate into your daily life than you might think. Reading and hygge go together like milk and cookies or peanut butter and chocolate, and when you amplify your reading with a touch of hygge, bringing coziness into your reading, you’ll have an even better reading experience.
Reading is one of those things I would love to say I can accomplish anywhere: standing in line at the grocery store, getting an oil change, sitting next to my husband as he watches hockey, or maybe even while I’m cooking dinner.
However, in the past couple of years, I lost my focus when it came to reading. This meant that any time I could previously find myself reading — such as those listed above — wasn’t happening anymore.
It. Was. Tragic.
Now, two years later, I find myself gravitating toward reading again, and I have to set the right stage when I sit down with a book. Gone are the days when I could read a page here or there; I need to sit down for at least twenty minutes to actually get a good dose of reading in (hopefully more, but with kids, it can be hard!).
Setting the stage, for me, involves a little bit of coziness or hygge.
Years ago, I remember hygge being all the rage, but the concept has been around forever — especially for an introvert like myself.
hygge (noun): a cozy quality that makes a person feel content and comfortable
hygge (adverb): invoking or fostering a sense of coziness, contentment, and well-beingMerriam-Webster
Coziness and contentment — and maybe a coffee.
The Elements of Hygge That Make for a Hygge Reading Experience
- A cozy place to read
- A blanket or a cozy sweater
- Proper lighting
- A hot cup of something
- A calm mind
A Cozy Place to Read
Maybe it’s your bed, or the couch, or on your porch, but nothing is cozier than a place you don’t want to get up from. For me, this is either the couch in the front room of my house that overlooks the apple blossom tree and gets lots of light, or it’s the couch in my room on a stormy night, listening to the rainfall and smelling that succulent mix of rain and fresh-cut grass through my open window. For the latter, I get less light, but the rain adds that extra element of cozy.
What isn’t hygge is sitting in an uncomfortable chair, trying to read. For me, it’s like trying to have a meaningful conversation with people on an uncomfortable chair — it’s just not possible. Similar to wearing something too tight, too short, or just not comfortable, I move more, more focused on the discomfort rather than the conversation. Or, in this case, on my book.
A Blanket or Cozy Sweater
If you’re already finding it hard to sit and focus on your book, nothing makes it worse than feeling cold. Getting a nice wool sweater or blanket, throwing on a pair of fuzzy socks or cozy slippers, or even sitting next to a roaring fire wearing all of the above is the epitome of cozy.
Bonus points if you have a roaring fire, cozy blankets, AND an open window with a thunderstorm outside to accompany your book. I get chills just thinking about that!
As a knitter, I also love to wear hand-knit fingerless gloves while I read. They keep my hands toasty!
When I read a book, I love being completely immersed in the story. Do you know what sucks just a bit of that immersion out? Fluorescent lighting. Or, having to squint to read my book because it’s a wee bit too dark.
A nice, warm glow from a lamp, or a fire, is perfection. But sometimes we just don’t have access to a roaring fire, so sitting next to a window, or outside as the sun comes up or goes down, is also nice.
I also really like to read at night, in bed, by the light of my Himalayan salt lamp that sits by my bed. It’s not the brightest, but something about that orange glow just soothes me. And it’s the perfect amount of light at night. You might also find me reading until I just can’t see my book anymore while reading in the evenings. Don’t get me wrong, I love lamps, but I also love the organic feel of reading by sunlight and moonlight.
Just make sure to sit by a cozy lamp that you can turn on when it gets too dark so you don’t strain your eyes.
A Hot Cup of Something
Of course, there’s a time and a place for a book and a beer. Think, reading on the porch on a summer afternoon as the sun warms you up … having a beer with that is its own type of cozy.
But, when you’re sitting cozy on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, with the window open and a cool breeze flowing through, a hot cup of tea or coffee is perfection. Something to warm your body.
A Calm Mind
Lastly, to focus and get lost in your book, you need to have a calm mind. If your mind is racing with thoughts of what you need to accomplish the next day, or it’s thinking about a conversation you had earlier, you will not be able to focus on your book.
I struggle with this sometimes, especially at night. I’ll try to lie in bed and read my book, cozy with my heated blanket and the light from my Himilayan salt lamp … but my head won’t stop going over the long to-do list I have the next day. I then find myself reading sentences repeatedly, not really taking in what I’m reading.
How can you fix this? Write things down!
You could have a journal to write your thoughts in or write your to-do list down on a piece of paper or in your daily planner for the next day. Get those thoughts out! Don’t let them jumble up your brain.
You should also put your phone away in another room or turn it silent, so you’re not constantly reacting to a ping or alert. If you’re like me, the phone might be a distraction, so it’s best to keep it in another room. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
I hope these tips help you to amplify your reading with a touch of hygge. Reading is one of the coziest things you can do, and amplifying that experience with a few steps will make you enjoy it even more.
Would you like some book recommendations with your hygge? Check these out!
- 3 Excellent Rom-Coms I’ve Recently Read That You Need to Check Out
- Exciting November 2022 Book Releases
How do you make reading a cozy and enjoyable activity? Are you able to read anywhere you go? In the comments below, let others know how you amplify your reading with a touch of hygge. I’d love to know!