A great place to incorporate hygge into our lives is a reading nook. I can and do read anytime, anywhere, but I love my reading nook experience.
Here are a few hygge ideas for your own reading nook:
Nothing creates hygge like candles. A lot of candles. These days there are flameless versions that are (almost) as atmospheric but I’ve never tried them. I like to light candles and tuck in by the fire with a book. Pillar candles are my favorite but on particularly short winter days, I’ll often float a votive candle in my small Simon Pearce bowl. It doesn’t have to be dark to light candles. Or cold. A friend lights candles on her South Florida patio.
Cold feet do not make for a cozy reading nook experience. Slip those toes into your favorite socks. I love my one pair of ultra-soft cashmere knee-socks. They’re a bit frayed but that adds to their hygge charms. There are all kinds of fun socks on the market perfect for enhancing your reading-nook experience.
A comfy shawl or throw
Snuggling under a soft, comfy shawl or throw with a book is definitely one of the good things in life! I curl up with a handmade Irish shawl. It reminds me of picking out with my husband at a favorite shop on the southwest Irish coast, run by a woman who’s become a friend, adding to its hygge qualities. But I love my ragged fleece throws, too. Key is comfort and cocooning. We want to read, not fuss with a shawl or throw, right?
A hot drink
Hot mulled cider, hot mulled wine, hot chocolate or hot tea enhance an afternoon or evening curled up in our reading nook. It’s a great time to grab that pottery mug you love but don’t use often enough. Making reading time an experience is what it’s about. Check out my hot mulled cider recipe below.
An absorbing book
Candles lit, fire crackling, hot beverage at our side and socks and throw keeping us warm and cozy, we’re ready to dive into an absorbing book. Savor the characters, the descriptions, the sense of place, the plot twists, the writing. It’s an opportunity to discover or rediscover such authors as P.D. James, Elizabeth George, JRR Tolkien, Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child, Ken Follett and many of the writers interviewed and recommended here, or finally dive into that thick biography on your TBR pile.
Here’s my recipe for hot mulled cider:
2 quarts fresh apple cider
2–3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
½ teaspoon whole allspice
¼ small orange
Dash of grated nutmeg
¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20–30 minutes. Strain spices and serve. You can combine the spices into a cheesecloth to create a bag and simmer with the cider. You can also heat the mulled cider in a slow cooker.
Hygge works whether you’re in a warm or cold climate or season. Here are some tips for warm-weather hygge: www.hyggelife.com/blogs/news/hygge-in-the-summer
What’s your favorite spot to read? What says hygge to you? Are you trying anything new this winter? Let us know!