Hygge: An interview with guest bookseller, Rikke!

Winter Institute just rolled through town, and it was a blast! Hundreds of booksellers and publishers from around the country–and the world–visited Minneapolis for a weekend of bookselling education and networking.

Magers and Quinn was fortunate to host Rikke, a bookseller from book store Kristian img_1003F. Møller in Denmark, and show her the inner workings of the store for a day. She was an absolute pleasure to have with us, and she is a great sport, because we couldn’t help but ask her a bunch of questions about the most recent book trend, exploring the Danish concept of “hygge” (pronounced hu-gah).

M&Q: In your own words, please describe hygge.

Rikke: Hygge for the Danes can come in many forms. Often it is about sharing a home-cooked meal with friends or family. Very often we have coffee and cake (we love coffee and cake!) with each other. Hygge can also be a great way to make everyday life a little more cozy and warm for yourself. You light a candle, have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee (again with the coffee :)), read a great book under your favorite blanket – care about yourself and your well-being, in other words.

M&Q: Were you familiar with our fascination with hygge? Do Danish people consciously think about Hygge in their day-to-day lives?

R: The Danes are all a bit surprised by the sudden hype about hygge. We have always had it but never really conceptualized it. People here in MN and in the US in general to hygge as well. You are friendly, welcoming, and love coffee and cake as we do.

M&Q: Were you familiar with the trend and the books? Any we have that you would recommend?

R: I know some of the hygge books, yes. We have some in the store in Aarhus for the tourists and the natives who want to know what the fuss is about.

Meik Wiking’s The Little Book of Hygge is really nice. And Trine Hahneman’s Scandinavian Comfort Food has some of our favorite dishes and treats.

So there you have it – the official word on hygge from our new friend!

Another book on the subject just out this week, The Book of Hygge by Louisa Thomsen Brits.