Bookish Hygge

Bookish Hygge

Why I've written a guide about social media marketing for writers

Ok, picture this. It’s throwing it down outside. The rain is coming in ice cold sheets. You’ve just come into a house after a long journey on a perishing train. You’re cold. You’re hungry. Possibly a little fraught.

Then, as you step over the threshhold, you smell something lovely. A stew, possibly, cooking on the stove. Then there are some base notes. Is that vanilla? Apple? You sniff longingly.

You remove your boots, your coat, and, shivering, you’re given a warm drink, and told to warm up in the other room.  There’s a log fire blazing, you can now smell the scent of the wood and you spy a pile of it stacked neatly in the corner.

There’s a few table lamps in the room, dotted about, giving a warm glow. And, underneath, there are piles of books. You sink into the large, squashy sofa, thankful for the soft-to-touch throw and cushions, and turn your face towards the fire. You can hear your family, laughing, bantering, in the distance, and you’re looking forward to getting together with them, feasting on whatever is cooking in that oven. But, for the moment, you need to collect yourself. You stroke the blankets, pick up a book, and sip your drink.

My husband’s family call it gezelligheid. I can never pronounce it right. It’s a Dutch word that very roughly translates to cosiness. Just like the popular Danish word hygge (pronouced hue-gah). (I’m using the Danish word in the hashtag simply because it’s easier to spell!)

I do adore a log fire. Even if it is not quite cold enough. It transforms the house. Like, but better than, switching on a few table lamps. It takes the coldness out of the house. Invites cosiness. Giving warmth, literally and figuratively.

Books, for me, are a large part of that cosiness. They can ooze it just by being dotted around the room. On shelves or stacked on coffee tables. They can also give you that feeling as you read. You could be on that cold train but you’ve forgotten. The book has grabbed you in a large, cosy hug, consuming you, until you return to earth with the snap of the closing page, looking around, half dazed; blinking.

Other words used to describe hygge include warmth, conviviality and togetherness. And what can give you cosiness, warmth and togetherness? Books. Even better, a book community.

There are a number of hashtags on instagram and twitter for book recommendations. Some of them are large, some have been hijacked, and some cater more for younger tastes. One I enjoy is Laura from Circle of Pines Trees #theyearinbooks. Once a month Laura hosts a bookish chat on twitter (the next one is Monday 3rd October). But I feel the need to create another hashtag.

On twitter and instagram I feel I’m part of a lovely community. A community with many passions including (but not limited to) books. Fiction, non-fiction, nature, food, memoirs, inspiring books and pretty books with beautiful words. Books enhancing their lives.

So if you’ve read a good book lately, on any subject, published at any time, fiction or non, then do share on twitter or instagram. Use the hashtag #bookishhygge. And if you’re not on either of those mediums then tell me your recommendations in the comments.

I’d really like to collect the recommendations and highlight in a monthly post here on A Bookish Baker.

And if you know of any other great book hashtags then let me know.



* indicates required

comfort me with apples by ruth reichl



Previous Post Next Post

You may also like


  • Reply Nic Wilson

    Lovely post – I feel similarly about books when I have a chance to read, I’m in another world, but after three decades of avid reading (school, English at uni and then 12 years as an A level English teacher) I’ve had little time for reading in the 7 years since the kids arrived. Next week my youngest starts school and I plan to make more time for reading, to rediscover an old, but not forgotten, passion. I’m planning some book reviews on my blog in the near future, so I’ll use the hashtag and follow others using it with interest.

    6th September 2016 at 6:41 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Thank you, Nic. Hurrah for rediscovering the joy of reading. 😀

      6th September 2016 at 7:48 pm
  • Reply Bridgid Gallagher

    This is lovely! I love when there are words for such distinctive feelings or states of mind. Do you have any requests for the reads? I read a lot of MG and YA … which might not necessarily be life-changing (but certainly can be). :)

    6th September 2016 at 7:33 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Anything you recommend because it gives you warmth and joy, Bridgid. It can be any genre, fiction or no, newly published or been out for years. I’m really intrigued by what people enjoy.

      6th September 2016 at 7:47 pm
  • Reply Miranda | Miranda's Notebook

    What a fabulous post! And such a fun idea for a book chat. I love the concept of Hygge. I recently reread Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier for my book club this month; it’s just the sort of book that makes you want to curl up in front the fire and spend hours reading. xxx

    7th September 2016 at 7:17 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Yes, I only read Rebecca for the first time last year, Miranda, and really enjoyed it. xx

      19th September 2016 at 9:04 am
  • Reply Louise

    Books are a great way of escapism. I recently read The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham and I plan on reading more of this author. I’m hoping to read more as the seasons change and the temperature drops.

    7th September 2016 at 8:40 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      I love the sound of The White Cottage Mystery, Louise!

      19th September 2016 at 9:13 am
  • Reply Sam

    I love the idea of this and will definitely be checking out the hashtag! I am on the look out for books with nurture my soul and the way I want my life to continue to look and develop.

    Sam | A Month Of Sundays

    7th September 2016 at 8:57 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Exactly, Sam! And thank you.

      19th September 2016 at 9:14 am
  • Reply Patricia

    I just shared your post with my FB friends. It is exceedingly easy to slide into the autumnal comforts of books and crafts ☺

    7th September 2016 at 10:10 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Thank you, Patricia!

      19th September 2016 at 9:05 am
  • Reply Stephie @ A Cup of Creative

    I love this idea and I’m definitely sharing this post with my best friend who has recently dived in to the bookstagram community! I’ll also be looking back through my recently read list to see if any of them fit the cosy criteria! Stephie xx

    7th September 2016 at 10:39 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Fabulous. Thanks Stephie!

      19th September 2016 at 9:01 am
  • Reply jas

    I am a fan of anything and everything cozy which explains why fall is my most favorite season. (I very much love spring. Actually I love the changing of the seasons.) However fall is fireplace and warm thick socks and hot chocolates and everything pumpkin and cozy mysteries. I do love cozy mysteries year round but more fun to read in the fall. Anyway, great article and I love your blog!

    10th September 2016 at 6:35 am
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Thank you Jas. And yes, I agree with everything in your comment! The changing of the seasons is lovely.

      19th September 2016 at 9:01 am
  • Reply Kayte

    This is a beautifully written post and has made me even more desperate for winter (I can smell the mulled cider already). Totally love the idea of #bookishhygge, there’s nothing more hygge-y than wrapping up with a blanket and a book under a lamp. Plus I’m terribly indecisive at choosing books for myself!

    11th September 2016 at 7:44 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Thank you, Kayte. (I’m going to have to have a good read of your blog – looks lovely!)

      19th September 2016 at 8:59 am
      • Reply Kayte

        Thank you so much, your blog is a real inspiration to me so that’s so lovely to hear!

        The hashtag is looking gorgeous on Instagram too – I’ve got a chair in a box that I need to put together for my new book nook before I post!

        19th September 2016 at 11:13 pm

    Leave a Reply