Dear Reader: Hygge and Well-Being in the New Year

January 6, 2017

Dear Reader,

Happy New Year!

I have often found sweeping New Year’s resolutions to be hugely ambitious and unrealistic. They can involve a longed-for course correction or do-over and risk making us feel unsettled about ourselves as we are.  Who needs more of that?  Therefore, I will refrain from offering up titles that might send you in that direction, though there are a gazillion of them at this time of year. 
Let’s start the new year off more gently.  I do think the end of the holiday season and the beginning of a new year can be a much-welcomed time of reflection, quiet, and small re-sets. Reading is a huge part of that.  One resolution I’m all in favor of is: make time to read!  If you still need or would like suggestions, please refer to the emails we sent out in the past month which quite thoroughly listed many of our favorite books for the year.
That said, a few books have just come into the store which caught my eye—you’ll note that they all have something to do with well-being (probably not a coincidence this time of year):

If Our Bodies Could Talk 
by James Hamblin

An informative, clever, and amusing book.  Hamblin clarifies, debunks myths, and reassures. 
Here are some of his topics: 

If I lose a contact lens in my eye, can it get into my brain?

Am I tall enough?

Do we still not know if cell phones cause cancer?

What happens to weight when it is lost?

Does alcohol really kill brain cells?

You get the idea!  I'm certain you'll want to buy the book to find out the answers!


The Case Against Sugar
by Gary Taubes

Obesity, heart disease, and diabetes have become a national epidemic.  That isn’t new, but this book really hits home about how sugar contributes to this public health crisis. The Case Against Sugar explains why and how sugar affects us and what to do about it.  Compelling, convincing, and challenging. For all of us trying to be smarter and wiser about our health and the health of our families, this is an important book.


Books for Living
by Will Schwalbe

Nothing more timely—of-the-moment and yet always—than a book about the power of books and certainly books that help us make sense of ourselves and the challenges of living in our modern world.  Rich with stories and book recommendations, Books for Living is a treasure for everyone who loves books and loves to hear the answer to the question, “What Are You Reading?”.



How To Live: Boxed Set
by Thich Nhat Hanh

The new year is a great time to set goals for mindfulness and meditation and who better than Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
to guide you.  The five bestselling handbooks of Thich Nhat Hanh'sMindfulness Essentials SeriesHow to Sit, How to Eat, How to Walk, How to Love, and How to Relax, are collected together for the first time in a beautifully designed gift box.

The books are pocket-sized with bold drawings by California artist Jason DeAntonis. The books provide explicit, simple directions for carrying out everyday activities with the focused awareness of mindful attention.


These are some of the books currently out or coming soon about hygge, a Danish term (pronounced HOO-gah, like “tuba”) defined as “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of commitment or well-being.”  Think cozy and you pretty much have it!  See recent articles in The New York Times and The New Yorker for more detail.  Practicing or achieving hygge (not sure which it is!) might be just what’s needed in the winter months ahead for our individual and collective well-being.









You might wonder what winter looks like for BookHampton.  

Our store hours will now be Thursday through Monday 9:30am to 6:00pm. 

We will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Our event schedule will continue to be active—with author talks, signings, and book clubs.  Check our website and our window blackboard for the most up-to-date listings—many things are in the works right now. 

Story Time will be held every Sunday at 10:00am, hosted by BookHampton bookseller Lauren, and occasionally featuring guest readers and authors.  A perfect Mommy-and-Me or Daddy-and-Me time. 

And we’ll be planning for spring—tweaking some sections of the store, expanding the children’s section a bit, and adding more puzzles, games and toys which were very popular during the holidays.  As with any retail business, we constantly learn as we go along. 

Which reminds me to ask: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE US DO OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS?  Do you have ideas to suggest for books, author events, workshops, gatherings, story hours, book clubs or whatever?  We’re always on the lookout for way to alter or expand our services to benefit the community.
Let me close with another hygge definition, this one from Helen Russell, a British journalist who wote The Year of Living Danishly.  She defines the term as “taking pleasure in the presence of gentle, soothing things”—no better recommendation for sitting down with a book right now!

See you in the store!

Carolyn Brody

Upcoming Events:

Story Time - Sundays at 10:00am

February 11: Marion Lear Swaybill, Oysters: A Celebration in the Raw

March 25: Tom Clavin, Dodge City

More to be announced!