This advice showing how to become a perfect lady was originally published in London in the 1890s.
`The Lady´s Book Of Manners` is a book I picked up during my last London vacation. Found stuffed behind other books in a gift shop was this gem on how to become a perfect lady.
I saw it. I had to have it. Because I´m a sucker for all things outdated – Especially outdated women´s etiquette. I mean- I have books on the history of underclothes… Why shouldn´t I want to include this treasure to my already weird collection of things I really don´t need but still need, right? It only makes sense ( for me ).
So, what did I think? What was my first and final thought regarding this inspiring and outdated educational hardcover booklet?
I admit- The cover had me howling with laughter.
Everything on the cover is a nice promise on what a reader will get inside the book.
I don´t have any complaints. I was fascinated by the ridiculous guidelines women followed back in the 1890s. I found many points crack – up – worthy. For example:
How to pronounce words properly
choosing quality paper for writing letters
How to pick a husband
How to mask mistakes
A lot of points are covered in the 125 pages.
Basically, this guide has proven that I (!!) would have probably been tarred and feathered, then tied to a stake and burned to death because there is not a perfect lady bone in my body. * sigh * Oh well.
Nonetheless, I had a blast diving into the old school of etiquette. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has a soft spot for vintage etiquette books.
Since this isn´t a fiction novel I will skip the four-point analysis and head straight to my rating.
I´m giving this outrageously hilarious and educational read 4 out of 5 stars.
Note: This book was purchased in the Tower of London gift shop.
Trust me, I can hardly believe the title myself, but it´s true. I was locked in a book store!
In fact, I just got back from my 3 hour after closing time stay. I actually experienced every book lover´s dream and I´m having a hard time coming to grips with it.
I bet you´re asking yourself how when and why… And I bet you´re wondering if this is even possible. I assure you- It is. And I will give you the long run-down on EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL.
Yesterday, my mother – in – law invited me to join her and her fossil gang for a special night out. My first instinct was to kindly decline her offer ( because I´m trying to reserve hip replacement discussions for birthday parties only ) but she started winking at me in the most odd way ever. I can be very dense at times and not understand body language right away. Her winking and smiles confused the flipping foo foo out of me.
It took my mother – in – law a while before she FINALLY spat out her good news.
“I was gifted a night being locked in a book store. I can take 6 people with me and I have one spot left. Would you like to join us?”
And all of the sudden… I was desperate to hang out with the fossil gang and listen to their stories of deceased villagers they absolutely hated. Thanks to the fossil gang I am now fully up to date on who passed away and who they think will be next to see the carrots grow from beneath.
Back to the book store lock up!
Of course, I accepted the invitation. How could I not? What book lover doesn´t want to be alone with hundreds of books after closing hours?!
Let´s stop right here for a moment.
Apparently, I´ve been living a way too secluded life because some time a few years ago, book stores here in Germany started offering book store lock ups. For a certain amount ( I wasn´t able to catch the actual pricing ) one could practically rent a bookstore for 3 hours and spend some quality time there alone, or with a maximum of 6 guests of their choice. I was told that this is super popular.
And on the side, you get a bottle of prosecco and cookies.
I was able to turn down the prosecco but there was no way I was going to ignore the cookies! ( PS: I ate them all ).
I was told to meet the fossil clan at 7 p.m. in front of the next village´s local book store, where we would be let in and locked inside until 10 p.m.
And boy, did I ever make it on time. I´m a punctual person ( as punctual as anyone with kids can be ) but I made a point to be the first one at the book store. The shop owner and I chatted for a bit until the fossil gang arrived. Then it was lock up time.
And after that, the magic began.
Oh. My. Laawd! The feeling! The smell of all the printed books! Being trapped inside a shop with 5 other giggling fossils! An experience I will not forget in a looooong shot.
I spent 3 full hours looking at books, taking my sweet time checking everything out that looked remotely interesting. All while drinking orange juice from a champagne flute ( I´m not a fan of prosecco ). I felt like the queen of bookish county!
My queen of bookish county feeling didn´t last long, though. Three hours might seem like a short time for a book lover but three hours are more than enough.
I know. BLASPHEMY! How can I say that three hours were enough?! I should be tarred and feathered for even typing that. It´s true, though.
While shopping for books is a lovely thing ( and something I can actually do for hours, if I have the time and money to spare ) but there´s a difference between shopping in a small shop with limited books and shopping at a large chain store with a large book selection.
Don´t get me wrong. I do love the cozy flair and intimate atmosphere local book stores give. I love small rooms with hidden corners and nooks. The smell of tea and coffee mixed with the scent of new books. I even love the smiles from the local sales people, because they feel more genuine. Everything is more personal. But the book selection isn´t as large as it would be at a chain store.
What I´m trying to say is: I had troubles finding books I wanted to take home with me.
Not a terrible thing, in my opinion. I don´t always need to run home after a book shopping spree with a car load of books. But 3 hours…. That´s a long time looking for books that aren´t available.
So, after my excitement faded and my queeny feelings dimmed I decided to take a closer look at the kids section. Because, Christmas is around the corner and I have 2 book rats at home.
The Children´s books corner is also tiny, but by God… It´s my favorite place in the whole book store! Especially with that old school desk. And the best part of that part of the book store….
There´s a hole. A peephole for kids to see the ” book dragon” that´s being held captive in the basement! We´re talking about a small local book store located in the middle of nowhere and they have a peephole and a dragon. This is a winner for me.
I spent an hour in the Children´s section then moved on to my second favorite part of the book store ( since romance novels don´t have a big shelf in the store )…..
The Cook Book Area.
Spices, wine, cooking oils and cook books. I grabbed Jamie Oliver´s 5 ingredient cook book and just enjoyed life while the fossil gang had a great time in the Thriller aisle with the prosecco.
When it was time to move on to the next area I spotted these babies.
Journals and notebooks. Because it´s not enough to have one addiction. And I fed my journal addiction tonight. * sigh *
As I´ve mentioned before: To spend 3 hours in a tiny book store is more than enough. But all in all: I had a lovely time.
It´s a weird feeling not having to hurry up due to closing hours. It´s also weird not having someone looking over your shoulder or offering help. But it´s an awesome feeling to just act like you´re the queen of bookish county!
Can I recommend being locked up in a book store after closing hours? Yes! I think this is something every book lover should experience at least once in their lifetime. What I would NOT recommend is giving 5 70 year olds access to prosecco.. in a book store. That shit can be dangerous.
Would I do it again?Yes and no. Maybe in a different city and in a different book store. It all depends on how large the romance collection is.
That´s it for today, dear bookish Padawans. I´m now completely and utterly exhausted.
Before I go: Do you have a rent a book store near you? Have you spent time locked up with books before? If so, what was your experience? If not, would you like to? Let´s chat!
Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: Hygge.
‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’
You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.
Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.
Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.
One of my most anticipated reads for this month and…. I can´t really say I was disappointed. I found this read to be gripping.
Interesting enough- This book on how the Danish live well was categorized on Goodreads under Self – Help and psychology, yet this book didn´t feel like that at all.
It felt more like a little guide of Denmark, or a guide on how the Danish live.
Which is perfectly fine by me. I love to learn about different cultures and get to know what exactly it is that makes them who they are.
The word that´s focused on here is Hygge. The definition of Hygge is: There isn´t one.Hygge is a word that describes the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
Good company, family, food and… candles.
Looks like the Danish are obsessed with light. There was no shortage on the mention of candles in this read. Looks like candles are the way to live a cozy life.
Too bad I think candles are dust collectors. I prefer my cozy moments with floodlights ( because I´m as blind as a bat )
Besides the candle parts ( which are almost always mentioned ) I do love the Danish lifestyle.
Just shows that life isn´t always about work and work and.. work.
Life is about taking a step back and appreciating your surroundings. Just ask the Danish people. They obviously have it all worked out. They know how to be content.
As much as I loved this book I did find a few things that would never work out for me, personally. The 10 inexpensive Hygge Activities, for example:
Bring out the board games. I´m a bad loser. It´s been said that I´ve thrown a board game off a table once because I can´t stand losing. ( that´s only half true. I walk away when I´m losing . And that one time when the golf driver slipped out of my sweaty hands and flew towards my husband… An accident. ) I´m competetive and can´t lose. Board games are not an option.
TV Night. I used to love TV nights with friends. Now I have friends who go to bed early ( even on the weekends ).
Make a fire.Not a bad idea if someone would mow the lawn beforehand.
Swap Party. NO. No no no. People never want to swap good stuff. That idea just doesn´t work for me at all. I really don´t want my best friend´s self made robot.
Sledding. Another nice idea if there was something to sled on. Like snow. Or a sled. I don´t even have a sled ( because we hardly ever get snow ). I thought this was supposed to be an inexpensive Hygge activity. To sled I´d have to buy one and book a vacation to somewhere where it snows. Too expensive for me.
So, as you can see… I´ll have a hard time doing typical Danish activities.
That part about spending time with friends and family… Listen, I love my friends ( and some of my family ) but I don´t want to see them all the time. Some of them are exhausting AF. They all can destroy my Hygge vibes. Lol.
What I did approve of were the stuff I already include into my daily life.
read ( I had to laugh at that one )
enjoy a hot beverage and have ceramic ( this one got another laugh )
food ( because food is AWESOME )
going slow ( because you miss out on so much when moving too fast )
Wool sweaters and socks ( And I have the ugliest wool wardrobe, EVER!)
All in all I really liked this book. Enough to want to go visit Denmark in the near future.
It´s been mentioned many times before – The Danish people are the happiest in the world. I can believe that after reading this book.
Would I recommend this book? Definitely. It´s a nice book that gives you LOTS of insight on how simple it can be to be happy and feel content with the little things in life. Also, this book gives a taste on what Denmark is about.
Would I re – read this book?Sure. It´s definitely something I´ll take a look at once in a while.
The Cover – 5 Stars ( The cover was the first thing I fell in love with. )
The Idea – 5 stars ( Great idea to introduce the perks of Denmark and the people who live there. )
The Writing – 5 stars ( Written by CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking. His study sounds like a lot of fun. His writing has an easy-going, joyous touch.)
My emotional state after finishing this read – On my way to join the Hygge movement.