Torturing myself with visits to local bookshops to window shop – whilst purposefully leaving my wallet at home – I have been noticing all these books on Lagom. At the beginning I thought it was just one or two popular books that were around all the time due to popularity but no, it’s an uncalled for glut.
It was perhaps inevitable after all the literature and TV from Scandinavia that has been coming over to these shores of late, that other less interesting aspects would also. This is being marketed as a new lifestyle trend in the form of Lagom. The closest translation of Lagom (so the internet informs me) is ‘in moderation’, or ‘just enough’. A cynic may suggest the success of Hygge has encouraged this new trend.
Browsing through some of these works, the first thing that strikes me is how many books there are, there are certainly much more than ‘just enough’, a quick search of Amazon reveals at least ten books which is way too much for what this fad offers. The next is how there seems to be little new here, it’s the usual formula: the modern world is terrible, take a step back, be kind to people, don’t spend too much money unless on quality, share, be happy, and so on.
My admittedly quick flicking through of a selection of these books gave me nothing whatsoever to suggest it wasn’t just a cash grab hidden behind a simplistic ideal that this is what Sweden adheres to and we are in some ways doing it right compared to them. These sorts of common sense handbooks seems to be ever popular and can usually be summed up with the above formula. Why people continue to pump money into such simplistic stuff, on the writing, publishing front, as well as the eventual reading of this fluff is beyond me.