listening to music while reading
Books / Self Help

Should You Listen to Music While Reading?

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Music plays such a large role in the content we consume, from movies to TV shows. It has the ability to draw out emotions for listeners, elevating their experience. The slow piano plays when a character is going through a hard time. The fast-paced electric guitar kicks up during an action scene. All these serve to complement the content for the viewer and the same can be said for readers.

Reading While Listening

There is a preconceived notion that reading should be done in a silent tranquil environment, that music acts only as a distraction. That it will only drown out the words of the story in your mind. But, it can be argued, music does the opposite. It drowns out the chattering in my mind and has the power to shift the mood to fit the scene being read. Shielding from unsettling silence, music keeps me focused on the scene being read.

It is an entrancing feeling when reading to the rhythm and tempo of a song. The melody of the song allowing you to zone out and focus on the story being told. It also serves as a noise cancellation tool to block out the shuffling and racket of a loud environment. A serene environment to read can be difficult to find, but music can be used to obscure the noise and still allow for reading. This is a valuable skill that allows for reading in almost any situation.

When reading it is easy to involuntarily become oblivious to your surroundings and the events happening around you. It is understandable to think music will ruin this experience and make it hard to concentrate on the book. But, music serves to further immerse you in the story. With the right selection, the music will elevate the story to new heights. It is not about ‘listening’ to the music per se, it is about adhering to the beat of the song and being absorbed into the scene.

What kind of Music?

Personally, I listen to some chill lofi songs or background soundtracks of movies and series. This tends to compliment the story while providing some white noise to cover up unwanted environmental sounds. The lack of lyrics means I don’t start singing along and creates a relaxed atmosphere. Movie scores tend to have a strong connection for me. It is linked to the emotions felt during the movie. Hearing those songs allows for an interesting mental link to the book being read. This positive connection can hit the “feels” and improve the reading experience.

Non-lyrical music like jazz and classical music works well when reading. It doesn’t tend to break my concentration when reading. Its calming instrumentals soothes me, enabling the right mindset to read to be achieved. More distracting noises can be ignored due to the music.

Should you listen to music while reading?

Music is a fascinating tool. It can bring back the memories of the feeling that the music holds as a scene is read. This association with a feeling can raise the reading experience. To read while listening to music is an acquired skill that might prove helpful in numerous situations. But it is not necessary. It depends on the individual and the condition to which they are used to. If you find silence to be more serene than unsettling, then listening to music while reading might not be for you. But for those who can, it can be so entrancing that you forget that you are listening to music at all. The perfect blend of the music to the scene can be euphoric.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if I should keep making posts like this. Do you listen to music when you read? If so, what kind?

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Telling stories has always been a passion of mine, and being able to publish a book has been one of my greatest achievements. Turning my passion for telling stories into a career as an Author has been one of my significant accomplishments. Since 2016, I’ve been constantly educating myself with new ideas and challenging myself with different writing techniques in order to provide the most immersive experience to my readers.


Ann Britland
22 March 2021 at 5:29 pm

Yes, I love to read to the background of music. My favourite is to play classical music when reading historical fiction, like Jane Austen’s novels!

Fashion Styles
16 July 2021 at 1:41 pm

You can certainly see your skills in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

Ann Britland
24 October 2021 at 4:05 pm

Music can create such an evocative and stimulating environment in which to read, adding poignancy or even drama to the story you are reading. Love that!

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The Beauty of Books

21 July 2021