Sunday, September 21, 2014

Question of the Week: Do You Listen to Music While You Read?

Hey everyone! Clara Kensie here. A few times a month at Adventures in YA Publishing, I post a question for you and the Adventures in YA team to answer. The questions cover all topics important to writers and book lovers: craft, career, reading, books, and more. Join the discussion!

Question of the Week:

Do you listen to music while you read?

photo credit: Xanetia via photopin cc

Katharyn Sinelli: Hmmm. I don’t think the theme song to Team Umizoomi counts as a playlist per se. I usually read whenever I have a moment. If I’m really into a book, that can be when I’m waiting for my food at the deli. Most often these days I’m reading late at night in bed so it’s pretty quiet.

Lisa Green: Oooh. I don’t purposely listen to anything while I read because I will be totally sucked into the story and tune out everything else. On the flip side, though, nothing bothers me when it comes to my surroundings when I read. It’s all about the book, baby! Kind of odd when I think about how much I like playlists when it comes to writing.

Alyssa Hamilton: I don't listen to music or anything at all but I can easily do it. I find that because I'm reading in every spare second I have, I've learned to be able to still be aware of my surroundings and follow along with things even if I'm absorbed in my book.

Martina Boone: I can’t listen to anything with lyrics when I read any more than I can when I write. The words conflict. But I do love listening to instrumentals, as long as the music is soft. The problem is that I can’t predict where someone else’s book is going to go the way I can with my own book, so if the mood of the music is too different from the emotional tone of the book, I end up getting irritated and it effects my enjoyment of what I’m reading. As a result, I usually don’t listen to music when I’m reading either. Sad, right?

Clara Kensie: I love the coziness of reading on a rainy day, so sometimes I’ll fake that mood by reading to a thunderstorm playlist on Spotify. Also, pumping music directly into my ears helps me block out distractions, especially when I’m trying to read in a hectic or loud environment, such as my kids’ sports practices and play rehearsals. I’ve bookmarked a few reading playlists on Spotify that I like to listen to, and I've even made my own reading playlist for Spotify. It has 24 songs and it’s 97 minutes long. Here’s the link if you’re interested:

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Does reading to music distract you, or do you like to listen to music while you read? Or maybe you listen to thunderstorm or white noise apps? If you’ve made your own reading playlist, tell us the songs you have on it!


  1. I can't read or write with music playing, generally. If I do happen to have something on, it usually fades to the background, same way I tune out people talking around me. But I love the idea of a backdrop like a thunderstorm or waterfall to set the mood! Definitely going to try that.

  2. I tend to always have some kind of noise on in the background - whether it's the tv or music. Only when i'm reading late at night do I have total silence. It's amazing how easy it is to tune out distractions when you're sucked into the story (reading or writing!)

  3. I cannot listen to music when I read, I love to lose myself in a book and find it too distracting with noise in the background. I know that Deborah Harkness has a playlist for her books, which I would love to listen to after finishing up the trilogy.

  4. I love listening to classical music, or the soundtracks to either DOWNTON ABBEY or ROOM WITH A VIEW. I read just before bed, so "cozy" is the key word here. :)

  5. Sometimes. It really depends on what I'm reading, but, like Martina, lyrics get in the way, so instrumentals -- jazz or classical -- work just fine.

  6. I sometimes turn on music in the background while reading, but usually I get so engrossed in the book that I completely tune out the music.

  7. I start out with slower music but after 5 mins I don't hear it anyways.

  8. While writing I may have something on. I used to occasionally have an instrumental soundtrack on. I've fallen in love with and someone mentioned a waterfall. Is there a site with that, too?! If so, I want to know, please! :D But while reading? Nope. No noise. I want silence. I want to experience the words with ALL my senses :)

  9. Sometimes I read while my boyfriend watches TV, but if it's just me, I read with silence. Instrumental music is ok. I just don't usually listen to music at home in general anyway.


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