Musing Monday 9.21.09

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about reading music…

Do you listen to music while reading? Does this change if you’re reading in or out of your house? Do you have a preference of music for such occasions?

Unlike most females, I do not multi-task well. I tend to be singularly focused and some might even go so far as to say that I often cannot see the forest through the trees. This has also been true of my reading habits. I often will find an out-of-the-way space that is clear of any visual or auditory distractions. I want to focus all my attention on the author’s story, and I want to give it my undivided attention. Last spring, however, when I had finished my book nook and finally had a place to call my own, I realized that ambiance was as important to relaxation as the physical space. I have always enjoyed the atmosphere of Barnes and Noble, with the overstuffed chairs, the aroma of rich coffee, and the soft classical music playing in the background. I decided to try a bit of that atmosphere in my own home. I purchased an iHome and started playing a few of my classical music selections while I read. To my great surprise this truly enhanced my reading pleasure, rather than distract from it.

During the 24 hour spring read-a-thon, I branched out and started playing some smooth jazz as the background music. Unfortunately, my selection in this genre was quite limited and after about 10 hours I realized that I had listened to each of the tunes a minimum of three times. My dear brother, the musical guru of my side of the family, came to the rescue and has since sent me several CD compilations of various jazz artists — all of whom I greatly enjoy. I am very much looking forward to the fall read-a-thon, as now I have plenty of books AND plenty of tunes to keep me focused, relaxed, and happy.


  • Kristen

    I prefer quiet to read but there are times when soft music can be on–generally only instrumental because I strain to understand lyrics, even if I don't care–while I read. Those times are pretty few and far between though.

  • Kim

    I used to be able to read and do homework in front of the tv! Not so anymore. I love to go in my room and listen to our local smooth jazz station. They play long sets of music in the evenings, and I find it to be very relaxing. I can't handle any other music, but maybe I could do classical. I just seem to be too lazy to pull out my classical cd's. The radio is so much easier.
    I am so looking forward to the Fall Read-a-Thon too!


  • Matt

    I cannot agree with you more about the importance of ambience for reading! I remember finding that special coffee shop where there is a nice relaxing atmosphere with great coffee. I do listen to classical music when I read because classical music makes me feel relaxed. 🙂

  • Margot at Joyfully Retired

    I'm getting geared up for the Read-A-Thon also but I hadn't thought about getting my music ready. Thanks for the reminder. I'm with you on the classical and jazz. It seems to stir up the creative juices in the reading side of my brain and it adds to the enjoyment.

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