Listening to Music while Reading

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La Dispute

La Dispute
Jul 14, 2005
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Anyone else do this?

I know there’s plenty who find it distracting, but I find it’s similar to soundtracking a movie, and once you hit on the right combination of theme and book it enhances the experience by at least 20%.

I remember reading 1984 and largely listened to Burial and Boards of Canada, which added to the atmosphere considerably. I like chucking Four Tet on for more breezier fiction, or autobiographies.

Jazz usually adds to more introspective stuff, like Steven Pinker, and tends to make me read quicker and focus more intently. Something like Duke Ellington works perfectly.

Post rock generally works ok too, depending the level of ambience, and how the music is stylised and/or compressed. Guitar-heavy stuff can sometimes be a bit too thick and intrusive.
 

Richard Cranium

Premiership Player
Apr 16, 2008
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I agree about it being like a soundtrack with the right sort of music. I was reading Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney the other night and put some Beach House on. It was a pretty good fit.

If I'm reading in public, then often some ambient music gets a go, or something similar to help block out the world a bit.
 

La Dispute

La Dispute
Jul 14, 2005
15,211
22,495
AFL Club
Carlton
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Manchester City, Boston Bruins
I agree about it being like a soundtrack with the right sort of music. I was reading Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney the other night and put some Beach House on. It was a pretty good fit.

If I'm reading in public, then often some ambient music gets a go, or something similar to help block out the world a bit.
Which Beach House LP?

I reckon some of their earlier stuff would work, but 7 or Bloom would probably cut through a bit much. I’ve listened to Teen Dream too many times to not be invested in and distracted by that instead.
 

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Shade

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 14, 2011
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Depends for me sometimes i just need dead silence or if i do feel inclined to put something on usually it will something very relaxing and calming.
 

Richard Cranium

Premiership Player
Apr 16, 2008
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Which Beach House LP?

I reckon some of their earlier stuff would work, but 7 or Bloom would probably cut through a bit much. I’ve listened to Teen Dream too many times to not be invested in and distracted by that instead.
I think it might have been Bloom actually. I know what you mean but it all went together nicely.
 

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