Monday, February 17, 2014

The Art of Reading: Music vs. Quiet

All bibliophiles have at least one thing in common: the love of books. Still, as I'm reminded every time I talk to another reader, that doesn't mean we express our affection for the written word in exactly the same way. I'm referring to how we read.

This post's theme: reading with music on in the background. Any preferences about what kind of music you want on while you’re reading? Or do you prefer quiet?

I prefer quiet. Part of the wonder of a good book for me, whether fiction or nonfiction, is how the real world fades away until there’s only me and these words. Reading is (no surprise) a favorite form of relaxation for me, but sometimes I think it even circles close to meditation. While in meditation the goal is usually to think of absolute nothing, reading still requires focused attention: think only of this book. As someone whose brain often runs the risk of overheating due to overthinking, I’m sure the mindfulness element of reading is a huge reason why I’m such a book addict.

If there is music on, I vote for no lyrics; otherwise I struggle focusing on reading sentences while listening to entirely different words at the same time. Talking about specific music genres, I always choose classical or Celtic songs, since I don’t find those too distracting...but I repeat: I prefer quiet!

How about you? Do you care one way or the other whether or not there’s music on while you’re reading? Does it depend what type of music?

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