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Reading with music: a good idea or a bad idea?

July 8, 2015
Music or no music?
As readers, that's a question we get all the time. On almost every literary site I join, I'm either ask  in my ''bio'' to say what music I like to read with, or there is a raging debate going on in the forum. So let's list the pros and cons of reading with music right here and now and decide which one is better: with or without. I'll start with the pros, just because.


Pros:

It can set the mood. Some people appreciate reading with a song that matches the book or part they're reading. There are tons of playlist on the web to fit any genre or scenarios. Some even like to take movie soundtracks.

It helps to keep you focus. It's going to sound weird, but sometimes silence can be louder than words. When you're alone, you can start to focus on every little noise, from the tic-toc of the clock to the floor creaking, or the AC starting and stopping at any given moment.  Music can be a great, steady background noise that can help you keep your concentration.

It creates a connection with the story. A girl a know once told me that she could not read without music and that she did a specific playlist for every book she read. After that, every time she would listen to one of the songs on her playlist, it would bring her back to that very book.


Now the cons:

It is distraction that can get in the way of your reading bubble. As much as it can help you focus, it can also be a major source of distraction. Some people need silence to get in the zone, to truly get into a story.

It can make you read the same line a gazillion times. And yes, it's part of losing your focus, but I had to put it in a separate line. Because music can do that to you. And it needs its own line. Deal with it.
''Lary walked slowly down...'' Oh! Bastille is on! What a great band! Ok, back to the story. ''Lary walked slowly down the hall, his gun pointing...'' Eh, Eh Oh, Eh Oh, Eh, Eh Oh, Eh On. Man, such  good song. I wonder if they'll ever come back to Canada. That concert was A-Mazing! Now, where was I?
See what I mean?


So ok, there might be more pros than cons when it comes to reading with or without music. But in the end it's up to you. For myself, it depends. I like a background noise: people talking in the other room, TV on not too loud or music playing softly.


What about you? Music or no music? Let me know in the comments!

Sophie

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