I listened to music while reading a lot more when I was growing up than I do now.  As a teenager, I would listen to the radio while I read.  This means that I now associate some songs with books, like Staind’s So Far Away, which was super popular when I read What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones, all the way back in 2003.  Every time that song plays now, I think about that book.

In college, I turned more to instrumental music.  I read a lot to the soundtracks to Amelie and Atonement and Never Let Me Go, as well as instrumental versions of artists I liked.   This is also how I wrote my papers, did my translations, and got through case studies. (I did a double major in Linguistics and Spanish.)

Now, I really only put on music while I read if I’m home alone, and only so that weird noises don’t make me think that someone’s breaking in.  What I listen to is usually just whatever I happen to have on my phone at that moment.  Could be Taylor Swift, Andrew McMahon, Bleachers, or something completely random.

Do you like to listen to something while you read, or do you prefer to have silence so you can focus on what’s happening in the story?