Reading with sound

As with most introverted personalities I know, listening to music while trying to concentrate is more of a hindrance than a help. The only sounds that won’t distract my mind as I type away or cuddle up with a good book are Classical. Any song that contains words buries itself inside my mind and fights for the attention of my imagination. I’m easily distracted.

That said, I still have moments when – listening to music on my way to work or at night before sleep – where I hear a song and think of it’s novel counterpart. The following are a selection of books I have enjoyed and the songs I associate with them.

Mrs Hemingway by Naomi Wood/The Paris Wife by Paula McLain –  – Jolene by Dolly Parton & Stuck Together Pieces by Atoms for Peace

You can have anything that you want / Except the thing you really want.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeDays by The Kinks

Thank you for the days / Those endless days, those sacred days you gave me / I’m thinking of the days / I won’t forget a single day, believe me.

Fifty Shades of FeminismNana was a Suffragette

Nana was a suffragette, it’s as if she’s still alive / Nana was a suffragette, their voices still survive / Singing “Votes for women, is just a beginning, you haven’t seen anything yet” / Oh, Nana was a suffragette.

Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnShe’s Not There by Santana

Ooh, nobody told me about her. What could I do? / Well, no one told me about her though they all knew.

The Easter Parade by Richard YatesBeyond Belief by Elvis Costello

So in this almost empty gin palace / Through a two-way looking glass you see your Alice.

God Ask Alice by AnonWhite Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane

When the men on the chessboard get up / And tell you where to go / And you’ve just had some kind of mushroom / And your mind is moving low / Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know.

Rory of Fourth Street Review does some fantastic Literary Mixtapes from which I was also inspired to write this post – go visit!

Got any book/song combinations of your own? Share them with me!

13 thoughts on “Reading with sound

  1. I love listening to music! Especially when I’m depressed or right before going to bed. :). I started reading again (well trying too).

    Anyways – I nominated you for the Liebster award. Let me know if you decide to accept it and/or do my questions.


  2. Often reading books, I can’t listen to music at the same time and concentrate. Like you, I’m easily distracted. Reading blogs like I am this morning, I can listen to music, maybe because the posts are short and I’m not getting completely lost. I like how you’ve combined the novels and the music, but usually my mind doesn’t work like that.


    1. I find, combining music and books is a complete after thought for me – it was a fun post to coble together.

      I too find that when commenting on blogs, music is fine – although nothing too loud as the lyrics become distracting even on shorter posts.


  3. I don’t really listen to music while reading. If something is already on in the background then I can tune it out and read but I don’t specifically turn something on just for reading purposes. Great topic.


  4. I can’t imagine reading in pure silence. Somehow I find that so much more distracting than music in the background. It’s like my senses go on high alert, listening for any noise that isn’t..normal, haha


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