When in high school, a teacher told us not to listen to music while were doing homework or studying. If we felt we had to have background noise, we should listen to classical music. I think his intentions were to keep us from getting distracted by the lyrics.
I’ve always enjoyed classical music. Yes, I was laughed at while in school. My fondness for Tchaikovsky baffled my friends. I still listen to classical music, but more often than not I turn to movie soundtracks for background noise. And so, as I read the Hunger Games trilogy it was to the soundtrack from The Beautiful Country, a mediocre film with an exceptional soundtrack.
To this day, when I hear that music, I’m transported to that worn out sofa I called my reading spot and am reminded of Katniss Everdeen and her world. (I’ve since moved and replaced the sofa with a recliner)
While reading the first two books in the Divergent series, I listened to the soundtrack to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The same thing happens when I hear that music – that transportation to a different place and the reminder of a different world.
While I read the books in those series, the music was in the background. I wasn’t focused on it. If it stopped, I noticed and hit play again, but it didn’t distract me. In a way, it became a part of the story. When I read Allegiant I tried to find background music, but gave up and read in silence. It didn’t dawn on me until after I turned the last page that I should have played the soundtrack to The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.After watching the HBO series Game of Thrones based on A Song of Fire and Ice series by George R.R. Martin, the desire to read the books took hold, but I hesitated. When my nephew told me he read the first book and couldn’t put it down, I knew I had to read it. So, I bought book one.
I knew from the TV series the kind of music I wanted to accompany my reading journey. It would have been easy to listen to the soundtrack on Spotify, but unless you have a premium or unlimited account you have to deal with commercials. Nothing like an advertisement to jolt you out of the moment. So, I opted to dip into my side account and purchase the season one soundtrack. It has been a perfect companion to my reading.
For me, music as a reading companion is like the soundtrack to our lives. I’m sure you’ve heard a song on the radio and it transported you to a different time and place at least once in your life. In this case, the soundtracks for movies remind me of books instead of the movies they were written to accompany. I don’t know if that is bad or good.
I don’t like music with lyrics when I’m reading. It’s too distracting and having a television on while I read is downright bothersome. I wasn’t always that way. I could read while others around me watched TV. I used to sleep with a radio on and can’t do that anymore either. But I digress.
What about you. Does music accompany your reading journeys?