Cozying up with a good book is one of life’s great pleasures. To make the experience even more pleasant, some like to listen to music while reading.
But is this a good idea?
When reading, you must do so with focus. Thus, having music in the background adds another variable to the equation, which inherently disrupts focus.This is especially the case with more upbeat and heavy music like rock or rap.
Most music is not suitable for reading. However, there are some who claim that certain music can actually enhance focus. If this is true, then this is the ideal genre of music to listen to.
What Not to Listen To
Listening to music with lyrics must be avoided. Though it doesn’t seem like it, it takes a lot of cognitive function to recognize language patterns. Thus trying to listen to music (one language medium) and read (another language medium) simultaneously is ineffective.
Our minds can’t multitask. We can’t listen to a song with lyrics and read a book, and get the most out of both of them. Something has to give.
To determine if a source of music is detracting from your reading, ask yourself:
“Am I absorbing and understanding all the content in this book while listening to this music?”
Also, ask yourself:
“Am I enjoying the full melodies and beauty of this song.”
Again, if it’s not a ‘Hell Yes’ its a ‘Hell No’.
If the answer is not a definitive yes, than turn the music off.
Read and Listen with Focus
When most people listen to music while reading, the music is a secondary activity. This means that to them the music is not as important as reading.
But good music deserves attention in its own right. This means you should listen to music as a singular activity, not something to neccessarily enhance another activity.
Music and books are wonderful luxuries. They are something that must be enjoyed in their own allotted period of time.
If you insist on listening to music, do so diligently. Assure that it is not only distraction-free, but perhaps enhancing cognitive function and the retention of information.
Best Music to Listen to While Reading
If you insist on listening to music, then stick with light classical. Some recommendations include Chopin, Mozart and Liszt.
If I am going to listen to music I prefer light piano.
Plus, they’re all longer tracks, so you don’t have to constantly worry about finding a new song.
If you have any recommendations share below!