The Perfect Reading Playlist The You Didn’t Expect

Just a short note here but I was thinking about how I used to listen to music while I read.  It was mostly done in grade school and a little in college.  I admit now that it didn’t really aid in the reception of information, meaning that book music was for when I studied history in high school. It didn’t really help me learn history any better than if I wasn’t listening to music.  Maybe that’s because I was plugged in to punk rock, grunge, and a little bit of metal.  Pulsating drum beats and really fast rhythms aren’t particularly conducive to the best learning environment.

In college there were a series of jazz albums that came out, each titled and positioned as jazz music for certain things.  I picked up one that was called Jazz for a Rainy Day.  There were others, one for reading poetry or fiction.  I think the music was mostly instrumental and allowed the mind to imagine the contents of the chapters better than say, Nirvana’s Live From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishka.  Anyhow, I wonder if my choice of musical genre might have limited my learning in that way.

What got me thinking about all this wasn’t regret that I didn’t study as hard or learn as well as I should.  Actually, it was the thought of having something appropriate to be the background music of my current read-Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” the first nonfiction novel.  The book is about a family that was brutally murdered in Kansas in the late 1950s.  The killers’ stories are told alongside the saga of the towns people reeling from the events and the search for the murderers.  What would be good music to listen to while I read this? I wondered.  I’m nearly finished with it (10 some odd pages left).  I wondered if the TV show-styled mystery themes from 1960s movies would have been good, or just some intense classical.  Who knows, but I am more likely to experiment with music to accompany my next reading selection, regardless of what it is.  Any suggestions?

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Host of the syndicated radio program The Appetizer heard on public radio across Texas and online from our Listen Now link; enjoys conversations, music, food, art, storytelling, and people. Connect with me. Would love to hear from you.

One thought on “The Perfect Reading Playlist The You Didn’t Expect

  • May 3, 2010 at 11:35 PM

    Classical music has always seemed to go with mystery type books and movies. The intensity of the music adds to the suspense of what you are reading or watching. I also think the music that was played during the Alfred Hitchcock movies was perfect to set the tone of the movie. Nothing like a good scary movie and book.


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