Bookish Musings: What Do You Listen To While Reading, Writing, and Blogging?

This is a very exciting post for me, guys, because it's my first discussion post ever!

Hurrah! *cue the cheering*

I decided, however, to keep it simple and talk about something everyone can join in on no matter what type of books you read or what you like/dislike when it comes to reading. And really, what is more universally loved than music?

I love pairing books and music and think music is great at setting the right mood, but I know some people can't listen to music while reading or writing, other people can only listen to certain types, etc., so let's discuss!

What I Listen to While Reading

I love using music to enhance the mood, and 8tracks is my go-to website. All the playlists have tags, so you can combine numerous tags to find exactly what you’re looking for (e.g. haunting + mermaids, if you’re reading a creepy Little Mermaid retelling). Then, when one playlists finishes, it flows right into the next similar one, and the only time I ever recall there being ads is right when you start the first playlist. So it’s music without interruption for every possible mood.

I also make my own playlists, but I make those after finishing the books, so I don’t get to enjoy them while reading.

What I Listen to While Studying/Researching/Reading Textbook Type Information

I don’t read textbooks anymore since I’m no longer in school, but I focus best with background chatter, like in a coffeehouse or food court. With silence, I get too easily distracted by my own thoughts. This site is amazing if you’re like me and need background noise. It has all sorts of scenes, and you can customize the sounds for each. (I swear I’m not getting anything for these links, people, I just really like these websites lol.)

What I Listen to While Writing

It depends. For poetry, I need complete silence. For stories, I usually use playlists that get me in the right mood and mindframe for what I’m writing, but I can also work with silence.

What I Listen to While Blogging

I listen to whatever the hell I feel like at the moment because I don’t need to be in any certain mood šŸ™‚

What I Listen to While Coding or Doing Tedious Things

This is my weird quirk. The music that keeps me the most focused is The Sims 1 original build/buy mode soundtrack. I feel like it was probably designed to help you focus since it’s the music that played while you were creating things, so maybe it’s not that weird? (“I’m not crazy, I promise!” I shout as I sing along in Simlish to the song at 1:51:10.) At any rate, I’m also just so used to hearing it from when I was younger that it fades to the background and never gets distracting.

What I’m Listening to Right Now

Oddly enough, a random workout playlist I have even though it’s 1 in the morning and I am most decidedly not working out. Uptown Funk is appropriate at all times of day šŸ˜›


Talk to me!

So tell me, what do YOU listen to while reading, writing, and blogging?
And, if you dare answer, what are you listening to *right now*?


Your Thoughts


35 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: What Do You Listen To While Reading, Writing, and Blogging?

I'd love if you'd share your thoughts, too!


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  1. Resh Susan

    Usually i don’t listen to anything at all. While studying, I dont mind listening to songs. Bu otherwise I usually keep humming and no work gets done.

  2. Joan @ Fiddler Blue

    Love this post! Haha, I can’t remember The Sims 1 soundtrack very well, but I’d take your word that it helps with building things. I remember that I listened a lot to The Script’s “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved” when I was building my Sims’ house, so maybe that’s why I can’t remember.
    Anyway, I don’t listen to music when I’m reading. When I’m writing or blogging, I listen to whatever I’m in the mood for. I’m a huge fan of Japanese and Korean music so usually it’s one of those XD There was a time when I only listened to Zumba songs, haha!

    Right now, I am listening to a Japanese singer named Yuna Ito and her song “Endless Story” šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Well, if you were going to cover up the Sims music with something, at least The Man Who Can’t Be Moved is a good song šŸ˜› But apparently I’m not the only one listening to workout music while blogging since you used to listen to Zumba songs! It seems most people don’t listen to anything while reading though, so you’re definitely not alone there.

      I checked out the Yuna Ito song, and I can’t understand everything she’s saying, but she does have a pretty voice!

  3. Amber Elise @ Du Livre

    I love the idea of listening to a playlist that meets my theme, but I find I always focus on the music too much (and choosing the music) to actually enjoy it. I’ll have to check out your 8tracks!

    When I blog I usually have some reality TV show in the background. Basic enough that I don’t have to pay attention to it, but it’ll keep me entertained while I’m churning out posts.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I do sometimes get distracted by the music when I’m reading, but I still like it for certain types of books. I don’t actually post anything on 8tracks, but I still love the site šŸ™‚

      Kinda funny though that you’re too distracted by music, but I’m tppdistracted by TV lol. I decided not to have a TV in same room as my computer because I do start paying too much attention to it, but I often keep the TV in the next room on just for the background noise.

  4. Angela @ Simply Angela

    I love this post! I generally always have some type of music playing in the background when reading. Like you, I find something that fits the mood of the book I’m reading. When I’m writing–as my current WIP is historical romance–I listen to traditional Gaelic music. As for blogging, I either have the telly on, an audiobook on, or the radio.

    As for what I’m listening to at the moment, I’m listening to Rod Stewart’s new album.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It seems we’re in the minority! But certain books especially are so enhanced by the right music. What a coincidence, I was actually just listening to some Scottish and Gaelic music the other day while *reading* a historical fantasy lol. My current WIP is being a pain when it comes to finding the right music, so I’m glad you found something that works for you. Listening to an audiobook while blogging sounds like a great idea, I might try that since I’m considering trying another audiobook this year, but I’m so bad at focusing on them because my mind starts to wander!

      I didn’t know Rod Stewart had a new album, but there are some older songs of his that I like šŸ™‚

  5. Pamela

    Music is a very important part in my creative processes, but, in different ways. Normally blogging and writing I do in silence, but something upbeat like the Step Up movies soundtracks works while blogging XD. For writing, like you, it depends on the scene I’m working on. Music is tricky there because sometimes I get caught up with it and ends up slowing the writing, so what I do is take a few minutes to get myself into the song’s mood, and then use the mood to start writing, with no music then. My favorites for getting into those moods are Fallout Boy, Imagine Dragons and Avril Lavigne songs.

    1. Kristen Burns

      That’s a good idea, using music to put you in the right mood but then turning it off so it doesn’t get distracting. I might give that a try next time I write. I find that songs I’ve heard a lot already tend to fade into the background easily since my brain is so used to hearing them, but it always kind of tricky to find the right balance so as to not get distracted. I love though that apparently it’s not so weird that I often listen to a workout playlist while blogging because a lot of bloggers seem to like upbeat music for that! And I like all three artists you mentioned šŸ˜› Imagine Dragons especially seems to have some great songs for reading/writing.

  6. Alexa @ Words Off the Page

    I have my own playlists on Spotify. I listen a lot to musical cast recordings. Especially ones I haven’t listened to before. I do this when I’m just working and I need something in the background. I tend to listen to the same music all the time. I just like having something in the background. The only times I listen to a certain kind of music is when I need to get the feel of an atmosphere when I’m writing. It’s so much easier to describe it when you’re feeling it.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I love musical soundtracks! But those are usually catchy which ends up being really distracting lol. But it does help just to have something in the background period. And it is definitely easier to describe things when you’re feeling them, plus they seem to come across more authentic that way.

  7. Lola

    So exciting that this is your first discussion post! Although I am very boring when it comes to this topic as I am not really a musical person i prefer to not listen to music while reading or blogging. I don’t really need music while doing other things, but I usually don’t really mind it too much when the music is on either. Although some music can really tug at my emotions and I can be pretty asociative with music, so songs can remind me of other memories and feelings, so I prefer something calm or instrumental usually.

    If I listen to music I prefer instrumental music. I don’t like vocal music when reading or blogging, unless I can’t understand the words. A few years ago I often listened to this icelandic music which wa svery pretty and had vocals, but as the language was mostly made up and partly icelandic I couldn’t understand a word. My boyfriend often puts on some music in our house and luckily we have mostly the same style in music, except for when it comes to jazz, I dislike jazz. It’s too chill, which makes me annoyed, like the music is forcefully slowing me down. It just rubs me wrong, although there are a few songs I don’t mind as much.

    I do like hearing how you combine certain books with certain music and it seems it can enhance the experience that way. And background chatter as music that does sound cool. I can read pretty well in rooms with ltos of people, but when I can’t make out the individual words. My boyfriend soemtimes put some sims remix music on, which is pretty nice, so I can see how sims music can help while creating. It’s nice music to listen to and easily blends into the background and doesn’t distract you.

    Right now my boyfriend is playign a spacey game and the background music is what I hear. Great post! I can’t wait to read your future discussion posts.

    1. Kristen Burns

      You’re not boring on this topic—it seems you’re actually in the majority. Music can definitely affect your emotions, so I can understand why you might not listen to certain types, but that’s the same reason I do listen to it while doing certain things šŸ™‚

      I’ve never heard Icelandic music, but you have me interested. I’m going to look some up. Sometimes having music that you can’t understand the words to is the best because, as you said, it’s less distracting, kind of the same way background chatter is great because it’s so many voices and sounds mushed together making single words indecipherable.

      Pairing books and music doesn’t always work, but books that have certain moods about them work perfectly. For example, I read Nocte twice this year, and the first time I didn’t listen to any music, and the book was good. But the second time I put on some kind of dark, eerie, haunting yet beautiful music, and I couldn’t even BELIEVE the difference it made. I mean, no amount of music will save a bad book, but it can make a big difference in the overall experience to me.

      Lol to the spacey music, and thanks! Thanks for joining in this one šŸ™‚

  8. Blaise

    I really listen to whatever when I’m doing whatever–except working out. When I’m at the gym, I need something with a good, preferably decently fast beat–“Uptown Funk” is actually a perfect example of my workout music, too xD Even when it comes to writing, I find I don’t really need a particular type of music to get into a particular type of mood. I think it’s because I usually end up so in my writing zone that I’m barely aware of what I’m listening to.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Working out definitely requires upbeat music! I think I’m not very good at getting in the writing zone yet though, so I need as much help as I can get from the music. I think what I really need is, like, blinders and a curtain draped around my head and the computer lol.

  9. Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    I have the attention span of a dog with a squirrel right in front of them, so as much as I wish I could, multitasking – especially while doing something that requires a lot of concentration, like reading or blogging – would probably end up in me being very distracted. I like to read when I can be fully concentrated and give me complete attention to a book, and I can’t do that if I’m multitasking. I envy people who can though! šŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous discussion! <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha I love your analogy. I get it, I do get distracted sometimes, but I’ve always been a multitasker and still like having the music. For some books, I do need silence in order to concentrate, but for others I’m able to listen. Thanks for joining in šŸ™‚

  10. Tiffany

    I usually don’t listen to music while blogging, reading, and writing. I’m a TV watcher instead. I find it’s easier to tune out the talking, than music. When music is on, I tend to start singing. Not much gets done. However, if I’m in a bad mood, music does help me concentrate. This is a good question!

    1. Kristen Burns

      I used to be a TV person through-and-through when it came to this kind of stuff, but about a year ago I decided to no longer have a TV in my room because it was just too distracting. Even shows I wasn’t interested in suddenly became fascinating when I had work to do. I do sing sometimes while blogging lol, but I figure at least I’m having fun even if I’m being 100% productive lol.

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  12. Erika E. @ The Nocturnal Fey

    Oh, I love this! Music is something I can’t live without on my everyday life. Even when I go to store, or run an errand, I have to bring my phone and earphones for music. When I blog, read, clean my room, and any other indoor activities, I play my whole music folder from my desktop at shuffle. So I yeah, I listen to random. One moment it’s rock, then the next few minutes, it’s Yiruma. lol. But sometimes, while reading, if there’s a certain scene I feel like there’s an appropriate background music to go to, I’d choose the right song. So that when I listen to that song, I’ll remember “that” scene. Also, when I clean my room and dust my shelves, I love listening to upbeat songs, so that I can sing and dance along. Cleaning can’t get any more exciting than having a lovely music background. lol.

    Right now, while writing my comment, Almost is Never Enough by Ariana Grande and Nathan Sykes is playing šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Wow you really are a music person! I can’t just listen to random music though. Not even just while reading or writing, but whenever I listen. I feel like I’m always in the mood for something specific, and anything else will just irritate me at that moment. But I love that you sometimes choose specific songs for scenes! The best is when you don’t do it on purpose but the stars align, and the book and music gods shine down on you, and the PERFECT song comes on at the PERFECT part of a book. It does make the scene memorable. I’d never heard that Ariana Grande song so I’m listening right now šŸ™‚

  13. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    So I put on my Amazon playlist just so I could answer your question šŸ˜‰ The answer of what I am listening to right now is La Belle et le Bad Boy by MC Solaar. That may change by the time I am done, I’ll let you know.

    Anyway, I am bad at listening to stuff while I am doing anything that requires too much focus- so writing is definitely out, and unless I am making graphics or looking for gifs, I can’t listen while blogging either. Some days I can do it while commenting- we’ll see how it goes tonight! I think the problem is that I get distracted with my own singing and chair dancing haha.

    While reading, I need SILENCE. But here’s the weird part- I HAVE to have the TV on, so I mute it. Why? Doesn’t make a bit of sense! Just a weird thing I guess.

    Time for a song change! Now Magnets [feat. Lorde] by Disclosure is on šŸ™‚

    You made me laugh HARD with The Sims soundtrack! I love that game hahah. OH and I agree with your textbook/studying thing- I had to have noise too, though it was a RARE occasion when I would study, if we are being honest šŸ˜‰ Very fun post!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, I love that you put on a playlist just for my post. I’m flattered šŸ˜› I’m checking out the all the songs people share with me, and this MC Solaar is so chill, I like it.

      I guess the thing about me is, my mind kind of just tunes out audio all on it’s own. Like, I know it’s there and, if it’s music, it affects my mood, but I don’t focus on it unless I tell myself to. It’s why I can’t listen to audiobooks—my attention just drifts away. But I don’t understand why you turn the TV on but mute it, haha. That’s the opposite of what I do because visual stuff is what distracts me.

      Ooh this Magnets song is good too! But yes, I still love the Sims! And thanks, glad to have the discussion challenge, makes these posts so much more fun šŸ™‚

  14. Cilla

    This is an interesting topic! Back when I was writing reports for undergrad, I listen to instrumental songs. Anything with lyrics is too distracting and I’d find myself singing along instead of doing what I should be doing. XD With blogging and writing, I prefer singer/songwriter type of musics; for whatever reason they’re the kind of music that gets me in the mood to write. šŸ˜€ I can’t listen to anything while reading though; I need to be absolutely immersed in my own imagination then, so silence works best! As for right now, I’m listening to Hundred Million Dollar Soul by Kate Voegele šŸ˜€

    Anyway, great discussion post. I look forward to reading more from you!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Just the other day I had this kind of tribal but chill drum music on (which is different than the usual instrumental, but still), and I was surprised at how well it seemed to actually *help* me focus. So I can see how instrumental would be useful. And I do sometimes read in silence, so I get that too šŸ™‚

      This Kate Voegele song is pretty! Thanks for joining in, I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts!

  15. Daniela Ark

    Great post!! When I’m reading or blogging I don’t listen to anything since I’m a little ADD [I’ve never been diagnosed but I know there got to be something like that going on! Lol ] same goes for writing but I do like to listen to Dave Mathews before I work on my draft. His dark l, evocative lyrics are the perfect inspiration for my urban fantasy šŸ™‚

    1. Kristen Burns

      Haha, apparently a lot of people don’t listen to anything while reading or blogging, so you’re not alone! That sounds like some great music for urban fantasy though. I’m gonna have to try this listening-to-music-before-writing thing, instead of during, since you’re the second person who’s mentioned doing it that way.

  16. Lauren H.

    Reading – nothing. I can read when the kids are playing and when the hubby is playing video games and talking to his teammate the whole time. I can even read when the TV is on, but no music for me and it can’t be a TV show/movie I’m interested in either.

    What do I do when I’m listening to an Audio Book – Mostly, I listen when I’m driving. But when I’m at home I try and do laundry or when I want to be completely useless, I just play a mindless game on my phone/ipad.

    Writing – I created a Novel Writing playlist but I have to turn it down real low.

    Blogging – Spotify. Any of my playlists will do.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh, I definitely can’t have shows I’m interested on while trying to get things done lol. I recently decided not to have a TV in my bedroom anymore for that reason (my bedroom is where my desk is).

      I think I kind of envy people who can listen to audio books. I’ve tried, but my mind drifts too easily.

      As for writing (and reading), I too have to turn the music down really low. That way it’s just kind of there and I can’t really make out the lyrics. But blogging is definitely anything goes šŸ˜›

  17. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I’m one of those people who can’t listen to ANYTHING while I read. I can’t turn my brain off enough to not listen to lyrics. I DO watch TV while I blog, though – which makes no sense since it’s way more distracting. But I can allow my brain to do two things at once while I blog – just not while I read!

    1. Kristen Burns

      TV is way more distracting for me because ooh moving pictures! Lol. But music my brain can block out to the background. It’s definitely easier to multitask while blogging though, so I get it!

  18. SJ Bouquet

    Well this is unique and fun! I love music too, and constantly need it going in the background (Unless I’m listening to an audio book. Cuz that can get confusing xD). I’ve never heard of 8-track before BUT I’M CHECKING THAT OUT NOW! Also your playlists are kind of awesome. You have great taste in music šŸ™‚
    While I’m reading a book, or focusing on homework (back in the day hehe…like, a year ago but whatevs), I listened to instrumental music. I tend to get caught up on lyrics, and those lyrics push me down rabbit holes, so instruments were the only safe option when I had to FOCUS. But for reading blog posts I’ll listen to anything I damn well please šŸ™‚ RIGHT NOW I’m listening to Magdalene by Bear’s Den ^_^

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh my goodness, I can’t imagine listening to music and an audiobook at the same time lol. I’m glad you like my playlists though! They don’t seem to get much attention, but I enjoy making them and then listening to them when I’m in the right mood. And thank you for complimenting my taste in music šŸ™‚

      I recently had on drum music (but not the crazy kind, more like a steady rhythmic kind) in the background while reading a book, and I found it surprisingly helpful for my concentration, but I don’t think I’ve actually tried the regular instrumental thing.

      This Magdalene song is nice! It’s chill. I like. I’m gonna check out by the artist šŸ™‚