Booking through Thursday asks: What, if any, kind of music do you listen to when you’re reading? (Given a choice, of course!
In general, I find that classical music is an excellent complement to reading — softer pieces, generally, nothing bombastic. However, when reading some specific genres and books, I like to take advantage of my diverse music collection and play appropriate tunes. While reading Bernard Cornwell’s Napoleonic adventures, for instance, I’ll play the fife-and-drum version of The British Grenadiers and other period marching tunes. I listened to nothing but fifties/sixties hits while reading Stephen King’s Christine, and the fact that I played only the songs Christine played went far to make my reading experience all the more creepy. Jazz plays if I’m reading police novels (“Harlem Nocturne” is so very noire), a pairing I tried for the first time while reading the Harry Bosch mysteries, since Bosch is obsessed by jazz. There are other obvious matches: Star Wars/StarTrek novels get music from the movie soundtracks, and “La Marseillaise” plays during any work set in France. It helps that I keep my music organized by genre, though my particular way of sorting music (“Eighties Pop”, “50s/60s/70s Pop and Rock”, and “Rock” are three different folder I use) may confuse others.
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