My Favorite Soundtracks and Spotify Lists to Listen to While Reading

girl reading harry potter with headphones

I don’t always listen to music when I’m reading, but it can be really nice — especially when I want to block out other noise like weed whackers, leaf blowers, lawn mowers (I hate the sounds of lawn maintenance, obviously), other patrons at the coffee shop, other people on the train, or kids in restaurants (I do not hate other people, despite what it seems like from this paragraph).

But finding something to listen to while reading (or writing) can be tricky. Lyrics usually distract me from what I’m doing, so when I’m reading, I like to listen to music that either doesn’t have lyrics at all, or that has lyrics that “disappear” for me and sound more like a part of the music and less like discernable language. Because I’m often listening to music to block out some other sound, I don’t love a playlist that’s too quiet.

So here’s my go-to list. It’s not long; that’s partly because I don’t always listen to music when I read, and partly because I don’t mind listening to the same songs because it’s the books I want to stand out to me, not the music.

  • Harry Potter Soundtrack

  • Finding Neverland Soundtrack

  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close Soundtrack

  • The National (usually High Violet)

  • Sun Kil Moon (Admiral Fell Promises, Ghosts of the Great Highway or April)

  • Bon Iver (self-titled or For Emma)

  • Spotify Playlist: Soundtracks for Studying

  • Spotify Playlist: Music for Concentration

What are your favorite things to listen to while you’re reading? I’d love to know! Share your favorites with me on social media; I’m @crollwagen pretty much everywhere.

Carrie Rollwagen is cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books and host of the podcast Everybody Hates Self-Publishing. She hopes you’ll read as many books as you can, and that you’ll get them all from your local bookshop or library. You can find Carrie on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter @crollwagen.

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