Can You Read A Book And Listen To Music At The Same Time?

Reading as an activity is carried out differently by everybody out there.

Some people prefer to read and do other things while reading, others like to simply focus on the reading and not get into anything else.

Most of my peers like to read books whilst listening to soft music because they find it more appealing and generally a better way to consume material.

Reading with music is something that raises a lot of questions and this post will address one of these questions.

With that said, Can you read a book and listen to music at the same time?

You can certainly read a book and listen to music at the same time provided it doesn’t distract you. Some people find it hard to concentrate on reading whilst listening to music while others find it to be an effective way of reading.

Therefore it comes down to preference.

Advantages of listening to music and reading

Can keep you active

The one advantage that most people talk about when it comes to reading and listening to music is that it’s able to keep them active.

Reading can certainly be a stressful activity and most people find themselves asleep when they had intended to read.

Therefore, having some music playing in the background can help keep your brain engaged on more than one activity…. which is beneficial to those that may find it hard to stay on reading for long.

Therefore it’s always a good idea to test out how best you can read and if reading with music can be helpful to you.

Can make reading more interesting

People don’t often say it but reading is one of those hobbies that people desire but don’t actually do.

We are different and what may seem like a great hobby to some may seem like too much work for others. This is understandable.

For example, some people find it more appealing to watch TV rather than listen to music… preference is something that has to be definitely considered.

One advantage of reading books with music is that it makes the whole process of reading much more interesting.

This can help you read better which brings me to my next point…

Can set the tone for reading

One advantage of reading while listening to music is that music can set the tone for reading and allow you to read better.

Just like some people clean and optimize their reading spaces to make them better spaces to set the whole mood for reading….

some people use music to set the tone for reading and sort of prepare themselves to get into reading.

Ofcourse this is not something that everyone would find helpful but most people that I know consider music to be a great mood setter for reading.

Therefore its always about preference, if you’ve never read with music before, try it out and see how best it works out for you or not.

Can make you enjoy reading

This point is basically a continuation from the previous one and it has to do with preference.

People that like to read whilst listening to music say music makes reading much more enjoyable.

Which is of course preferential. Some people can’t make it past one single page of a book whilst listening to music.

There are different reasons for this and below I’ll discuss some of the disadvantages of reading and listening to music according to various people that I had the chance to talk to about this subject.


Disadvantages of reading and listening to music

It can be distracting

One of the disadvantages of reading while listening to music that most people speak about is that music can be distracting.

even more so, if the material being read is complex.

This is why I avoid music altogether when I’m reading because it makes the experience difficult for me.

I easily get distracted by the music like most people do, so I prefer to study with no background music or noise.

Which is why preference is at the centre of this discussion because what may seem distracting for some may be tolerable for others.

Makes it harder to think

Reading is not just any activity. I’m sure you’ve come across blogs that say reading makes your brain work harder.

This is true. Reading for the brain is like exercise and it makes the brain stay occupied and busy.

Listening to music whilst reading books can make it harder for most people to think and process what is being read.

Which is why most students are advised not to study while listening to music because it can make comprehension difficult.

However, some may find it easier to read with music.

Makes it harder to focus

Listening to music and reading a book is basically you spliting your concentration on two things.

This can make it harder for you to keep your focus on what it is you’re reading.

Therefore its better if you separate these two activities rather than combine them. Especially if you have difficulty concentrating.

For comprehension and concentration sake, you might want to read books with no music so you can properly consume what the author is conveying to you through words.

Multi tasking may work for other activities but it doesn’t particularly work well for studying in most cases.

Can make reading slow

Reading is primarily a slow process especially if you’re reading complex material.

Therefore, combining this activity with music can make the reading process ultimately even slower.

Unless ofcourse you’re speed reading through text or skimming through it.

Reading with music ultimately comes down to what kind of music you’re listening to as well.

Some genres can be tolerable while others may be disturbing and pretty much distracting.

Which is why below I’ll discuss the genres that I’ve found to be most effective when it comes down to reading whilst listening to that kind of music.

Good music and reading combinations

Classic music

Classical music is great for reading due to its relaxed manner. This can help you read without losing much focus or concentration.


Jazz is another great form of music that can be utilized well with reading due to the fact that it is mostly relaxed in manner.

Furthermore, Most jazz records don’t even have vocals in them which makes it even more convenient. This is because, vocals can be distracting when you’re trying to read.


Lo Fi or low fidelity music is also perfect for reading but you have to be careful because it’s soothing nature can easily make you fall asleep.

However, for those that like calm and quiet when studying, some soft Lofi music playing in the background can be the best way to go.

Of course there are other genres and types of music that are preferred for reading and it’s essentially up to you to figure out which will work best for you.


Should You Listen to Music While Reading? – Musical Mum

Do you read and listen to music at the same time?  – After school media

Read & Listen to music at the same time distract your brain? – Amino apps

6 Reasons To Try Listening To Music While Reading – Am Reading