Should You Listen to Music While Reading?

Do you prefer reading in the silence or do you like to have music turned on while reading? People have different preferences in it. I personally like to read and work in complete silence, but you may not like it. But how does music affect your reading performance? Can you read faster or comprehend better if you listen to music while reading?

In order to read efficiently you have to fully focus to the text. If you mind is not 100% present in the reading process then you will not remember well what you have read. Besides, poor comprehension it causes frequent skip backs, which in will decrease your reading speed. You may loose track and it is difficult to keep a good reading rhythm.

How will music affect your concentration? Could it help you to focus better? First, it must be admitted that our mind is capable of executing only a single tasks simultaneously and efficiently. Multi-tasking is a productivity killer. It holds to true for reading too. If you try to mix reading with other activities, such as watching TV, preparing a meal or cleaning your room, then both you reading speed and comprehension will suffer. If you want to read efficiently then have to focus only to reading.

Is listening to music while reading multi-tasking? Will it turn your focus away from the text? It depends on your listening habits and the type of music. The main point is that if you want to have music on while reading then the music should not cause you to actually listen to it. If your mind focuses to the music, then you focus drifts away from the text and the reading efficiency will suffer.

The effect on music on reading efficiency can be different for different persons. While it may a distraction to some people, many people do not feel comfortable in the complete silence. For them silence itself can be a distraction, which does not allow them to concentrate. If it is the case for you then you will benefit from background music.

Anyway, the music you are listening while reading should not be catchy. It should not make you to listen to it. Music should only create the atmosphere and fill the silence. I would recommend you to listen to instrumental music as in that case there is not threat that you will start listening to the lyrics. Music for reading should be relaxing. I would not recommend hip hop or heavy metal. Instead, sounds of nature, music for meditation or classical music are good choices.

Music can be helpful if you have to work in the noisy place, for example a crowded office or public transport. If you put on earphone then music will help you to escape from these noises. Having you earphones on will also help you to avoid interruptions from other people.

What is the best solution for you? To listen to music or not to listen to it while reading? Give it a try. Experiment with different types of music and see what works for you. Notice if music turns your focus away from text or not. If yes, then you should prefer reading in the silence or try with different and less catchy type of music.

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