Ultimate Music Playlist for Reading: Resources and Examples

To listen to music, or not to listen to music: that is the question.

Believe it or not, this can be a rather complex question with a number of possible answers. For myself, a number of factors are taken into account when I choose to listen to music or not during my reading time; my mood at the time, the type of literature I’m reading, where I’m reading, and an abundance of other possible factors.

So say you decide one day you don’t want to listen to the sounds of the cars passing by or your noisy neighbours living above you or the children playing during recess across the street.

“What should I listen to?”

“Where can I find a good reading music playlist?”

We are such unique individuals that there isn’t one playlist that will satisfy everyone’s reading needs. Luckily, people have realized this early on and decided to create an abundance of options. I tend to listen to either instrumental or folk/indie/alternative music. Sometimes I’m in the mood for cinematic orchestra music; other days, I love the simple heartfelt tunes with soft spoken lyrics.

Without further ado, here are some of my top resources and playlists for music while reading.

One: 8tracks

8tracks is a website where everyday people, such as ourselves, create and share their personalized music playlists for a wide variety of uses. Studying, reading, cleaning the house, partying…you name it! You don’t have to create an account to listen to music, but doing so allows you to save your favourite playlists and organize them into collections (I.e. reading list). 8tracks also has an abundance of free apps available for a large selection of devices, such as for iPhone and Androids. The only downfall is that there are ads on the free version and you can only skip a few songs at a time; but really, why listen to the playlist if you’re just going to skip the first five songs?

Below are two playlists I thoroughly enjoy; both are instrumental but the first does have a few songs with repetitive lyrics.


Two: YouTube

YouTube is another wonderful source for finding reading music, believe it or not. YouTube has a crazy amount of videos: music videos, movie or television clips, DIY videos…the list goes on. Recently though, I discovered some phenomenal YouTube channels full of laid back music playlists. alexrainbirdMusicKoala Kontrol, and Ambient Light Music are all great channels for alternative/indie/folk playlists. Most do have lyrics though, so it’s not for those who’re unable to read with lyrics in the background.

Here’s my most recent favourite playlist from alexrainbirdMusic’s channel:

Two Part B: Favourite Artists

In addition to finding playlists already created on YouTube, you can create your own by making playlists in your library. When I find some songs I really enjoy, I add them to my favourites list – I’m sure most of you know how this works. Some of my all-time favourite artists to listen to, especially when reading, are:

Final Thoughts

There are so many other resources to choose from: other websites, apps (i.e. Spotify), a favourite radio station, or even creating your own playlist! If anyone’s ever interested, I’m more than willing to write out or create a playlist on a social media platform of my own reading playlists I’ve created on my iTunes account.

Discover what works for you: instrumental, rock, repetitive lyrics, folk…you may end up having multiple lists of different playlists to reflect the literature you’re reading and mood you’re in. What do you enjoy listening to while reading?

Happy reading!


Posted by

Author of Bookmark Your Thoughts, both the Tumblr and WordPress book review blogs. I'm a tea drinking, book loving librarian who just loves literature.

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