The following article will describe how I took the turn from reading as a chore to reading for joy. And, hopefully, you will be inspired to add some more casual reading to your to-do-list as well.
Some authors you think of and you imagine them drinking hard, staying up late, and listening to like jazz music or something. Maybe they have interesting parties with friends or something. What you probably don’t imagine is them waking up at the time your cool friends fall asleep.
The good folks at Brain Pickings put together a helpful infographic in which they break down the sleep habits of many famous writers. Some standouts include Honoré de Balzac who woke up at 1am. Haruki Murakami wakes up at 4am (and goes for long distance runs or swims every morning). Check out the full infographic below, and pick a copy up for yourself here.
Image Via Brain Pickings
Whenever you spend a lot of time doing something you love, you’re bound to come across a few things that just bother you. Vacationing, for instance, is wonderful. But you also have to wait on security at the airport. Not fun. Food is also great. But you have to pay for it. Not fun.
Reading, as we all can agree, is a wonderful pastime. But there are just some things in books that tick me off a little bit. Here are ten of those things.
1. When you spend a chapter watching somebody walk from point A to point B.
2. When two characters fall in love just because one is a boy and one is a girl but they have nothing in common.
3. When there’s a group of boys with one girl because there would realistically be at least two girls.
a gang of misfits where theres only 1 girl is the Most Unrealistic trope in media..we always travel in packs, usually with 1 friend who provides emotional support, 1 who keeps us from doing dumb shit & 1 who always pulls out stuff u need from her bag..boys cant replace such bonds
— f thot fitzgerald (@dracomallfoys) December 10, 2017
4. When the main character is an orphan just cause.
5. When the plot advances a millimeter in fifteen pages because we’ve heard the speaker’s every thought.
6. When there are no jokes and everything is just very grim.
7. When the writer is being edgy and writes in the second person (Besides you, Italo Calvino in If on a winter’s night a traveler. You can do no wrong.)
8. When there are jokes but they’re puns.
9. When the speaker describes how they look.
10. When the main character is attractive.
Feature Image Via Disney
A lot of people I know absolutely reject the idea of listening to music while reading, citing total distraction as a consequence of doing so, but I find I get distracted if I’m NOT listening to music, especially if I’m attempting to read in public. I recently flew home for Christmas and then back to New York and here is some of the music that allowed me to focus entirely on the book I was reading (Tender by Belinda McKeon: very good indeed. S’up Belinda?) while remaining un-distracted by wailing infants. I want you to give these a shot, and tell me how you like them.
I have long sought solace in DIIV’s atmospheric, dreamy shoegaze and both their first album Oshin and newer album Is The Is Are are absolutely beautiful, and relaxed enough not to distract. They provide lovely ambience for your reading experience. Here is one of my favorite tracks from Oshin.
Okay, not to seem very basic as I know “Claire de Lune” is the one piece of classical music everyone knows but it is that for a reason and it provides absolutely gorgeous background listening for a peaceful reading experience.
Explosions in the Sky
Explosions in the Sky are a bit of a throwback, but make wonderful reading music as they don’t use lyrics and rely totally on lengthy and haunting melodies.
I’ve been listening to Beach Fossils’ album Somersault a lot recently and Down the Line is my favorite song from it. The album also includes even more ambient and atmospheric tracks like “Tangerine.” Their chilled out vibes are just what a reader needs to get comfy and dive into a good book.
If you have yet to discover Arthur Russell, you have a treat in store. While Soon-To-Be Innocent Fun is the track I’ve chosen to illustrate how moving yet chilled his music can be, other songs I would highly recommend include A Little Lost and This Is How We Walk on the Moon. His stuff is absolutely beautiful and I often listen to it while reading.
I would recommend Waxahatchee’s entire discography, but especially her newest album Out in the Storm. It’s absolutely great, but the best song to read to is definitely 8 Ball, a gorgeous and relaxed tune that always soothes.
While many would associate Patti primarily with loud guitars and powerful vocals, she also has a lot of ballads, odes, and softer songs in her back catalogue. This beautiful song featuring Jeff Buckley suits the reading mood perfectly. I would also recommend listening to anything of hers while reading her writing, especially Just Kids, one of the most beautiful books ever written.
Snail Mail (Lindsey Jordan) is only seventeen and is absolutely amazing. Despite the fact that her vocals have been compared to Courtney Love, who, though amazing, is not the most relaxing person to listen to, Snail Mail is pretty soothing. The only thing distracting about her music is that when you remember that she’s only seventeen, you get very upset with yourself for being so USELESS AND WHY HAVEN’T YOU WRITTEN WONDERFUL SONGS but these feelings pass, as they always do.
I first came across Real Estate when they did an in-store at a record shop near where I worked a few years ago, and they have been chilling me the F out ever since.
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Image Via Citizen Goods
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