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What’s your book reading/writing soundtrack?

Recently, I came across a small article about Booktrack, a platform that offers “soundtracks for books.” I haven’t used it yet, but I’m intrigued. It’s a service that offers tools to add music, ambient sounds, and sound effects to accompany a story, a book, or other text. It’s touted as a way to bring a book to life, enhance the reading experience, and provide a more immersive story world. It’s being marketed not just to writers wanting to add a dimension to the text but to, say, teachers who want to engage kids more in the classroom, etc. A lot of its options are offered for free upfront, but I’m sure it’ll be more purchase-based depending on how much you use it and what you use it for. Here’s a quick video that gives you a better idea of what it’s like.

Now, I’ve bought books where they actually include a CD with it to be listened to while reading. I hear plenty of authors talk about the types of music they listen to during different writing stages. I also know that I tend to veer toward certain styles of music depending on what scene I’m working on–such as more sweeping movie scores for fight scenes, versus ambient music during dialogue-heavy parts. Should writers be making more of an effort to suggest the sounds and music readers hear, or should that remain up to the reader’s imagination?

Do you have a book soundtrack, a playlist you turn to for particular genres or specific titles? How about when you’re writing? Does your music differ according to the story or scene, or do you tend to stick to whatever styles are more personally motivating and enjoyable?

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  1. Thomas A Fowler
    Thomas A Fowler May 1, 2014

    My soundtracks while writing skew toward whatever emotion needs to be felt. Oftentimes you can’t find the exact sone so if it invokes the right catharsis, style is secondary. Love the BookTrack idea, would be ideal if it could be integrated into an even more interactive experience including progressive special features in the eBook too.

  2. Mary Ellen Martin
    Mary Ellen Martin May 1, 2014

    I tend to use instrumental music when writing, so the lyrics won’t flavor my scene or distract me. My first knee-jerk reaction to whether books should have soundtracks is no. That is why we are so divided on why books are better than their movie counterparts. I prefer to let my imagination do the work when I’m reading.

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