Monday, September 12, 2011

Tag and Book Soundtracks


I like to be sure to mention when I'm aware of a shoutout. It's just so dang nice that people even think of me, so thanks to Scott Stillwell over at Just a Few Lines who tagged me. I'm supposed to tell you random things about me, but I've done that so many times already (like here, here, and here to name a few).

Book Soundtracks

John Ferguson posed the following question to our writer's group on Friday:
I don't think I'd be a fan of this, but Elana was pining for book soundtracks in one of her recent blog posts, so who knows, maybe they'd be cool.

When I first read about this, I thought, "Heck, yes!"

I remember as a girl reading an anthology of short stories compiled by Alfred Hitchcock--so you can imagine some of them were creepy (seriously creepy for this girl, let me tell you)--at the same time my older brother got the new (for him) Simon and Garfunkle album.

My brother played this album over and over and over again, all while I was reading this book. One particular story hit particularly close to home with me. It took place on a cruise ship, and we'd just spend three weeks sailing from Manila to San Francisco. Three weeks.

It wasn't until some time later that I discovered how that song and that short story were forever connected in my brain. All because I'd been listening to it (over and over and over again) Even now, when I hear The Sounds of Silence a shiver runs up my spine, and I'm taken back to that haunted cruise ship.

So on one hand, a book soundtrack intrigues me. I have playlists for my WIPs, and I choose music that fits the section of the book. When I hear a particular song, it takes me back to my tale.

But do I want someone else determining what music I associate with the books I read?

Hmmm ... I'll have to give that one some thought.

ETA: I prepared this post on the 10th, unaware that Paul Simon would be singing The Sounds of Silence at the 9/11 Tenth Anniversary Commemoration. I switched out the version I had in here with his. Paul Simon, in my opinion, is one of the 20th Century's greatest poets with the lyrics he's written.

What about you? Does the idea of soundtracks accompanying your ebooks appeal to you?


  1. Soundtracks to books: No, definitely not for me. If someone really wants to include a 'companion CD' that's one thing, but I don't want anything playing along with my book. I'll supply my own music, if I want any.

    'The Sounds of Silence' has always been one of *those* songs -- it's beautiful, poignant, kinda creepy, and the imagery in it is just brilliant. That was a nicely done version. I could not watch the memorial events yesterday. I saw about five minutes of it and found, ten years later, it still hits too close to home.

  2. I like the soundtrack idea as long as it isn't something I have to listen too while I'm reading the book. For some reason there can be a TV in the background but if there's music...I just can't concentrate on both reading and music at the same time. :)

  3. I don't think I'd like someone else choosing the music for me. Also, I couldn't listen to music and read. I'd be too distracted. Still, I think there are all kinds of changes like this coming to the e-book.

  4. I have music playing with my blogs, so why not ebooks? I adore music and it's very relaxing to read whilst music is playing.


  5. I listen to music sometimes when I write, but the songs I choose are more to fit my mood that day rather than what I'm writing. I say, just like everything else with writing - it's personal preference.

    As far as Paul Simon goes, in high school I constantly played his Graceland solo album. One of my favorites. And I liked Rhythm of the Saints also. Looks like I'm gonna have to get updated (read - not tapes) of those two albums.

    Nice version of the song you added. Thanks.


  6. Interesting idea. I have read all of the books of over 100 different authors, but I never considered putting music on a I read them. I don't read ebooks, and I'll bet there is an extra charge for adding music. However, the next book I start I will try adding some of my own music favorites to the background.

    AMLMOST FORGOT....I accepted your LIEBSTER award today....check out what I did.........kt

  7. Only if I got to select the songs. Not that my publisher could afford the royalties on my choices.
    Like you though, I do have certain songs in mind when I am writing.

  8. There I go again, indiscriminately tagging people I've just met. My Momma always said that would cause trouble ;)

    Personally, I would not want a soundtrack in an ebook. I suppose if there were an option to turn it off, it wouldn't keep me from buying. Still, I have to wonder who really benefits from the inclusion of music and the attending royalties. Do the readers pay more? Do the authors make less?

  9. I personally probably wouldn't listen to a soundtrack with a book, but I could see how others might like it.

    The Paul Simon video was very moving, thank-you.

  10. I haven't decided whether I might like the soundtrack e-books or not. Interesting, I've been working on a post on this very subject ... for next Monday. (great minds think alike?)

  11. Just as I connect the music of the times to events in my life, I connect certain music and songs to my novel. I even posted about it once, creating a soundtrack for my book.

    Then I went through a rough patch, a period of depression, and I listened to those songs over and over. Now I can't listen to those same songs without feeling a little blue, so I choose not to listen. Funny how music can do that.

  12. I think I would be fine with soundtrack e-books, as long as they were merely another option--something we could toggle on or off at will. *shrug* Great music choice, by the way. :)

  13. I doubt I would listen to the soundtrack if it did. I prefer no background noise when I read. Otherwise it drags me out of the story.

  14. Hi, Donna. Soundtracks playing as I read - I couldn't concentrate. A playlist that inspired the author as they wrote the book - I could listen to that.

    I don't know if you know this, but you won the query critique prize for my Kindness Giveaway a while back on my blog. Here is a link to the post announcing your win:

    No pressure to send me your query, I just wanted to be sure you knew that you actually won : ) You can send it to me whenever works for you. No rush.

    Take care!!

  15. Maybe I should try making a book soundtrack for my WIP to jump start it. Hmmmm...

  16. I wouldn't want to listen to a soundtrack while I read. I also don't create them for writing, but I do listen to my favorite music while I write.

    The Sound of Silence also gives me chills every time I hear it.

  17. I'm kind of indifferent. I suppose it's another marketing tool. I can't listen to music while I write (except for classical/instrumental), so it doesn't work for me, but I know there are tons of people who love to do that. As for Paul Simon, I adore him. Lyricist, storyteller, amazing musician. Love him. My father maintains that "Graceland" is the best song ever written :)

  18. Hello, just letting you know I've passed the versatile blogger award to you, check it out on my blog:

  19. Great discussion. I still don't think I'd like having sounds play while I read, but I'm curious enough to try it . . . once.

    Thanks for the mention.

  20. Donna, Thank you so much for posting that Paul Simon video. I had seen a brief mention of it on the news, but I didn't think to look for the full footage. God bless him! The respect and love he holds for NYC is so evident in that quiet, somber performance. I am among the lucky thousands who attended the S&G reunion concert in Central Park. 1981? 82? I don't remember, but it was awesome. I love listening to the CD and knowing that I was among the cheering throngs. I also have his "Surprise" CD. Are you familiar with that one? It's wonderful.

    As for the music we listen to when... I don't have reading or writing recollections, but when I first got into beading (2000), there were several top 40 songs I would hear on the radio (back before I became an NPR junkie), and whenever I hear those songs now, I remember my maiden voyages as a bead artist.

    Thanks for this post!


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