Playlists to Read to

Playlists to Read to

by Thanvi Dola, Prose Staff

Everyone reads differently. Maybe you’re the type to work through a book for weeks, chewing on each word and turn of phrase ad nauseum. Or perhaps you like to inhale your reads, turning pages until the sun rises over their edges. Maybe you prefer reading Stephen King on a stormy night to Nicholas Sparks at the beach. To reread or not to reread, physical bookmarks or dog-earing, paperback or hardcover, pro- or anti-Kindle, prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction: in certain circles, these decisions tell others everything there is to know about you. But, while how and what we choose to read varies, the one thing every reader shares is how reading what we love makes us feel. When I say “feel,” I don’t mean we share each other’s emotions or reactions to the text in front of us. No, I mean really, truly feeling as an action verb. The kind of feeling where you’re no longer yourself, transported to worlds of sword fights and beasts, grief and different kinds of beasts. Ask even the most casual reader and they’ll tell you all about it without ever finding the right words. Here’s the best way I can describe it: indescribable. Indescribable because there are few other activities in life that can create the same magic of falling headfirst into a life and a passion that is not entirely yours. In my quest to find a suitable substitute for it during the regrettable hours I spend not reading, or—let’s be honest—not feeling like reading, I’ve realized the only thing that comes close is music. To me, Movies and plays will always have a degree of separation between audience and actor. Art is a little too subjective. But Music? Music is nothing but an extension of poetry and a risktaker’s prose. I’ve spent an inordinate amount of my life on Spotify, crafting playlists to fit the most specific emotions of my life. Sometimes, I’ll even let my imagination draw me into another life the same way reading does and write someone else’s story through a carefully chosen array of sounds. While limited by its length, I’ve found a good song can take you on just as good a narrative and emotional journey as anything. And, if you curate these songs just so, it can evoke the feeling you get from some of your favorite writing. Some of my favorite books have become hour-long amalgamations of indie rock and 80s pop. Of course, not everyone has the time, patience, or penchant for procrastination to make playlists for each and every emotion they feel while reading. But, luckily for you, I have all those things in spades. So, from one reader to another, here’s a compilation of playlists to read to:

For That Romantic With a Capital “R” Poem
For That Thrilling Page-Turner That Makes You Want to Drive a Little Faster At Night
For That Cute Romance About Two Twenty-Somethings Who Really Should Not be Able to Afford That Big City Lifestyle With Those Jobs
For That Terrifying Short Story You Have to Hide Under the Floorboards When You Sleep
For That Self-Help Book You Swear is the Beginning of You Getting Your Life Together (For Real This Time)
For That Coming-of-Age Novel That Got You Through High School
For That Childhood Favorite That, Honestly, Still Hits

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