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On Writing > What songs/albums and books are forever linked in your mind?

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message 1: by Micha (new)

Micha (selective_narcoleptic) | 92 comments The Seattle Public Library posted a great question today that I want to share with everyone: What songs/albums and books are forever linked in your mind?

I have always found that when a particular book forges itself with a particular song or album, the two are never the same for me.

If it was not a particularly good book, it suddenly had the capacity to become a lifelong favourite.
Such as the time where for some reason I was having trouble getting interested in Cloud Atlas, despite the author being a favourite of mine for all his previous works...until I heard Neutral Milk Hotel's Airplane Over the Sea album while reading Adam Ewing's journal. Now I will never let it go.
And other times just the opposite would occur and something I loved dearly would become less desirable because I heard Fergie playing nearby and the scene became associated with it - tragic story...

Either way, books and music have this wonderful way of combining themselves into Magic sometimes and I am interested to hear your stories about that.


message 2: by Claudia (new)

Claudia (brooklyn-reads) | 20 comments This is a great question, it's really got me thinking. It occurs to me I've always tended to compartmentalize music and reading, most likely because as a student of music I can't half-pay attention to it. Listening to an album while enjoying a novel is impossible for me; it's really got to be one or the other. And because of that I think I don't associate what I was reading at a certain point in time with what I was listening to.

For me, the memory of listening to a certain album is more tied up with where I was when I first fell in love with it - Cat Stevens' Tea For the Tillerman while scrubbing the bathroom shower or Dirty Projectors' Bitte Orca on a bitter cold subway platform in January.


message 3: by Jackie (last edited Jul 07, 2011 06:24PM) (new)

Jackie | 2 comments When I like an album or a song a lot, I will listen to it over and over again. When a book makes me feel strongly, I usually remember where I am and my state in life while reading these books. Couple these two habits together, and I have a couple powerful associations.
When I was in 7th grade I read Sybil and listened to When the Pawn... by Fiona Apple continuously. So now the two are forever linked in my mind in this dark, somber way. I can't hear one or think of one without the other one popping up in my mind.
Also, the first good Southern book I ever read was The Garden Angel by Mindy Friddle. At the same time, I listened to Norah Jones' second album and drank a lot of tea and it was all so cozy and wonderful. Great feelings now tied in with both of those.
I think the right music can add a lot to the experience of reading, but in some way it should be complimentary. There are those times, though, that you get so lost in the reading the music is inconsequential because you hear nothing in the outside world but the voice in your head reading to you.


message 4: by Matt, e-monk (new)

Matt Comito | 386 comments Mod
the album Toys in the Attic and the novelization of the classic schlock Jaws wannabe movie Orca starring Richard Harris - cant say why, cant say its a good thing. I was 12 but even today, if I hear Uncle Salty, I still think about that vengeful pissed off whale doing damage right and left


message 5: by Neil (new)

Neil McCrea | 204 comments Oddly when reading Nick Cave's . . . And the Ass saw the Angel And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave I ended up listening to Johnny Dowd's entire discography rather than Nick Cave himself.

I read McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses while listening to a lot of Johnny Cash All the Pretty Horses (The Border Trilogy, #1) by Cormac McCarthy .

I started reading The Restraint of Beasts The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills while on a Real McKenzies kick, but that changed to Billy Bragg about halfway through the novel.

That's all that comes to mind at the moment, but I'm sure others will occur to me. I almost always listen to music while reading.


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