Songs to Build Your Reading Playlist

I’m one of those people who are particularly fussy when it comes to playlists. I having a playlist for everything, really. Most importantly, I have specific reading, writing, and study playlists.  When it comes to reading, I need it instrumental, flowy, and with some kind of a journey. This is a bit of a sample of my go-to score for reading. So get your playlist/Spotify/i-Tunes/Tidal updated with some of these lovelies, it’s such gorgeous aural brain food to complement the intellectual feast accompanying it. If you know of any others, feel free to add them to the comments below, because I can never get enough music. I hope you like these.


Latch– Sam Smith Instrumental Cover -Simply Three-

Rain – Brian Crain Violin and Piano. Hopeful. Piano sounds like rain.

Who’s the Artist?Big Eyes OST Danny Elfman

Chord Left– Agnes Obel

Claude Debussy : Clair de Lune, for Piano (Suite Bergamasque No. 3), L. 75/3

Arrival of the Birds– Theory of Everything Soundtrack – Extended Version

Sigur Rós – Fjögur píanó

Like Home- Gone Girl OST- Trent Reznor



All Gone- No Escape – The Last of Us OST

Broken – Broadchurch OST by Olafur Arnalds

Leave no Man Behind–  Black Hawk Down OST-by Hans Zimmerman

You, Si, Mi (Antlerman Remix) by Nils Frahm


However if you’re wanting to read/write/study with a soundtrack that has a sense of linear flow or mood; movie, and video game soundtracks are actually the best for that. Obviously they’re not all instrumental in their curation, but these are some of my killer movie soundtracks for Reading/Writing/Study.

Black Hawk Down – Hans Zimmerman (emotive, epic, beautiful vocals, hopeful)

Big Eyes– Danny Elfman (dreamy, a little sad, great for romance/fantasy)

The Social Network – Trent Reznor (a little cold at times, minimal, industrial feel. Great for suspenseful reading/writing)

The Hours – Philip Glass (beautiful, sad, great for historical novels, intense research)

The Last of Us- Gustavo Santaolalla (gritty, epic, sad, guitar-heavy, great for rural , crime, suspenseful reads)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Alexandre Desplat (beautiful piano, child-like, epic, sad, emotive, hopeful)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Jon Brion (quirky, cheerful piano and cello, sad, emotive, happy)

Animal Kingdom – Antony Partos (eerie, dark, edgy, atmospheric, emotive).

Pride and PrejudiceDario MarianelliJean-Yves ThibaudetEnglish Chamber Orchestra
(beautiful piano, lovely flow, better for reading than writing)

Chocolat- Rachel Portman
(ranges from gorgeous Hispanic, to a Beauty and the Beast feel. Hopeful, magical, romantic, a little sexy, and adventurous)

I hope you enjoy these. Again- any soundtrack/playlist suggestions, feel free to pop them in the comments.

Happy writing and reading!

Samantha Irby and Robin Sloan talk about their favorite books in our newest podcast, Recommended. Download it for free from Apple Podcasts or Google Play.