I like to read with music playing, but it must be instrumental and relatively placid.
Over the years, I've been adding tracks to this mega Reading & Writing playlist on Spotify.
It's 45 HOURS long. I put it on shuffle and let it fly.
I've recently stumbled across similar playlists that aren't as long.
Jon Hopkins wanted to find a meditative, ambient music to share with his friends. So here's his: QUIET playlist (it's only 25 hours long).
Ben Watt has a playlist called Air Gap, which follows a similar set of rules: "ambient, beatless, suspended meditations." (~4 hours)
Now, if you don't have Spotify, you can still listen to these playlists, but they will play on shuffle and have intermittent ads. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.)
For an other meditative treat, here's 30 minutes of Studio Ghibli meditative beauty:
In other music-y realms, I've been come to building ongoing playlists for the year. Whenever I encounter a song that grabs me (usually introduced to me from the Spotify algorithm--it finds music that it thinks I may like), I dump it in a playlist for that year. And then it accompanies me on walks, road trips, Saturday. It's also a primary source for building a playlist for a game night or party or what-have-you.
These kind of playlists serve as a kind of musical commonplace book--a place to log and collect songs (and if you know anything about me, I'd say it's a pretty eclectic collection). The songs transport me to vividly specific times and places. It's like other sense memories.
My 2021 playlist is growing at quite a brisk pace. There are some fun songs on there by musicians I've never heard of (and some I have). I love it. Here's my playlists from a couple years back as well:
Books Read 2020
Books Read 2019
Books Read 2018
Books Read 2017
Books Read 2016
Books Read 2015
Movies Watched 2020
Movies Watched 2019
Movies Watched 2018
Movies Watched 2017
Movies Watched 2016
Movies Watched 2015