Friday, February 17, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 84: Reading with TV or Radio On

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @

For more information, and 
to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.

This Week's Question

Can you read and watch TV
or listen to the radio at the same time?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth @ 

My Answer

This question is really a no-brainer for me. I don't think it's really possible to concentrate on a book and whatever program is on the TV, at the same time. The exception for me is when I'm really not interested in the program, and just have the TV on for background noise. This is not really my idea, though; it's my husband who needs to have the TV on at all times, whether he's watching it or not. Lol.

When the volume is low (as in background noise), I am totally able to concentrate on my book. If the volume is set at a higher level, though, and what's on the tube is something I find very interesting (such as a "Star Trek" rerun), then obviously the tube will win out. If the book I'm reading is TOTALLY FASCINATING, then the book will win out. Of course, in such cases, I would much prefer to have the TV off, anyway.

Things are a little different with radio stations, CDs, or MP3s. These are my music sources. At home, I usually listen to either CDs or MP3s. While commuting to work or somewhere else, then I listen to any of these music sources.

I can listen to music while reading, but it really depends on the type of music being played. I do prefer to have no music on at all while reading, but, if I do have some playing, the best type for me to listen to is meditation music. I am unable to read at all if I'm listening to either classical music, rock, EDM (electronic dance music), soft rock, or jazz. Meditation music -- such as New Age music -- is okay, because the melodies are frequently repetitive and, of course, they're always soothing. Thus, they don't take away from my concentration on the book. Even with this type of music, though, I do need to have the volume on low. 

Reading is a left-brain activity, for the most part, although there's some right-brain activity involved, especially when one is reading fiction, and is picturing the imaginary settings invented by authors. Listening to music, on the other hand, is definitely a right-brain activity. So it stands to reason that these two activities would be incompatible with each other, except in the situation I mentioned above. Watching TV is mostly a right-brain activity, especially in cases of programs that don't require any thought at all, such as game shows or comedy shows. Programs such as documentaries or dramas do require some thought.  Since visual input can grab one's attention so completely, of course it will win out when one is trying to read a book. Visual images are extremely compelling, especially for visually-oriented people like me. Again, if the TV is on only for background noise, then I will be able to ignore whatever images it's showing.("Beam me up, Scotty!" Huh? Wait a second, is that a "STAR TREK" episode playing?! Quickly puts book aside and rushes to the TV to watch.)

Summing up, I would have to say that these three highly entertaining activities are best kept separate, again, with some few exceptions. At least, this is how it works out for me!  

What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment!
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 


  1. Great topic and great post Maria.

    I am somewhat of a reading purist. I really do not like much sound at all when I am reading. I think that I am less tolerant of music then you are.

    Your analysis of the activities as right brain/left brain make sense.

    1. Hi, Brian!

      Thanks for the compliment!! :)

      Usually, I prefer to have silence, as well. But I'm able to concentrate on a book under the circumstances mentioned above.

      I'm glad you liked my analysis of reading, watching TV, and listening to music. I love how our brains can shift back and forth from one to the other, and, at times, even combine both!

      Thanks for the TERRIFIC comment!! Have a GREAT weekend!! :) :) :)

  2. Love your answer as always. You are always so thorough, and you always make smile and/or laugh.

    Thanks, and have a great weekend.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Aw, gee....thank you so much!! I always try to make my posts interesting, and I love to inject a little humor in them, too!

      Thanks for the visit and the lovely comment!! Enjoy your weekend!! <3 :)

  3. I'm with you, Maria. I do put the tv on for my husband when I want to read, but I always find him a show that I'm not interested in. When I'm in a book - I'm wholly involved in just the book. My poor family has to call my name multiple times to get my attention. Oops! lol I even find music distracting. What you said about left-brain and right-brain activity is so interesting to me. That is something I have never researched; but you've made me very curious, and I plan on looking into that more. I bet I can figure out why I struggle to listen to audio books. A wonderful post topic, and I loved your answer! Have a wonderful weekend, sweet friend! *hugs* <3

    1. Hi, Michele!

      It's so interesting that we have the same situation regarding the TV! Lol. And we also share the total immersion in a book, to the point that we don't hear family members calling our names! Lol. Well, to be honest, this happened to me more while I was growing up.

      I find it so FASCINATING that certain activities are handled by the left or right sides of the brain, and some by both sides simultaneously. I need to do more research on this myself!

      As for audiobooks, I'm not really into them. I did listen to the first two books of The Twilight Saga, but only after I had read the printed books. Lol.

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful, lovely comment!! LOTSA HUGS!!! πŸ’πŸ˜˜πŸ’πŸ˜˜πŸ’πŸ˜˜πŸ’πŸ˜˜

  4. What a thoughtful, detailed answer you gave. Love it!

    1. Hi, Nicki!

      I like to make my answers as interesting as possible, with a little humor thrown in as well!

      Thanks for such a nice comment!! πŸ˜˜πŸ’

  5. While my preference is to read in silence, I wouldn't get much reading done if I had to wait for moments like that. I've learned to read in just about any situation. Like you, I find that a lot depends on how good the book is. If it's really good, I can block out everything around me. If it's not that good, I find myself easily distracted.

    I do like to listen to audiobooks when I am driving or cleaning the house--I find those are really the only two times I am able to concentrate enough on an audiobook. Even then, it has to be a pretty enthralling book because my mind wanders so easily. I'm much better at taking in words on a page than hearing them. It's a work in progress.

    I hope you have a good week!

    1. Hi, Wendy!

      My preference is also to read in utter silence, but I can concentrate with some background noise, if it's too loud. And yes, it does depend on how good a book is! Absolutely!! But you 're MUCH better at blocking out distracting sounds than I am. In your post, you mentioned being able to read in a noisy restaurant. I know I wouldn't be able to do that, not that it's ever come up.

      Audiobooks are actually very relaxing, and, although I have never tried it, I could see myself cleaning while listening to one. However, and again like you, I much prefer the printed word. I totally agree that it's much easier to absorb! That means we're both visually-oriented people.

      Hope you have a good week, too!! Thanks for the interesting comment!! HUGS!! <3 <3 :) :)


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