Tune into the reading playlists designed to transport you into the pages

The International Booker Prize and music streaming platform Deezer have joined forces to create six playlists to switch on while flicking through some of this year’s most exciting reads

What kind of reader are you? Do you inhale books faster than you can say ‘Dostoyevsky’, or do you flick through leisurely in a stolen moment of peace? Perhaps you like to curl up with a cup of tea, or maybe your style is more on-the-go?

However you do it, reading has the power to completely remove us from our everyday lives, transporting us to fantastical places, soothing worries and anxieties, and acting as a welcome distraction from our everyday lives. That said, there are certain things that we can do to enhance our reading experience, and a recent study from Khatam Ol-Anbia University, Iran, has found that playing background music while we get stuck into a book has the ability to aid our comprehension, resulting in a truly immersive experience.

With this in mind, the team behind the International Booker Prize (IBP) – which is awarded in May each year to the best single work of fiction translated into English and published in the UK – and streaming service Deezer have come together to create a series of playlists designed to transport you into the pages of six of the most anticipated books of the year – a pairing that they compare to a ‘delicious meal with a great bottle of wine’.

In these carefully crafted playlists, each book is partnered with songs which pluck you from your surroundings and place you inside the world of the story – whether that be in a dystopian reality for Memory Police or an unnerving village in Mexico with Hurricane Season.

“Every playlist changes tone, beat and mood to complement the different narratives, from the magic in The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, to the satire of Tyll,” explains Adam Read, Deezer’s UK and Ireland music editor. “I had so many surreal moments creating these playlists. For the readers, I’m sure it will keep intensifying as they get further engrossed in the book.”

woman reading book on the sofa

The creators compare the pairings to a ‘delicious meal with a great bottle of wine.’

If you’ve already got a lot on your to-read list, the team have also created a ‘Summer Reading’ playlist, that will give you two hours of uninterrupted, tranquil tracks. But if you’re ready to dive into the IBP 2020 series, discover playlists for:

“Over the past year of reading, I’ve been tuned into some brilliant translated fiction,” says Ted Hodgkinson, chair of the IBP 2020 judges. “Now, I’m excited to hear some sounds selected by the experts at Deezer, who have curated playlists tailored to this year’s shortlist. I hope this will inspire more readers to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of our International Booker Prize shortlist.”

Interested in learning more about the mental health and wellbeing benefits of reading? We’ve got you covered. Discover our book special issue, which takes a closer look at the way that a good read can truly change our lives.


Happiful July 2020 cover

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Illustration | Rosan Magar