Musical #SoCS #StreamofConsciousness Saturday

If you had to get rid of one or the other, would you destroy all the books in the world or all the music in the world?

What a question! We were driving home late one night after a weekend away, and the kids were playing a question and answer type game where you ask each other to make seemingly impossible choices: after several would you rather kiss a cockroach or a slug? kind of questions, 14yo threw this one at me and it caused several miles worth of earnest debate.

I mean, I should have said save the books, right? I’m not musical, but I am an English Lit graduate. Books are (supposed to be) my thing. I’ve got enough of them piling up in my house. I quote poetry to my kids, I even dabble in trying to write creative fiction from time to time. In whatever nightmare dystopian Fahrenheit 451-esque world 14yo was imagining where you could either have books or music but not both, surely I’d opt for books. Wouldn’t I?

Well. Sorry books. I feel like I’m letting down the Brontes, Dickens, Hardy, Austen, Orwell and all the stalwarts of my bookcase who have been with me for years. But actually, music wins. A good book can be a powerful thing, but I can go for weeks without reading one. Or stare at the same page of the book I keep on my bedside table, every night  without getting any further with it. But music… I couldn’t last a day without hearing something. Singing along to the radio when I’m in the car by myself, seeking out sad songs on Spotify to echo my mood when I’m low, or give myself a boost with something more positive, the one or two operas and symphonies I know well enough to do a bit of air conducting (like air guitar only with an invisible baton… is it just me that does that?), my enthusiastic amateur attempts at the flute, the guitar, or learning to sing, the pride I feel when my kids manage to bash out a squeaky tune on the violin or keyboard, the rare gig I get to go to (James this weekend at Leeds Arena, woohoo!), singing along to Abba at full volume while I’m doing the washing up, the ubiquitous Christmas tunes this time of year, just about any film or TV programme which would only have a fraction of the emotional impact without the sound track… Imagine a world with all that gone. It’s unthinkable.

Written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday hosted by Linda G. Hill. This week’s prompt was musical. If you’d like to take part the rules, borrowed from Linda’s site, are as follows:

1. Your post must be stream of consciousness writing, meaning no editing, (typos can be fixed) and minimal planning on what you’re going to write.

2. Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be. One sentence – one thousand words. Fact, fiction, poetry – it doesn’t matter. Just let the words carry you along until you’re ready to stop.

3. There will be a prompt every week. I will post the prompt here on my blog on Friday, along with a reminder for you to join in. The prompt will be one random thing, but it will not be a subject. For instance, I will not say “Write about dogs”; the prompt will be more like, “Make your first sentence a question,” “Begin with the word ‘The’,” or simply a single word to get your started.

4. Ping back! It’s important, so that I and other people can come and read your post! For example, in your post you can write “This post is part of SoCS:” and then copy and paste the URL found in your address bar at the top of this post into yours. Your link will show up in my comments for everyone to see. The most recent pingbacks will be found at the top. NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, such as Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

5. Read at least one other person’s blog who has linked back their post. Even better, read everyone’s! If you’re the first person to link back, you can check back later, or go to the previous week, by following my category, “Stream of Consciousness Saturday,” which you’ll find right below the “Like” button on my post.

6. Copy and paste the rules (if you’d like to) in your post. The more people who join in, the more new bloggers you’ll meet and the bigger your community will get!

7. As a suggestion, tag your post “SoCS” and/or “#SoCS” for more exposure and more views.

8. Have fun!

#SoCS #StreamofConsciousness


13 thoughts on “Musical #SoCS #StreamofConsciousness Saturday

  1. I have to agree with you. Tough choice, but music absolutely wins out.

    So you gonna sing for us on SLS sometime? You’ve kind of broken the ice with just a guitar thing, after all. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Books would definitely win out for me. I mean, I love listening to music, but I don’t go a day without reading. Books have always been my constant companions, and I get rather testy if I don’t get a chance to decompress with a good book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow, I wish I could be that connected with books/ reading. I used to be, years ago when I had a big bookcase in my lounge and no TV (this was before the days of smart phones as well) but I’m out of the habit now.


  3. A long as I can keep all the music in my memory then out it goes. I can live without music blasting my senses in shops, elevators, in the street. Music in films and on TV is FAR TOO LOUD in most cases now and often blocks the dialogue. If I want music I can whistle!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, see I don’t mind background music at all. Kind of like it. And I can tune it out if it’s not my taste. Although I’m struggling to do that with the relentless Queen Greatest Hits at full volume ever since the 14yo saw Bohemian Rhapsody earlier this week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That is a very hard choice. I am an avid reader. And I love to write . But there is something magical about the power of music in its ability to take you away. The right sing at the right time is an instant mood changer for me. Better than any drug!

    Glad this question is only theoretical. I don’t wanna choose!! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Reblogged this on Wonderwall and commented:
    An intriguing question was posed as part of the stream of consciousness post that that I have reblogged ‘Would you rather live in a world without books 📚 or music 🎶 ?
The post was written by Kirsty aNd YB lushes on Kirstywrites. It was written as part a stream of conviousness post as part of.
    My thoughts:
    I love 💕 reading. Books are integral to so much of my life. Reading is part of my going to sleep ritual; a way to switch mind from thoughts of the day.
Books are portable entertainment, that you just need yourself for. Although, I do also go to a book club to discuss specific books. You can read anywhere; although as a child I got told I was not allowed to read on toliet or at dining table. Reading on public transport does not annoy anyone unlike loud music or muffled music. Reading beside a pool or on a beach to me is bliss.
To me, a bookshelf with books on the shelf makes a house a home; this year I have enjoyed taking shelfies.
If books help me go to sleep, it is music that wakes me up when I set an alarm. I hate the harsh heart bouncing effect of waking up to an alarm beeping. I have bought an Alexa as an improvement on radio; to ensure I wake to music rather than a DJ rabbitting on.
On a day when I have not set an alarm, I may not actively turn on music during the , day; although if out and about chances are some will be heard. I don’t listen to music during my commute or at my desk. However in my waitressing job the radio is on in the kitchen. The best part of a day on pot machine is if get to be one to choose radio station. Popping into kitchen to bring plates from tables it is so disappointing to have to go back out into cafe when catch a good song.
You may be able to go to book clubs to discuss books but, not everyone there will have enjoyed the book or read it and outside that space most people will not have read the book. My brother, barelyreads fiction so we can not discuss books, but we can share music. I can remember once spontaneously bouncing around like lions to Greenday when it came on the radio. It was just before going out to visit a friend in a mental health ward at the hospital. I remember when that friend, had her first breakdown at school. Discussing it with me, she said how a doctor had come and visited and had been asking about what she did to relax; she said she did not listen to music. It is true she did not listen to music and although not a cause of her problems; not having the simple joy of music in life does darken life.
Unlike books, music keeps you fit as it makes you dance. Dancing can be a wonderful shared experience creating memories. I also have fantastic memories of going to concerts. At this time of year, I enjoy singing carols.
To summarise both books and music are integral to my life and great loves of mine. But which could I give up?
    Let’s start at the beginning …. right at the beginning: Conception. Many babies will have been conceived to music but, I doubt any babies have been naturally conceived whilst both parents read. Babies can hear music in the womb and react to music in the womb and after they are born yet it is years before they read. Of course you can read to them and I live reading to children. But what very you young babies enjoy most about being read to is the rhythm of your voice and rhythm is basically music right?
Music can be enjoyed passively. Whereas reading takes more effort and skills. I may read to go to sleep but, at somepoint it becomes impossible as my eyelids droop. Music can also soothe me to sleep, and can engage with it on some level for longer.
Music can be enjoyed from birth to death; despite impairments. For example, music therapy is used in dementia patients. Research at Sheffield university has shown that how even those with heating problems can engage with music due to combining music with movement (dancing or signing) or colour or touch sensation.
    Both music and books contribute to other art forms like film, tv and theatre. Whole musicals have been written based around one music artist and without books there would not be so many films. I enjoy a good story and insight into someone else’s life. it is not just books that offer a glimpse into a different life; lyrics do too and combined with the music it can more immediately convey emotion.

    Some songs are so integrated within, that I do not know how I could be separated from them. Put me in a trance or if I had dementia, I think I would still at random sing half remembered lines of songs. If I was played certain songs (from a large spectrum) after a memory wipe; I would soon be dancing. Whereas if books were physically taken away from me, I would struggle to remember the books as vividly.


    If, you have not guessed already it would be books, I would have to give up in favour of music. Perhaps I would have to read beautiful lyrics as bedtime stories or cereal packets? In addition to having music.


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