The world of books is growing and evolving with every passing day. Trends begin and end, but there is one trend that is likely to stick around: book playlists. Author-created lists can be part of a marketing strategy, but they are also another way to bring readers into the writing process. Whatever the reason, music can change and enhance the way we experience and enjoy reading. These playlists give readers the chance to get to know their favorite books and authors just a little bit better.

An author’s digital playlist can reveal new undertones and themes of beloved books. A particularly popular trend is a character creating a playlist within a book, or simply mentioning songs throughout. Some different playlists that might take form are those fictionally created by a character, compilations of songs mentioned in the book, or playlists created by publishers following the themes of the novel.

There are of course playlists created by fans as well. Much like fanfiction, it is a way to extend readers’ interactions with the characters and world they have come to love. The last playlist category is playlist writing. Some authors find themselves listening to certain songs and artists as inspiration while creating their books. For readers, this gives insight into author’s writing process and gives a fresh look at beloved books.

Authors like Stephen King and Divergent‘s author, Veronica Roth, created playlists of songs they listened to while writing. For Roth, this meant many songs that reminded her of characters or inspired her to create the Divergent world. Roth introduced her Divergent playlist in 2010 with the caveat that she doesn’t choose songs from particular artists intentionally, but she simply finds songs that remind her of the world she’s creating. Her personality bleeds through her introduction and she invites readers to share their playlists with her as well. Information flows freely from author to reader in this digital age. All one has to do is seek it out.

There may come a time in the not-so-distant future that playlists become a more integral part of the reading experience. Imagine an ebook that gives you the option to play each song mentioned in the book as it comes up or with each chapter plays a song that inspired it. The soundtrack of the created world would be a tap away. The digital reading experience changes and expands as technology allows it to.

For now we’ll just have to keep seeking out our favorite authors and exploring the expanded world that comes with author interaction. Check out your favorite author’s social media pages and blog spots to see if you’ve been missing out on some great world-building playlists.

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