Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Need Help Concentrating? OR Nature Sounds

Whenever I hear an Elvis Costello song, I think of my college roommate, who studied and wrote to My Aim Is True, among other Costello albums. A brilliant student, she'd blast music while she did her homework, turning it down with an embarrassed smile whenever someone entered the room. (She was considerate as well as brilliant.)

Although I also love music, I rarely listened to it when studying: I can't really play "background" music while writing or studying, since it usually claims my attention over whatever I'm working on. But sometimes, particularly as a student, I'd wish for a little white noise to tune out distractions: the students chatting next to me at the library, the sound of a neighbor's television through the walls.

Too bad I didn't know about the library's Sounds CDs back then. Today they're my secret weapon: I listen to them whenever I need to tune out the noise around me and concentrate. For example, as I write this, I'm listening to Thunderstorm, an atmospheric, 60-minute CD of, yes, a thunderstorm: rain pouring down punctuated by distant thunder. Do you prefer your rain without thunder? Check out Summer Rain, part of the Atmosphere Collection, which also includes Island Jungle, Waterfall and A Month in the Brazilian Rainforest, among others. But my favorite of all our sounds CDs is The Sea: waves crashing on a shore, distant seagulls, and the occasional, subdued foghorn.

The Sounds CDs are located between our Rock  and Television Music CDs. Just stop by the Readers' Services desk and we'll help you locate them.

What's your preference when writing or doing homework? Music, white noise, nature sounds, the sounds of silence or something else?

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