I like to read with soft piano music in the background (Kevin Kern) or something instrumental. Reading with the TV on irritates me. It's competing for my attention I guess. I think I'm the only one at home that has normal hearing as the TV is always too loud and I wear noise canceling earphones to listen to my music. And the older I get, the quieter I like it. When I was a kid I spent a lot of time upstairs in my room with music and books too. Some things never change. :)
Thanks for writing, Karin and Cynthia!
Karin, I know not all types of reading will be the same. I do find for myself that I'll get a lot more done if I have, say, the TV on than if I don't. :)
Cynthia, interesting question! I have two older siblings, and we're closer together in age than you and your siblings are. I also have a sibling who is quite a bit younger. It's possible that growing up in a noisy environment trains you to do it that way. I did have a room, though, and I could have had quiet if I wanted.
I do believe that only children tend to be successful academically, because they are able to study by themselves effectively and be self-motivators...that can help. :)
I am wondering if the preference has anything to do with the environment you were in when you first began to read and study. I am the oldest of 3 siblings and there is a 7 year age span between each of us. There were no quiet places in our home to read and study. I will have to ask my sister, the youngest sibling, if she has to have a quiet place to study and read since she actually could choose her environment.
I think I should qualify this. I need quiet to study or to read a textbook, that requires a lot of concentration; however, I can go to the mall on a crowded afternoon, and read a book for hours. In high school and college, I had to have the music on while doing homework or studying. Now, I either study or listen to music, I can't do both at the same time. I have never been able to study with the TV on.