Reading Monday: Forget Coffee Breaks, I Need a Chapter Break

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This isn’t any ordinary Monday morning. It’s the Monday after spring forward. The Monday after the weekend we all adjust to a different time schedule. For some, it’s a piece of cake adjusting, eager to have more daylight toward the latter part of the day. For the rest of us, it’s a challenge getting our kids and ourselves getting used to the change. In honor of this type of Monday, I thought I’d shake up my reading blog by admitting a secret about my parenting skills: I was all in favor of using bribes to get my kids to use the bathroom. M&Ms and Skittles, not to mention the occasional Mylar balloon, were my best friends during those dreaded months. Yes, I admit it. Although some moms look down their noses at such methods, I was not above rewards and bribes. But the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, does it? I’m not the best housekeeper in the world. I spend quite a few of my waking hours folding laundry, putting away toys, cleaning rooms, etc. It’s nice to have clean clothes hanging in the closet or folded in drawers. (Stay with me, I promise to connect the dots in the next few sentences.) But sometimes, during my housework chores, I find the need to bribe myself to get the work done. And what better bribe for an avid reader than chapter breaks?

After I fold and put away a basket of laundry, I get to reward myself with a chapter of whatever book I’m reading. Actually, it depends on the author. Some books have chapters that are only a couple of pages. In that case, I give myself license to read two or three chapters. But I have to be strict about this. I can’t get caught up with the events of the book. Otherwise I’d never get any housework done! But just the thought of sitting down with my book for a couple of minutes is a great motivator. Some books make this easier than others. I read an anthology called Tiny Treats last December. Each author submitted a story of three to four pages, the perfect length for a chapter break. I’ve discovered I can’t be too close to the end of a mystery during these times; it’s only too tempting to read the rest of the book.

Sometimes it’s not always possible to take my chapter breaks. Cupcake and Chunk seem to know the second I sink down into one of our comfy chairs delighted with the prospect of stealing a few minutes to myself to indulge in a little light reading. Then, Mommy puts her book down until my next break is at last within my grasp.

This always works best when I’m reading really good books. After all, the better the book, the more motivated I am to finish quite a bit of housework in order to return to the world the author has created. I’m lucky in that I’ve read some good books in the past couple of months: The Rancher’s Reunion by Tina Radcliffe, Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis, Deadly Valentine by Jenna Harte and Mistletoe Mommy by Tanya Michaels. These are just four of the books whose chapters I devoured during chapter breaks. What can I say? Some people have coffee breaks. I have chapter breaks.

I’d write more, but I want to finish another chapter of Belle Calhoune’s The Way Home, the first in her Seven Brides, Seven Brothers series. And then, yes, it’s probably back to folding laundry.

What about you? Do you ever squeeze in chapter breaks instead of coffee breaks? Let me know.

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