Brain Breaks and Books


I recently wrote an essay about my children’s desire to take a break from their regularly scheduled reading and pick up a picture book. In the middle of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, my 8-yr-old will read Bedtime for Bear or a Step Into Reading book. My 10-yr-old will put down his 600-page The Lost Hero and read The Adventures of Captain Underpants or an early chapter book.

I asked them why they do this. “It’s fun,” they said. But they read for fun every day. They love reading. And they certainly can read at a much higher level than these books.

My 8-yr-old explained that it was a different kind of fun.

“A brain break.”

He didn’t have to concentrate on the unfolding plot and could simply giggle at the antics of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie.

Then I looked at the in-the-middle-of-reading / to-be-read pile next to my bed. Huh. I have Amy Tan and Gregory Maguire alongside a stack of YA novels and Patricia Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons (that would be a children’s book in case you were wondering). Also, Sense and Sensibility is hanging out right underneath Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall.

Sometimes you need a break from thought-provoking literature, heart-wrenching memoirs, historical fiction, and textbooks. Sometimes you just want to grab a book, curl up with a cup of tea and let your mind wander into magical worlds filled with wonderful stories. And, when that happens, don’t let anything (or anyone) stop you from putting the kettle on and picking up Peter Pan, Dr. Seuss, or Winnie the Pooh.


Sarah B Elephant and Piggie

Happy Reading!


11 thoughts on “Brain Breaks and Books

  1. Great idea the brain break. Not that I’m very good at these. I want a time swap, too. That’s where people who say, ‘I’m bored I don’t know what to do’ can let me have the time they can’t fill so I can use it on stuff I’m missing out on because I want to do too much.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. How wonderful that your boys have the freedom to choose their own reading material, that they have the self awareness to assess their reasons for different choices, the ability to express their choices, and a Mum who provides them with opportunities to read material of their choosing. Sounds like a winning/reading situation for all! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Never even thought of this. Yes! That is so true. I absolutely love writing flash — never thought of it as a brain break. Well, it’s not a brain break for me (I put WAY too much thought into every single word) but it’s a fun break from boring admin. stuff and freelance research, submissions, etc.


  3. I do that from time to time. I like to try new authors, especially bloggers I follow. But sometimes, I just need a little bit of Jim Butcher or Christopher Moore to bring that excitement back. Not that the other books are bad, it’s just nice to pick up something with characters you’re familiar with.

    Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

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