Dear Kid,

I was just going to read one chapter before I went to sleep. Six chapters later, I couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore. I should know better. There are some things that just should never be said. Or even thought.

Things like “I will just read one chapter.”

Things like “I will eat just one potato chip.”

There is no such thing as eating one potato chip. There is eating no potato chips; there is eating an entire 5 pound bag of chips. Science has not discovered anything in between. The thought of having one potato chip and not eating any more is beyond revolutionary, it’s utterly ridiculous.

There have been rare sightings of someone reading just one chapter. They are usually on a college campus and the books in question are usually Assigned Reading for a class outside of the student’s area of interest. It pretty much never happens when the book in question is a Robert B. Parker novel. Even a novel you’ve read 16 or 17 times previously.

Even if you promise yourself, PROMISE, that you will treat yourself to just one chapter, just one little chapter, because you deserve a little treat before going to sleep, and you know you’re exhausted which is why one small chapter won’t be problem, and then it will be lights out.

But it was such a short chapter. Just a few more minutes won’t hurt. Not a big deal at all. Reading is good for the mind. It’s relaxing. This is brain candy. It’s soothing and creative all at the same time.

If anything, that was an even shorter chapter, and how can one possibly go to sleep when Spenser (our hero) might get shot in the Very Next Chapter? Probably best just to read a bit more to be sure he doesn’t get injured even though that would really ruin the book so you know Parker isn’t going to do that but better safe than sorry.

And there you are, six chapters later, fighting to keep your eyes open and your rationale going and you just have to get some sleep.

Just don’t put your head down on the book because you will get potato chip crumbs crushed into your cheek.

Love, Mom