A pause() function for Maxima

In MATLAB, pause interrupts execution of a loop until the user strikes a key, and pause(<n>) pauses for <n> seconds before resuming execution.
Here’s my attempt at a pause() function for Maxima that works in a similar way to MATLAB.  It uses Maxima’s read() to stop everything and wait for user input, and it uses the lisp function sleep to stop for a fixed number of seconds.
**note that a lisp function
     (function-name argument)
can be called inside Maxima as
     ?function-name(argument)
I’m not happy that in order to resume after the pause, the user needs to enter a valid character (space or nothing results in an error) followed by CTRL-SHIFT.  I hope to either figure something else out or even better hear suggestions from other Maxima users!
pause([options]):=block([tsecs],
    tsecs:assoc('pausetime,options,0),
    if tsecs=0 then
       read("Execution Paused...enter any character then CTRL-ENTER")
    else(
        disp(sconcat("paused for ", tsecs," seconds")),
       ?sleep(tsecs)),
    return("")
);
call this either as
     pause();
or, for a three second pause
     pause(pausetime=3);
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