(scene opens in quarantined parlor)
Beta: (sullen) I finished folding laundry. Now what.
Me: (fiercely) Excellent. Time for one hour of book reading.
Beta: (collapses bonelessly into chair, reaches for laptop)
Me: What are you doing?
Beta: Logging on to the school library for an audio book.
Me: (outraged) No! Reading! Re-ah-ding! Silently! With your eyes!
Beta: (hysterical) But I’ve read every book in this house!
Me: (evil laugh) You have not.
Beta: (sullen again) I’ve read every book in my room.
Me: (standing up from table) I bet you haven’t, but follow me.
(camera cuts to messy but obviously parental bedroom)
Me: Behold (waves hand at stuffed bookshelf) I have over a hundred Dr. Who books. Pick one. Pick two, they’re short. I have books you’ve never seen before. I have boxes of books in the back of the closet. I have books in boxes in the attic. I have boxes of books in the basement. I have more books than you can possible read in two pandemics. The one things you can never say to me is “I’ve read everything”.
Beta: (collapses onto the bed in tears)
Me: (hands him “Novels of the Jaran” by Kate Elliot) Start reading. You’ll like this one, it has aliens. And horses.