My Month of Reading: Challenging Bourque to a Reading Competition


During the month of February, I, for some reason, decided that I would try to beat Emily Bourque in a reading competition. Now, any of you that know Bourque know that that girl loves to read and loves to read a lot. The rules for this challenge were simple: read more books than Bourque and actually read them. I have always seen Bourque reading or updating her Goodreads during our free time in journalism and was curious as to why she chose to do that with her free time instead of anything else. When she informed us that she had read 14 books in the month of January, I was convinced that her husband was fake and that her other classes did absolutely nothing, because who has time to prepare lesson plans, grade tests, maintain a relationship with their husband, have an actual life, AND read 14 books in a month? Legit no one else I know besides Bourque. Half of the amount Bourque reads in a month is impressive and something to be proud of. This said, I believe Bourque takes a lot of pride in the amount of reading she gets done in a month. It is one of the things she does that not many others I know do. So, of course, I had to steal that from her, establish who the true alpha is, knock her off her high horse, and read more books than her this month.

Now, this was no easy task by any stretch of the imagination. Like, come on, have you seen how much this girl reads? It also did not help that I started on the 9th of February instead of the 1st. But anyone that knows me knows I do not like to do things the easy way, and this was no exception. I could have made it easy on myself and just picked books under 200 pages with big pictures just to say I read more than her, but no! I chose some hefty books that were at least 250 pages. If I was going to win, I was going to win right and give her no way out of admitting I won. In my observation of Bourque during class I would always see her on the Goodreads website and thought, “Wow, Instagram for book nerds.” and would mess with her about being an absolute nerd, but during this reading journey, I was forced to eat my words because I soon too became a frequent user of this website. (For those of you that do not know what Goodreads is, it is a website where you can log the books you are reading or want to read. You can also see what books your friends are reading right now or want to read, and a bunch of other stuff that Bourque knows way more about than me. I swear it is not just for 40-year-olds… it is actually pretty fun.) I started the month off by reading The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and proceeded to read 11 other books after that. After February 9th, I do not think that I could be seen at school not reading a book. I constantly had my head shoved deep in a book determined to win and assert my superiority over Bourque.

Though I picked out a few books on my own, a lot of the books I read were mainly suggestions from friends, teachers, or Goodreads. This race to see who can read more books in a month has made me enjoy reading again, which was not something I anticipated happening at the start of this. I used to enjoy reading a lot in middle school but just got out of it when high school started. I have enjoyed being thrown into a good story almost every other day while escaping the hectic and chaotic world that is high school. My new obsession with reading, caused by Bourque, has started a domino effect of reading at among my friends at Ascension. This month I have gone to the book store almost every day and have had at least six different people say my obsession has made them want to read more. Junior Lauren Franques said, “I used to read a lot but lately its been hard with school. Mari reminded me how fun reading can be and how possible it is to be an active reader and a student.” Junior Piper Blancher also made a statement saying, “Many people doubted Mari, saying she was not actually reading the books, but I always had faith in her. Mari’s new quick-reading skill has inspired me to pick up reading again and thoroughly better myself.” Me walking around with my head in a book has been more inspiring to my friends than any of my English teachers yelling at us to read more outside of class. So you are welcome, Mrs. Lad.

I think it is every teacher’s dream for their students to fall in love with reading and become a frequent visitor at the bookstore/library. This month I have read 12 books and 3,861 pages, ultimately resulting in my victory over Bourque. Reading took up a lot of my free time this month that would have typically wasted on Snapchat or aimlessly scrolling through Instagram. All in all, it was worth it because I can now rub it in Bourque’s face that she is not an all mighty superior in the reading sector. I am the true alpha and there is nothing Bourque can say to disprove this FACT. I’m not going to go full alpha on Bourque here because she ultimately has control over my grade in journalism, so instead, I shall thank her for pushing me to read more. I have improved my reading comprehension, expanded my grammar, lowered my chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease, and have reduced my stress levels. Shoutout Coach Big Baddie Bourque for being such a nerd that it became contagious and resulted in her being dethroned as the alpha reader. She thinks she can get her title back in March, but I plan to steal her thunder again if I have time. I might keep this going all year but that will require me reading over 100 books so we will have to see about that one. To all of you who doubted me and to Bourque who will find some excuse as to why she lost, suck it. *Mic drop* Alpha out!