Let's talk sports

People always say that boys love non-fiction, and that sports non-fiction is particularly good. This is true, for certain boys. Like any other subject area, it has its fans, but there are just as many guys who don't care, or at least don't care about the same sports.

The best way to make this clear is to think of sports as you would music. There are many genres of music, and not all appeal to everyone. There's classical music, rap, rock, country, folk, world... on and on it goes. Likewise, there is hockey, basketball, baseball, football (Canadian, American and soccer), and so on. Pick the one or two that makes sense for your area.

Vancouver is hockeytown at the moment, especially with the Canucks within striking distance to the Stanley Cup. It makes sense, then to have something relevant to our team available. A good, current book for us is Canucks at Forty, given that it's the Canucks 40th anniversary. It has profiles of past and present players, and defining moments from the team's history. Of course, this book wouldn't make sense in Toronto or Houston. And even in Vancouver, this book will lose meaning soon as the years wear on and new stars arrive.

Timeliness is important. Michael Jordan is a famous retired basketball player. This means he doesn't play anymore, and is no longer in the public eye. He certainly isn't the face of the NBA anymore. And yet, I see a lot of libraries still have these old books, books about stars that either don't play anymore or have added so much to their careers that the book is really irrelevant or even embarrassing. While having bios of important players is good, historical perspective is very important. For example, this book, The Definitive Word on Michael Jordan could well be very good. But it was written before Jordan finished his career, so it doesn't even cover his whole story in the game.

The point is, you need to know your local teams, the most popular sports, and how current the material you have is. If you have a 20 year old cricket book in Calgary, you probably don't have many interested readers. Boys aren't likely to read it. Get the latest stuff, toss anything older than a couple of years, or, better yet, get a subscription to a couple of sporting magazines.
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