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Sport Fiction Books: Not Just For Superfans

Updated on April 16, 2013

Some people out there are such sports nuts that watching their favorite team or playing their favorite sport isn't enough. That's why there are magazines dedicated to different games and sport fiction books for those who want to keep dreaming. These books can be written telling the rags-to-riches story of a local kid, the downfall of a star who couldn't handle the fame, or even someone who wants to buy a sports team and sets about doing so.

These sport books appeal to fans of their respective sports because for so many people, the sport isn't just a game. For a lot of people, sports are a way of life. It's why people play fantasy football, it's why they have pickup games with friends on weekends, and it's why they can't get enough of just watching one or two games a week. For those sports nuts, there are sports novels that expose them to different aspects of the game. A plot might deal with the trials and tribulations of an aging football player, and many books about sports tell some fantastical stories. Typical themes of sport fiction books might include the rise of a team's underdog, the fall of someone busted for using performance enhancing drugs, or a kid on his way to the top.

The best books about sports offer a conflict that the characters in them need to resolve. There's a problem to solve, and through reading about the character's life, the reader can live vicariously or keep on dreaming about what life might be like when they achieve their own sports goals. Other books feature humor in sports as their main theme—perhaps fictionalized anecdotes or sports-related jokes.

Sport fiction books might also deal with tournaments like March Madness, simply because so many people participate in it through making brackets of the teams they think will win. When it comes to sports, people love interacting with other fans, whether that means high-fiving over a tough win or booing as the opposing team scores.

The best sports books, however, are ones that don't seem all that unrealistic. It's why stories where the reader can relate to the narrator in the book do best when it comes to sales. People love being able to insert themselves into a story, and relatable ones make this task the easiest. This way, people can imagine what their life would be like if they were one of the characters in the book.

While sports books may appeal most to rabid sports fans, that's not to say that casual sports fans or even people who don't care about sports at all read them. After all, most people love a good story, and sometimes the character development and writing quality are more important than the actual subject matter. Sometimes, people just want a new fiction book and notice that a sports-related one is gaining some speed. Perhaps a certain title has been chosen for a book club, or maybe someone they know recommended it, but the point of the matter is that sports fans aren't the only people who can appreciate a great book about football or any other sport.

Books about football are popular, as many people who watch football games on a weekly basis have favorite teams. They dream about what it might be like if they got to play for the team, what it'd be like to be in the Super Bowl, or what it might be like to own a sports team.

Authors who are behind these stories know their audiences. They know that in order to hook a significant audience, their characters have to be relatable and the story has to be engaging. They write stories in order to captivate those who can't get enough of their favorite game. They also write in hopes of attracting people who want to learn more about a certain sport. Since these authors are often hardcore fans themselves, readers may even feel a sense of camaraderie when they're reading.

While sport fiction books might not have a hold of as much of the market as other genres of fiction do, there's still a reason it thrives—it all comes back to the fans and their undying love of the game. Whether the subject is basketball, soccer, football, baseball, hockey, or anything else, these fans know that when they're reading books about sports, they're reading work from someone who's just like them—someone who loves the game so much, that watching and playing isn't enough. Someone who knows exactly how they feel when a point or touchdown is scored at the last possible second, and someone who knows the pain of a missed kick or close-game loss.

If you haven't ever read sport fiction books, you should consider giving it a try sometime—you might be pleasantly surprised.


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