About Word Of Sport
A little history and a brief introduction to what we do.
Out of the ashes…
Word Of Sport has been borne out of the ashes of Sportspages. The closure of the original haven for sports fans and “world’s coolest bookstore” (according to Sports Illustrated no less) was a devastating blow to its customers, its staff and all connected with it.
For any who worked at, or visited the shop you’ll know that its influence far outweighed its somewhat humble surrounds. I was manager at the time of closure and had spent the best part of the previous decade working there. Seeing first hand the devotion it inspired meant that I wasn’t ready to let the dream die. So here, in its place, is Word of Sport - a virtual Sportspages for the modern age. The range, the passion, the enthusiasm will all be here - the only thing that’ll be missing is the dusty grey shelves.
The rise of the (not so) humble sports book…
When the shop was originally started, it was because the founder, John Gaustad, felt that sports books weren’t taken seriously and he wanted to show that term “sports books” was not an oxymoron. Back in 1985 sport was very much the poor relation to other parts of the publishing industry. Retailers too provided only the most scant attention to sports books. It was difficult to find more than the odd smattering of titles and certainly nothing that would constitute a decent range.
In the 21 years since, sport has changed beyond all recognition. It still has its place on the back pages (or more accurately, the 16 page supplement) but you’re equally likely to find it on the front and inside pages, as well as magazines, billboards, tv, radio and the web. Its profile is enormous. The volume and profile of the sports books published has increased massively too. You can find significantly more titles in shops than before and, obviously, there’s the small matter of other online sites. I’d like to think that Sportspages helped pave the way for some of those.
For the love of the game…
And yet, despite the proliferation of titles and the numerous different ways in which you can buy them, we believe it’s as important now as it was back then, to have a dedicated specialist. A specialist that’s willing to look beyond the latest celebrity offering and champion less obvious titles. A specialist that knows when you ask about a Michael Johnson book that you could just as easily be talking about Football as Athletics. A specialist that’s willing to source hard to find titles as well as import them from overseas. Oh, and one that’s not going to levy a sourcing fee for the privilege of doing so.
We don’t intend to mimic what’s already out there. Instead we aim to bring together a selection of books and complimentary sports merchandise that you won’t find together elsewhere. We aim to tell you what’s good, what’s bad and engage with you in a way you would expect a serious and opinionated site should. In short, be a proper dedicated specialist bookshop where the emphasis is still on range, quality of service and the personal touch.
So here we go. We hope that you are prepared to join us for the next stage of the journey. We hope that you like what we’ve got to offer. We hope that you’ll tell us if you don’t.
Word of Sport
- Super Bowl XLVI Official Programs - Stadium Edition
- The Cricket Society Book of the Year Award 2011
- Ricky Villa Autobiography "And Still Ricky Villa" Signed Copies
- The Ice Hockey Annual 2010-11
- Alex Stepney Tooting Common To The Stretford End Signed Copies
- William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2010: The Shortlist
- Lindy's Baseball Preview 2011
- Sporting News College Football 2010 Preview
- Sporting News Pro Football 2010 Preview
- Athlon Sports Pro Football 2010 Preview
- Yahoo! Sports and Pro Football Weekly 2010 NFL Preview
- Phil Steele's College Football Preview 2010