The 58th York Book and Paper Fair builds on return visits from dealers, publishers and authors.
"About two-thirds to three-quarters repeat," show organizer Jim Lewin says of the vendors. "Most of them are old friends, but we always get some new kids.... (There's a) new publisher from Maryland, Big Pulp, a couple of new big dealers, five table spaces."
But it's the people who line up outside the doors of the Holiday Inn Conference Center twice a year who really make the show.
"Most (dealers) come once and keep coming back.... It's a good show, not huge, relatively small, intimate, but true bibliophiles, not kick the tires (and) walk away types," Lewin says. "They buy. Everyone has a bag and has stuff. For dealers, it's a profitable show (with) lots of haggling, good-natured haggling."
The attendees are as diverse as the offerings.
"There are real treasures," Lewin says. "A couple shows ago, there was a signed Mark Twain original first edition. We go from antiquarian collectibles to a guy from Philadelphia who sets up over six tables, all $2, all paperbacks, thousands from the '60s, '70s and '80s."
Fans with special interests can also find a wealth of genre materials at the show.
There's a "dealer who's got a couple hundred signed science fiction paperbacks, known authors like (Isaac) Asimov. We have a couple of dealers who are authors, signing stuff, and two winners of the World Fantasy Award -- a big deal -- (who) specialize in science fiction," Lewin says. "Two record guys, vintage vinyl ... Girlie Glory, pulps from the '20s, '30s and '40s, girlie magazines ... all artwork (on covers), pinup babes from World War II."
International appeal: The show has grown, too, beyond the borders of the United States.
"Last spring we had de Freitas books from Montreal, the first time they showed up, the first time we became the York International Book Fair," Lewin says. "They liked it so much they came back."
And de Freitas is staying on trend by reaching into history.
Wilfrid de Freitas explains in an email, "We'll also have a first edition of Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Hound of the Baskervilles,' probably the best-known of all the Sherlock Holmes adventures. Recent movies and television shows have re-introduced Holmes to a whole new public, and he's in danger of becoming something of a cult figure among today's younger generation."
That generation is part of who comes through the doors, according to Lewin.
"We have a broad base, teenage types that come in, teens, early 20s, college kids to retired folks. Some people come in and treat it like 'Antiques Roadshow,'" Lewin says. "The dealers are not shy, not afraid to buy ... we've got bibliophiles, people who love to read, people who love to talk about reading, collectors who love to brag, love to talk about their collections."
Local history: For local history buffs, there will be author Joseph David Cress, author of "Murder and Mayhem in York County," as well as the York County Heritage Trust and Corinne Earnest of Earnest Archives and Library.
Earnest has been an exhibitor at the show for six years and will have their two latest books available for signing: "Peter Montelius: Teacher and Printer, Printer and Teacher" and "A Genealogist's Guide to Fraktur."
Earnest says she "hopes for people who are interested in the Pennsylvania Dutch part of Pennsylvania."
The Earnest offerings include "Pennsylvania German broadsides, some fraktur (a style of writing and illustration art), some fraktur books we've published, some ephemera," she says. "We'll probably bring a lot of Pennsylvania Folklife magazines; people like different issues."
People also like ephemera, which Earnest describes as "any little piece of paper. Many were only printed on one side (and) didn't have a long shelf life. People read them (and didn't keep them): pamphlets, fliers, remedies for illnesses."
Looking, too: Earnest will join the crowd wandering through looking for finds.
"(Attendees are) very focused. Some people don't look up at all, they always have their nose in a book," Earnest says. "I must confess I'm one of them; sometimes I don't know what booth I'm in. It's a very friendly group of people."
Lewin is looking forward to the crowd.
"There's a whole range. So broad and so very good. Part of the fun is being next to someone you've never seen before and might never see again and you have a 20-minute conversation about the guy who painted the art on the cover," he says. "You don't have to see them again; you're seeing them right now and connecting."
-- Reach Michelle Denise Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Going to the show
The 58th York Book and Paper Fair runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, 2000 Loucks Road in West Manchester Township near the West Manchester Mall.
More than 60 dealers are scheduled to exhibit.
Admission is $5.
For more information and a coupon for $1 off admission, visit www.yorkbookandpaper.com or call 846-2866.