For one thing, you better be really interested in coins to start that hobby. But you can be interested in coins and transfer that hobby to postcards. Likewise, you can love dogs and love postcards about dogs.
Postcards have such a broad appeal because they are an artform for virtually any subject, said Mary Martin of Mary Martin Antique Postcards of Havre de Grace, Md.
"Any subject you can imagine is on a postcard," Martin said. "There's a lot of postcards people will look at and say 'Oh this is really cool.'"
Martin's company is hosting the Postcard Show this weekend at the York Expo Center. More than 100 dealers will be on hand with everything from twenty-five-cent postcards to collectibles that start at about $75, she said.
"There will be millions and millions of postcards there," she added. "And the dealers are very welcoming to educating people about it. It's not a tough hobby to get into or interested in."
Martin said collecting is a family tradition that began with her father, who was into stamps and coins. Her mother wasn't, however, and turned to collecting postcards made in 1920 or before.
She passed the hobby down to her daughter, who travels and sells the cards at dozens of shows a year around the world. Martin said the York show is one of the more popular events.
"I travel all over the country and to other countries and people always talk about York, Pa.," she said. "I can't understand it, but it must really be the town, the food and the location."
Many dealers will offer free appraisals to anyone who brings their own postcards to the show, Martin said. Most of the cards will be very affordable, she added, but there will be some sought-after collectible cards available.
"The cards that are going to be of real high value are actually going to be picture postcards of actual events," she said. "What makes them valuable is there might be only one of them. ... Those are the rarest cards. They will go for top dollar."
Martin favors cards that reflect social history for her personal collection, but said she does not have many high-dollar cards.
"I get rare cards every month, but I usually have a large list of people that want them," she said.
- JOHN HILTON,
If you go
WHAT: Postcard Show
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: York Expo Center, 334 Carlisle Ave., West Manchester Township