Presgraves said books are more valuable if they're rare, in good condition, from an early-edition printing, contain important information, contain an autograph from the author, were printed in a significant place at a significant time or are associated with some famous person
"If the book had belonged to Thomas Jefferson, that would skyrocket the value," he said.
But a book doesn't have to meet all those conditions to be worth some serious cash.
If a book was in poor shape or contained little interesting information but was the first book ever printed in West Virginia, Presgraves said it would be worth a significant sum.
"Even if it failed to be ranked because of edition, even if wasn't signed, even if it wasn't associated with anybody. One of those factors can outweigh all of the others," he said.
Presgraves also will sell books at this weekend's festival. He said he plans to bring a lot of West Virginia-specific materials to the festival, including a reprint of an 1882 book on the history of Brooke County.
He's also bringing a 1950 South Charleston election poster. He said the poster is especially rare because most people destroyed them once the elections were over.
"It's kind of neat. People can look at it, and they'll sometimes identify individuals who appear," he said.
Jim Presgrave's "Bookworm and Silverfish" appraisal booth will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday in the Festival Marketplace, located in the Civic Center's North Hall.
For more information, visit www.wvbookfestival.org.
Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or zack.har...@dailymail.com.