Tables stacked with new and used books greeted visitors as they entered the fellowship hall of Millers United Methodist Church Jan. 17.
Crowds of people meandered through the tables, some stopping to look at titles, and many pausing to grab the ones that caught their interest.
That was the goal of the sixth annual Day of Knowledge Book Fair — to get the books into the hands of the readers. The book fair, an outreach of the church, offered free books to anyone who stopped by.
When the fair was organized, the first step was getting the books.
"We estimated that we started [today's event] with over 3,000 books here," said Donna Wright, a volunteer and former chairman of the event. "We get them from leftovers at church yard sales and donations from our members and the community. Our authors brought bags to be donated, and we also got some donations from the North Carroll senior center."
Those authors were local ones, who came to the book fair to sell their books and meet their readers. The authors' books were the only works being sold in the whole room; the church even provided a free lunch for book seekers.
Author T.J. Perkins, of Cockeysville, has 13 books in print, but was working to promote her newest book, "Four Little Witches," which will be released by Schiffer Publishing on April 28.
"My goal is to be a New York Times best-selling author," she said.
George Reagan, an author from Hampstead, said his books appeal to a range of readers.
"I have a very eclectic collection of books to sell," he said. "I have a book for early readers, a young adult novel and a dating book for adults."
Reagan's early reader is the first in a series, which looks at stink bugs in a whole new way.
"What if they were the good guys, and they were here to protect us from invaders with their smell?" he said.
Carol Fox, of Millers, has adopted the pen name "Allison Wilcox" to publish her Christian fantasy adventure, "The Keepers."
"It's the story of three animals adopted by a family, and they turn out to be indwelt by angels," she said. "These animals can morph into more powerful forms."
Michelle B. Smith, of Millers, explained her journey to becoming the author of a five-book mystery romance series.
"I had a really bad car accident, and I lost five years of my memory — I can't remember marrying my husband or having two of my children," she said. "I took that and turned it all around for my book series."
Children were special guests at the book fair. They were all invited to spend time in a cozy corner, listening to stories read by the Story Lady, church member Judy Broadwater.
"IIt was wonderful," Broadwater said. "They just kept sitting there, so I kept on reading."
The co-chairmen for the book fair this year were Laura Geiwitz and Jean Mai. Geiwitz said she would like to hold the event again next year.
"We had about 240 people," she said. "We had 10 authors, and in the past, we only had about seven. Our hope is to do it next year. Some of our authors are interested in returning."