Taking book collecting to a new level
By Manning Lee | Photo by Stephen Walker
Tim Boyle, a lifelong collector of books, owns Vintage Books & Fine Art directly across from the Talbot County Courthouse in Easton. Vintage Books & Fine Art is a bookstore and art gallery specializing in used, rare and antiquarian books on scholarly topics, antique maps, historic documents and newspapers, and fine art by Eastern Shore artists. The store offers items covering a range of interests from Maryland and Eastern Shore lore, history, medicine, philosophy, travel and exploration to antique maps or historic newspapers.
In addition to selling books, Boyle also is an avid book collector with his own collection of tomes about the Revolutionary War and Talbot County history. He says his love of books has shaped his life and career choice.
When did you start collecting?
I’ve always been interested in books since I was a kid. I used to read science fiction. One of my favorite authors was Robert Heinlein. I built my own bookshelves in my bedroom over the top of my desk. I filled the bookshelves up with all my favorite books.
What do you encourage people to collect?
I think serious collecting is a kind of a misnomer. I advise all my clients to collect what you love. Whatever your passion is, collect those things. Buy the best thing that you can get, but also that you can afford right now. It may not be the best of the best, but it doesn’t have to be expensive or rare. Collect what you love.
What are your favorite things in your collection?
I personally collect Eastern Shore, Revolutionary War, and 18th-century books. Most collectors would laugh at what I have. My favorite is a two-volume set that has been rebound. The two-volume set details Talbot County history from 1661 to 1861, written by Samuel Harrison and edited by his son-in-law Oswald Tilghman. When Harrison died, Tilghman edited his papers and bound them. It is a great history book of Talbot County. Each volume is signed and inscribed by the editor Oswald Tilghman. He presented this to his daughter on her wedding day in 1915.
Vintage Books & Fine Art
4 North Washington St., Easton, Md.
Wed. - Sat. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.