Nancy Haines and her husband have been collecting books all of their lives. It was understood that upon retirement, they would own a vintage book store. Little did they know that the perfect location in small town Hopkinton would bring Nancy to her retirement dream sooner than expected.
"We decided what we really needed was an old barn on a busy street," Haines said. "When we found this space, we immediately fell in love."
The Haines opened Vintage Books in 1993 and have been filling the needs of book lovers ever since.
"We have many religious books from the 1600 and 1700's," Haines said. "We have a huge bible commentary from the early 1700's as well as a large assortment of hard cover religious texts from that time."
Vintage Books carries 30,000 books some modern - mostly in fiction and mystery - but their biggest draw is their 5000 Quaker books and pamphlets.
"This makes us the largest dealer in the world of rare and out-of-print Quakeriana," the website reads.
Seeking something specific or curious about what you may have lying on a bookshelf? The Haines can help.
"If we don't have what you are looking for, we can order it for you or help you to find it," Haines said. "We are also happy to tell you the value of a specific book."
Rare books need to be treated with lots of loving care, and Haines is happy to educate you on how to do that.
"Most importantly old books should not be kept in the attic or the basement," she said. "Some books need to be laid flat as well. If anyone has specific questions or is seeking specific information on a particular book, we can help."
Haines can also help you with the value of a book, and is happy to show off her extensive collection at various programs around town.
"We are not buying books at this time unless it is a rare collectible," Haines said. "But we do run programs at the library occasionally to show our books and talk about care and value."
The Haines are most pleased with their first American Edition of Jules Verne and a book full of engravings from the 1600's.
"Books require gentle care," Haines said.
Vintage Books also has a substantial collection of cookbooks, Americana, religion, history and biography. They are open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., but hours are subject to change.
"My hours, if they change, are noted on my website and on my answering machine," Haines said.
For more information about a book that you own, vintage books in general or to check out some rare volumes visit the website or call 508-435-3499.