0 Items


Two Boxes of Memorabilia from Detroit Bookseller Charles Samarjian, owner of Books Limited for many years until his untimely deathin 1990. Condition varies but overall good. Collection spans the years from 1933 to 1990.

Some of the contents: a book of riddles Who’s This Man, written by Charlie, literary magazines he published Phenix and Genesis; stationery from Books Limited and Phenix; ledgers from 1958 and 1971 listing book titles and what he sold them for; cancelled checks/ receipts/ invoices (and some correspondence) from various publishers and booksellers, i.e., The Clique, Dial Press, Grove Press, Omni Publications, Goodspeed’s; business cards from Books Limited and other local booksellers, i.e., Bookman’s Corner, George Heckroth, Book Bazaar; annual stock market reports, i.e., Kaiser Motors (Charlie was a regular reader of the Wall Street Journal); love letters from 1933 and 1937; Swedenborg catalogs; various literary publications, tax returns, correspondence from HCL Jackson who published Charlie’s riddles in The Detroit News; books by Marx, Whitehead, Olympia Press, a color slide showing a middle-aged Charlie and newspaper accounts of his death and his obituary notices. Charlie died on November 27, 1990, after being beaten during a robbery at his store. The culprits were captured but the book world was never the same. We wrote a tribute to him on the cover of one of our rare-book catalogs. From that tribute: "True, Charles Samarjian’s customer relations were less that exemplary, but to those of us who were able to penetrate his intellectual perimeter, he was a charming, articulate and well-read bookseller, possessing that sixth sense that separates the pros from the amateurs. . . Since 1943, he was the sole proprietor of Books Limited, a used bookshop in the shadow of Detroit’s Wayne State University. He ran the shop mostly from a seated position at a cluttered, centrally located desk, surrounded by bookcases and tables overflowing with books. His favorite newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, was stacked in front of him, growing higher daily, often climbing above eye level. When you could see him, his glasses were slipping down his nose, beard stubble graced his chin, a well-worn three-piece suit was his daily uniform. Charles was known for his self-imposed lack of personal history, his camouflage being a clever biographical quiz of his own invention. Giving insignificant clues (more often to thwart), his victim would try to guess the identity of a famous personality. It was entertaining enough to become a syndicated newspaper column, and in 1945 a book titled, Who’s This Man? Samarjian was an amateur magician in the 1930s, and published a literary magazine Phenix with William Saroyan and Robert Hayden among the contributors. According to his widow, when he died he was working on an autobiographical novel. Charles was a fixture in Detroit’s used-book trade, the last of his generation. We will miss him." Charles Samarjian 1908-1990. Sold as a lot.

Book Id: 98-9777

Price: $2,500.00

privacy policy | security | Site Map | Site by Bibliopolis