The Kerrytown BookFest has named Ann Arbor Realtor Edward Surovell as the 2015 Community Book Award Winner. Each year, the BookFest selects one person to recognize for their ongoing commitment to the book community in Ann Arbor said Robin Agnew president of the Kerrytown BookFest.
“Edward Surovell was chosen for his invaluable commitment to Ann Arbor’s book community; especially his avid support for the Ann Arbor District Library,” she said.
He has generously offered his time on numerous state and local boards including the Michigan History Foundation, the Library of Michigan Foundation, The Historical Society of Michigan and was president of the Michigan Historical Commission. He is also the current vice president of the governing board of the Ann Arbor District Library and its longest serving member (1996). He is also a member of the prestigious Grolier’s Club which limits its membership to 800 and promotes books worldwide.
Surovell is considered one of the state’s premier collectors of books on early Michigan history, books on books, and Indian language bibles and other Indian language religious publications. He also specializes in books produced by Michigan publishers including those from Father Gabriel Richard’s Press of Detroit, King Jesse James Strang’s Press of Beaver Island and Dr. Chase’ Steam Printing Press of Ann Arbor. He has one of the most complete collections of books published by Dr. Chase.
Previous winners of the Community Book Award include Jay Platt of Westside Books, Tom and Cindy Hollander, and Nicola Rooney, former owner of Nicola’s Books, author Loren Estleman and Josie Parker, director of the Ann Arbor District Library.
Surovell. A graduate of Columbia University, moved to Ann Arbor in 1968 and quickly became one of its leading realtors, selling his business in 2012, he is a consultant to the current owner.
He attributes his love of books to his mother who he says “Loved books deeply.”
“I grew up in a house with a substantial library,” he said. Before moving to Ann Arbor he worked at several New York Publishers including Harcourt Brace & World as an editor of grammar and spelling books.
Surovell said it was during this time that he began collecting books related to his career including books on type design, the history of publishing, booksellers and collectors and books on editorial style.
He said, “I root for all libraries and libraries are central to democracy and the struggle to improve one’s self.”
Former award winner Josie Parker said Surovell is deserving of the award for his support of the book community.
“Words are very important to Ed,” she said. She also said that he was very supportive of her career.
Parker said, “When I look back on R. Surovell’s years of public service his vision for the Library has been very important with a view forward that has been steadfast and steady.”
“He has been my mentor for my entire professional career as a librarian and his support of the Library is unparalleled,” she said.
The Award will be presented to Surovell, 74, at the Kerrytown BookFest Sunday, September 13 at the Farmers Market in Ann Arbor. The BookFest is in its 13th year. For more information on the BookFest go to www.kerrytownbookfest.org