Karen Harris, a longtime bookseller at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven, Mass., died September 18. She was 70. In a tribute published by the Vineyard Gazette, store manager and event coordinator Molly Coogan wrote: "The Island recently lost a familiar face and we already miss her terribly.... Karen was well known as a longtime bookseller at Bunch of Grapes. She had a tremendous knack for matching books to readers, and her recommendations were trusted and sought by residents and visitors alike. Karen was rightfully proud of this talent, and nothing delighted her more than talking with other readers about books. She could spend the whole day telling stories, bringing characters to life. In this way, she was herself a reliable and comforting character in the story of this Island.
"Her presence on Main Street and in the bookstore was a meaningful addition to the fabric of the community, and her absence is a true loss. We have felt this particularly keenly as our customers and friends have stopped by to express their shock and sadness, and we've taken comfort in these shared moments of grief and appreciation.
"We wish to thank everyone who has stopped by to talk about and remember our friend Karen, and we encourage those who knew her to share their memories of her in a guest book we have at the front desk that we plan to give to her daughter. As Karen would say: 'Go forth and read.' "