Henk Harren, owner of Windsor’s The Book Mark, has died of a heart attack. He was 67.
Harren, a native of Holland, came to Canada at 18 to escape the military draft. He opened his downtown bookshop in 1973 and was at the helm until financial pressures forced its closure in 2007. From The Windsor Star:
After studying business at the University of Windsor and getting married, [Harren’s daughter, Pauline] Pare said Harren in 1973 began what he knew since age five would be his eventual career ” a bookstore proprietor.
After a long day of selling books, Harren liked to curl up at home in his green-vinyl easy chair, with his wooden pipe and a favourite read. It was like a scene out of an old illustration, said Pare.
Being the owner of a small independent bookstore certainly wasn’t about making money, but Pare said people wandering in off the street in need of a few dollars would find a generous businessman. The Book Mark was definitely a browser’s delight, with thousands of titles stacked in apparent randomness.