Coworker: Black Bird is really hard to find.
Me: Try Audrey's? Or maybe Chapters? (Because I'm helpful like that, with the pointing out of the obvious.)
Coworker: I think they're sold out.
Me: I wonder if a library would have it? I don't do libraries, but you know.
Coworker: You don't do libraries? You live across the street from one.
Me: I don't like giving stuff back.
So.... yeah.... good luck to my coworker on finding Black Bird, because clearly I'm no help.
And, in the meantime, I've bought yet another book. It's like my wallet climbs out of my purse of its own volition and hands its contents over to clerks, always in exchange for books. Or food. Or shoes. Why don't the clerks say no? Can't they tell the crazy lady before them has a nervous tick that pushes her hand and money toward them? It's inexplicable.
Anyway, I'm actually a century behind everyone else because I didn't realize Emily Carr wrote books. I know. And I'm from British Columbia, too, so really a failure to everything.
But, what grabbed me (for $2.50 at Wee Book Inn, so hey, look at me, being all responsible with the cash) was that Carr didn't write stories. She wrote intensely personal essays, really, that put you back in British Columbia. Back in historic, untouched, before Vancouver went boom and every place else followed, British Columbia.
From Klee Wyck:
I was sketching in a remote Indian village when I first saw her. The village was one of those that the Indians use only for a few months in each year; the rest of the time it stands empty and desolate. I went there in one of its empty times, in a drizzling dusk....
Water was in the air, half mist, half rain. (p. 32 but in the Clarke, Irwin & Co. Ltd. 1962 paperback edition)
Take that, Roughing it in the Bush.
P.S. As I was flipping through this wee, 111-page publication, I noticed it was once the property of Alberta Correspondence School's library. Which means I am not the first reader who couldn't stand to give a book back. Take that, public libraries designed to benefit everyone and really just all-round better the community.