I’m a bit of a language nut — the sort that not only reads usage guides
for fun, but contrasts them for fun — and I’ve wanted A
Dictionary Of Canadianisms on Historical Principles (Walter Avis et
al., eds; Toronto: W.J. Gage, 1967) for some time, but best as I can
tell it only made one edition, and has thus been out of print for longer
than my lifetime.
Candice was talking about used textbooks earlier tonight, and
that reminded me of abebooks.com,
the used-bookseller clearinghouse (which, I should note, is Canadian,
based in Victoria, BC). While her search didn’t turn up anything, it made me
think to check for Canadianisms, and I hit a jackpot — sixteen
copies available, about two thirds of which were from Canada, and two
of which are within an hour’s drive from here.
I picked one in near-fine condition and ordered it. The bookseller works
from his home, so it’ll still come to me in the mail, but it will do so
from a town about 70 km south of here, which pleases me. The transaction
is brokered through Abebooks, which means they’re probably skimming a
bit off the top, but which also means I don’t have to trust a small
bookseller to get the Internet-payments thing done right.
Can you imagine how annoying it would have been to track down that book
before the Internet came along? Even if I’d known that this bookseller
existed, the title isn’t much of a collector’s book, so it may
or may not have appeared in his catalogue, and so on. Abebooks is one
of those things done right.
I’ll be sure to let you all know how the transaction went, for the
benefit of those of you who (like me!) have never used Abebooks before.
In other news, I am currently listening to some amazing jazz vocal
renditions of Icelandic folk tunes and American jazz standards by
a young Icelandic woman named Björk Guðmundsdóttir, with whom you
might be on a first-name basis. The album, Gling-Gló, predates
Debut by a few years, but it’s definitely our Björk, even though
the music isn’t pjarticularly cjaracteristic of her style at all. It’s
listenable, familiar, and surreal.