Woman avoids £12k fine despite returning a library book 67 years late

Gabriel Samuels@gabs_samuels
Friday 29 April 2016 12:00
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Some books are so riveting you could happily dip into them again and again, racking up the library renewals and incurring the wrath of the person waiting for it to go back on the shelf.

But it may be time for this woman from New Zealand to invest in a Kindle - after returning a library book 67 years late.

The unnamed, deeply apologetic woman told staff at Epsom Library, Auckland, that she "had been meaning to return it for years".

She took it out to read as a child in 1949.

In a Facebook post Epsom's librarian wrote:

A wonderful customer came to see us with a confession today! As a child she was a patron of Epsom Library until she moved out of Auckland - and accidentally took a library book with her!

Today she finally managed to return it to us. It's a fair few years overdue but in excellent well-read condition

A fair few years is a bit of an understatement.

Too late to apologise

The book, a copy of Myths and Legends of Maoriland by AW Reed, was an eye-watering 24,604 days overdue - resulting in a hefty fine of around £11,700 at current rates.

However the libary kindly decided to waive the late charge because it was still in presentable condition.

Had the fine been fulfilled, it would have technically made the humble tome more expensive than prized first editions of Samuel Pepys' Diary and Moby Dick sold by AbeBooks last year.

The book is now going to be put into the library's special collections section.

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