A woman has returned a book she borrowed from an Auckland library nearly 68 years after it was due back.
The book, A.W. Reed’s Myths and Legends of Maoriland, was borrowed from Epsom Library in 1948 and was due to be returned on December 17 that year.
Epsom Librarian Zoe Cornelius said the woman came in on Thursday afternoon to return the book and chat with staff.
“She told me she was an Epsom Library member as a child, but they moved away and she accidentally took this book with her.”
The woman told library staff she got Myths and Legends out as a child, and was now a grandmother. She had read the book a number of times over the years she had it.
Cornelius said it wasn’t uncommon to have books returned after several years, but this was the oldest overdue book she’d seen.
The due date slip inside the back cover clearly states the borrower will be fined “at the rate of three-pence for the first week or part thereof, and one-penny per day thereafter”.
According to those terms, the woman would be fined 102.50 pounds for the 24,604 days it was overdue. Converted to todays money it works out at a whopping $7,321.43 fine.
However, Cornelius said the woman would “definitely not” be fined.
Cornelius said it was unlikely the book would return to the library’s collection, but they would look at preserving it.