Reader Returns Overdue Library Book After 41 Years, Pays $299 Fine

Some people need a little more time than others to read a book, like the person who had been holding on to an overdue library book for 41 years but recently decided to turn it in, along with hundreds of dollars in fines.

According to the stamp on the book’s endpapers, the borrower checked The Real Book About Snakes out of the Champaign County Library in Ohio on July 17, 1972. He returned it exactly 41 years later, along with an apologetic note and his overdue fine in cash.

“Sorry I’ve kept this book so long, but I’m a really slow reader!” reads the note. “I’ve enclosed my fine of $299.30 (41 years, 2 cents a day). Once again, my apologies.”

The Library Director tells WDTN-TV that he appreciates the honesty and the repayment of the fine.

“A lot of times when books aren’t returned, we end up needing to replace those over the years,” he explains, adding, “It’s never too late to bring your items back to the library.”