Library book is returned -- 45 years late

Fri Mar 19, 2010 11:50am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Staff at the Dinnington library are used to people bringing books back late but the package they received last month was in a class of its own.

It contained a paperback first edition copy of "Quatermass and the Pit" by Nigel Kneale which had been borrowed on September 24, 1965.

"I thought at first it was just a normal return, until I saw the color of the pages: they were very brown around the edges," said Alison Lawrie, the Principal Library Assistant.

"It's true that some people like to take their time with a good book, but 45 years is an incredible amount of time!"

Staff believe the book was borrowed from the old Dinnington Library, in Sheffield, South Yorkshire which opened in 1936 and is close to the current building which opened in 2000.

However, the identity of the borrower remains a mystery because records do not go back that far -- and there would have been no danger of a huge accumulated fine because all fines are capped at 6 pounds ($9).

"The person who posted it back to us would not be in any 'trouble' whatsoever," said Lawrie. "If the person who returned the book wants to come forward, we'd love to know the story behind it."

(Reporting by Valle Aviles Pinedo; Editing by Steve Addison)