We’ve all had to pay a late return library fine at some point, even when it was totally caused by a deep love of literature.
But few have been as tardy with their timekeeping as a woman in New Zealand, who returned her book some 67 years later after she first borrowed it.
In that time, the unnamed lady racked up the equivalent of £12,000 in fines on a copy of Myths and Legends of Maoriland by A.W Reed, having returned it 24,604 days after it was first due back at Auckland’s Epsom Library.
Presumably amazed that the book had been returned, considerate staff decided to waive the fee - after the woman seemed deeply apologetic.
Posting on Facebook, Epsom Library’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.’
If the fine had been maintained by library staff, it would make the book more expensive than first editions of Samuel Pepys’ Diary and Moby Dick which were sold last year.
The book will now be placed in the library’s special collections section.