How much is the late fee for an overdue library book after 40 years?

returning-library-book-200.jpgThe expression "better late than never" applies to so many things in life, particularly overdue library books.

Employees in Ohio's Champaign County Library received a surprise return this week when a book checked out 41 years ago finally arrived back, according to the Associated Press.

The Real Book About Snakes, by Jane Sherman, was returned anonymously and included a note -- and cash for the overdue fee.

"To Champaign County Library,
Sorry I've kept this book for so long, but I'm a really slow reader! I've enclosed my fine of $299.30 (41 years, 2 cents a day). Once again, my apologies."

Keeping a library book for four decades may seem like a long time, but other recently returned books have been overdue for even longer.

In March, a 60-year-old Scottish man returned a book he had borrowed 50 years earlier as a schoolboy to the Edinburgh Fine Art Library, after learning that the library was granting amnesty on late fees for a week. So what's the late penalty for a book that's 50 years overdue? About $4,000 CAD. He didn't have to pay any of it.

In a somewhat related story, back in April, three books that had been stolen from a Toronto library during the Battle of York in 1813 were finally returned to the city after 200 years.

-With files from the Associated Press


Do you have any overdue books kicking around your house? What's the biggest late fine you've ever paid (or are willing to admit?) Let us know in the comments below.

More on CBC Books





Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.