A library patron with a guilty conscience has returned a book he borrowed three decades ago, along with some cash to cover the overdue fees.

The man, whose identity has not been released, recently dropped off the errant copy of "Camping and Woodcraft" carefully wrapped in yellow flagging tape at the Prince George Public Library.

Days later when the book was finally opened, library staff found a note from the gentleman tucked inside along with $100 in new bills to cover late fees, said spokesperson Andrea Palmer

Old book returned

The man returned the well-worn book wrapped in yellow flagging tape to hold it together. (Prince George Public Library)

"This book had been borrowed from the Courtenay Library 30 years ago. I wish to return the book and pay the overdue fines," said the note.

If the book was out for 30 years, at the overdue charge of $0.30/day, the charge could have theoretically been $3,285, but the library says they normally cap the charge at $10.

Gratefully accepted

Palmer says while it's unusual for the library to receive a book that's so overdue, they are grateful for the donation and both the book and donation have already been sent to the original library on Vancouver Island.

"He's very diligent. And we're thrilled to be able to pass this on to Courtenay," said Palmer.

Returned library book

The book Camping and Woodcraft was published in 1965, but the library card catalog recording when it was last checked out has long since been lost. (Prince George Public Library)

While it's impossible to verify exactly when it was taken out, Palmer says the book was published in 1965.

"The book itself is great," she said. "It's clearly been well-loved."

"Perhaps those wilderness skills learned from the text helped our honest patron establish himself in the North…."

A UBC professor recently returned a book he checked out nearly 50 years ago to a library at Belfast University.