A library in London has received a book from Canada borrowed more than 48 years ago. There was no sender on the package.
Since Wandsworth Libraries has only had a computer system since the late 1980s, library workers were unaware that the book was still on loan and to whom, reports the BBC† It is A Confederate general from Big Sur by writer Richard Brautigan.
The London Library charges 25 pence (about 29 cents) per day for the first four weeks of late booking and 35 pence per day thereafter. The maximum fine imposed is £8.50, but the library has decided to waive the fine in this case. If there was no ceiling on the fine, the person who borrowed the book in 1974 would have had to pay a fine of 7,225 euros converted.
The library asked Twitter wonder how the book got to Canada. The BBC discovered the novel had been borrowed by Tony Spence, now 72, who now lives in western Canada. He was born in England, but moved to Canada, where he worked for many years as a judge.
Spence recently found the book in a box, he told the UK broadcaster. He decided to fire it because he says he likes libraries. “And I also thought the library staff might laugh about it.” He claims he forgot to send a note with the book.
According to the library, the book is still in good condition and may eventually be put back on the shelf.
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