Scofflaw returns book to Winona library 35 years late

Categories: How We Live
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Image by Lynn Pernille on Flickr
Don't let your library books get moldy
You know that creeping sense of shame that comes when you have overdue fines at the library, like how could you possibly be such a bad citizen? Well, today you can feel good about yourself. Some chump in Winona just turned in a book that was overdue by at least 35 years. The fee on that: $1,400 plus.

But did this book thief have to pay that big fat fee? Or  face arrest and forced community service, like some poor fool in Washington state last year? Nope.

Last week was amnesty week at the library, when all fines on overdue books are forgiven, according to the Winona Daily News. Plus, the library doesn't even know who the book hoarder is--the aging tome was left in the library's drop box. Librarians say they're just happy to have their book back.

The book in question does have some interesting content--it's a collection of diary entries written by prominent public figures when they were children. Still, we can't really understand why someone would need to keep reading that for 35 years. 

Weirder still, the library doesn't even know exactly how long the book has been missing. After switching to from the old card check-out system to a digital bar code in 1987, the library lost track of who had the book.

But hey -- at least it wasn't as bad as our first president. George Washington never told a lie, but apparently he also never returned a library book, either. Last year the New York Society Library finally got back his copy of The Law of Nations, by Emmerich de Vattel. It had been missing for 221 years. 


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