This book was returned to the library almost 100 years after it was borrowed. Photo/Daily Express
WASHINGTON – A book borrowed almost a century ago was finally returned to the library with a fine of USD 1,800 or around IDR 26.9 million.
A copy of Benson Lossing’s “A History of the United States” was returned to the St Helena Public Library after 96 years by Jim Perry.
The US Daily Express reported the book was found by Perry while browsing the literature collection of his late wife, Sandra. The Napa, California, United States (US) resident said he was cleaning his house when he came across a mess of books.
“This box of books has been kept in a cool place in our house where we keep our books,” he said as quoted by the Daily Express, Friday (26/5/2023).
Perry believes the book’s original borrower was his late wife’s grandfather, John McCormick, in 1927, who borrowed the book for daughters Edna May and Ina, who were 10 and 13 years old at the time.
The book was returned this month, with Perry freed from having to pay a fine of Rp 26.9 million due to a change in library policy in 2019.
“It wasn’t until I got it that I wondered if it was one of the original books in our collection,” said Chris Kreiden, director of the St. Helena, told ABC News.
The book was passed down from John to his daughter Edna May, who in turn left it to Perry’s wife when she died in 2011. Kreiden confirmed that the copy was not in good condition and the book’s bones were missing.