Overdue Library Book Anonymously Returned 111 Years Later


Old open antique book

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A book initially checked out from the Boise, Idaho public library in 1910 was anonymously returned 110 years overdue last week, according to library officials.

The children's book, New Chronicles of Rebecca by Kate Wiggin, a sequel to Wiggin's Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm first published in 1907, was checked out at Boise's old Carnegie Library on November 8, 1911.

The book was dropped off in Garden Valley earlier this month before being transferred to the Boise Public Library.

“The checkout desk noticed that it was rather old and it didn't have any current markings, so they looked into it,” said Anne Marie Martin, a library assistant at the Boise Public Library, via KTVB in Boise. "I don't think anybody here has seen a book checked in 100 years later, 110 years later.”

Martin confirmed that despite being more than a century old and overdue, the book appeared to be in "very good to excellent" condition, as its pages were crisp and still legible.

The book even has a print inside that states, “Books may be kept two weeks without renewal unless otherwise labeled; a fine of two cents per day is imposed on overdue books," according to KTVB.

The person who initially checked out the book would have faced a fine exceeding $800 had the library still adhered to the same late-fee policy, which has since changed.

A paperback copy of The New Chronicles of Rebecca is listed at $7.07 on Amazon.