Library book returned 84 years late by the grandson of the man who borrowed it | UK News

A library book has been returned 84 years late by the grandson of the man who took it out.

The copy of Red Deer by Richard Jeffries was borrowed from the Earlsdon Carnegie Community Library in Coventry back in 1938 by Captain William Humphries who took the nature book out for his daughter Anne.

It remained on the shelves of his home until he died in 1957 but went unnoticed.

Anne also recently die, but the book still went undiscovered until Paddy Riordan found it when he was going through his grandfather’s belongings.

Mr Riordan took it back to the library, along with the fine of £18.27, or one old penny week. At today’s level of 25p a day the total fine would have been £7,673. Copies of the book are for sale on Amazon for less than £4.

The book had been taken out just eight times before Captain Humphries borrowed it.

A notice on the books front page kindly asks borrowers to return the books as soon as they’ve finished with them, even if it is before the deadline.

It reads: “Books may be retained for 14 days. it is requested, however, that, with a view to the convenience of borrowers generally, all books be returned at once when done with, although the 14 days may not have expired. For detention beyond 14 days fines will be charged as provided in the Regulations: for each week (or portion of a week) One Penny.”

Library book returned 84 years late in Coventry

A staff member posted on Facebook: “Here’s something you don’t see every day . . . a copy of Red Deer by Richard Jefferies has been returned to us – a mere 84 years and two weeks overdue!

“Paddy returned the book to us from his grandfather’s collection and kindly donated the fine calculated at the then rate of 1d per week, totalling £18.27 in today’s money.

“How wonderful the book has finally made its way home.”