Someone borrowed “Wilderness Living” from the Union Bay library in 1977. The book was returned to the Courtenay Library in March 2019… more than 42 years after its due date. Back in 1977, library books carried time-stamp cards in an inner pocket, advising customers as to when the book was due. The pink slip on the right is the time-stamp card that was still in the book when it was returned. Photos via Facebook

Book returned to B.C. library 42 years overdue

If it weren’t for the library’s $10 cap, the person would have owed $4599 in overdue fines

On Monday, a book was returned to the Courtenay library. This is pretty normal for the branch, except that the book in question was 42 years overdue.

Titled “Wildnerness Living” by Berndt Berglund, the book’s bright pink time-stamp card shows it was originally checked out from the Union Bay branch in early 1977, but was finally returned anonymously on Monday in the library’s drop box.

“It’s really a mystery as to where the book was for the last 42 years,” said David Carson, director of corporate communications and strategic initiatives with Vancouver Island Regional Libraries.

Whoever checked out this book all those years ago is lucky the library has a $10 cap on overdue book fines, otherwise they would have been looking at a $4599 fine.

But despite its long time away from home, the book is in excellent shape.

“The book is in great condition after 42 years. It smells good, its corners are crisp, its pages are nice and sharp,” said Carson. “It’s in really good shape.”

While the library is happy about the return of the long lost book, they haven’t yet decided whether to put it back in rotation. However, Carson said he wouldn’t be surprised if the demand for Berglund’s wilderness guide rises and it finds its way back onto library shelves.

This unusual story has also sparked a competition at the library. In a Facebook post, VIRL is asking the public to come up with their own story of where the book has been for the last 42 years and add it to the comments. The contest is available on every Facebook page for each of the 39 branches across Vancouver Island.

On Monday, three random winners will be selected and will receive a VIRL book bag. The contest closes Sunday at 8 p.m.


jolene.rudisuela@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Abbotsford council votes to increase their event expense limits

Increase needed in case annual conferences require significant travel, staff say

Plans redrawn for Fraser Valley Inn redevelopment

Owner of building scales back plans on inn site, adds proposal to build second low-rise

LETTER: Why is Jati Sidhu ashamed of his riding?

Lytton’s Christopher di Armani shares his dismay at the potential name change of the MP’s riding

Solitary confinement gets overhaul at Abbotsford prison

‘It’s more social,’ Matsqui Institution’s citizens advisory committee chair says

UPDATED: 98-year-old cyclist in critical condition after struck by car

83-year-old driver stayed on scene and did not suffer any injuries in the incident

Stolen Bentley spotted going wrong way down highway found in Summerland

The car has been recorded going the wrong way on the Coquihalla, found two days later

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read