It is not unheard of to have a book from the library returned late. I feel like my wife returns books a couple of days late all the time. However, there is late, then there is really late.

One Colorado library got a book returned very late. According to Poudre Libraries, a book was returned to Fort Collins more than 38,000 days late. If you are good at math, you can quickly tally that up to how many years that is. If you are not so good at math, like me, you might be surprised to know that this book was returned 105 years after it was supposed to be dropped off at the library.

Poudre Libraries
Poudre Libraries

The book, Ivanhoe, written by Sir Walter Scott, was returned to the Poudre Library after a woman dropped off the book saying that her brother found it in her mother's possessions in Kansas.

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Inside the book, there is a sticker stating that a two-cent per day fee will be imposed on books not returned on time to the Fort Collins Public Library and Free Reading Room. There is also a message on the book stating if a messenger sent for a detained book, there would be an additional charge of 25 cents.

With a late fee of two cents per day, the late fee for this book would be approximately $760.00. Two cents is a decent amount of pocket change in the early 1900s. When this late fee is adjusted for inflation for 2024, that two cents per day late fee comes out to approximately $14,000.

Thankfully, the woman didn't have to pay a late fee as Poudre Libraries stopped charging late fees for overdue books in November 2020.

Wait until you see how much the late fee for the overdue book could have been.

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