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Dutch man returns library book nearly 40 years overdue

A book that was checked out of a Dutch library in March 1981 has now been returned decades later. "The reader must have had a hard time letting go," the library said.

By: Deutsche Welle |
June 10, 2020 1:08:58 pm
dutch man library book, library book 40 years, book return 40 years, dutch library book Dutch man returns library book after nearly 40 years. (DW)

A library in the Dutch town of Groesbeek celebrated the return of a long-lost book on Tuesday when one of the patrons brought back a novel that was nearly 40 years overdue, news agency DPA reported.

The library, located in the Dutch town of Groesbeek near the German border, posted a picture of the book and its checkout card on Twitter.

The stamp on the card reads “05 March 1981” making the book 39 years, 13 weeks and 5 days overdue.

“The reader must have had a hard time letting go,” the Groesbeek community library said, also commenting that sometimes as a librarian, “you do not believe your own eyes.”

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The book that he held onto for so long was a 1965 novel called “Terug naar Oegstgeest” (or “Back to Oegstgeest”) by Dutch author Jan Wolkers.

Dutch news agency ANP calculated that the man’s overdue fees should have amounted to nearly €1,531 ($1,726).

Read more: German professor goes to court to challenge €2,250 library book fine

But the man was in luck, the Groesbeek community library sets a limit for its overdue fees, meaning the man was able to pay just a €5 fine.

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