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 Vancouver Island 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 Wilderness 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. It was finally returned, anonymously, on Monday – left 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 $4,599 fine.

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 library officials are 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

Caps bounce back to beat Wild after lead fades away

Cowichan takes 2-1 lead over Wenatchee in best-of-seven series

Chrysler receives coaching award

Albin & Georgina Falt Memorial plaque honours a long run by the face of Ceevacs

Extensive training makes Chemainus powerlifter a national champ

Nurturing persistent back injuries from the past a key to success

Caps win game one against Wild

Cowichan draws first blood in Interior semifinal

Cowichan Bulldogs host Bighill camp this week, registration for spring football still open

The Cowichan Bulldogs are hosting their annual football camp with Canadian Football… Continue reading

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

B.C. dairy farmers say federal budget not enough to cut losses from USMCA

Concerns raised over vague details, funding access and impacts on growth

Case dropped against former Nanaimo CAO who had allegedly made threats

Special prosecutor advises courts that pursuing peace bond is no longer in the public interest

Tofino a Canadian hot spot

Tuesday temperatures reached 23.5 C

Free app launches to help immigrants, refugees as they settle in B.C.

Mobile app Arrival Advisor was developed by Vancouver-based non-profit PeaceGeeks

Catch-up immunization aims to stamp out B.C. measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Bodies of two missing teens recovered in reservoir along Kootenay river

Volkswagen Beetle drove off the road down a steep embankment and into the Pend d’Oreille River Sunday

40 records broken across B.C. as hot streak continues

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Most Read