Library Book Returned After Almost 100 Years

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Samuel Spencer Contributor
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Someone must be a really slow reader.

An overdue book has been returned to the Saint Helena library in Northern California after being checked out nearly 100 years ago. In fact, the book is older than the library itself.

Chris Kreiden, director of the Saint Helena library in California was shocked to see a 141-year-old book checked back in as an overdue book, local outlet KSBW reported Monday, noting that the book was returned sometime the previous week.

To Kreiden’s surprise, the book actually belonged to the library before it was really a library. The book was published in 1892 and was one of the first publications the library owned when it was just a humble subscription service. Readers could pay around 25 cents a month to check out books, according to CBS.

“One of my staff members brought it, [they] came up and said, ‘Oh, somebody had returned that book,’ and, they thought it was really cool, It was a really old book and we didn’t realize quite how old it was. It’s falling apart.” Kreidentold KPIX.

An apparent mystery man returned the lost book to the Saint Helena library without giving his name or any context. The book is a copy of “A History of the United States” by Benson Lossing and was checked out in 1927, 96 years ago. (RELATED: Librarians, ACLU Sue To Keep ‘Sexually Explicit’ Books In Schools)

“We didn’t realize how old it was. All of us are wondering where the book could have been so long,” Kreiden said.