When a dust jacket flaps its flaps

London, UK – Breaking news: A book was returned to the Tooting Library in London recently.

While this event is not unheard of in all libraries of the world, this particular book was 48 years, and 107 days late! Not surprizingly, the book was mailed to the library anonymously; however, rather surprizingly all the way from Port Moody, BC, in Canada!

Operations Manager of the Wandsworth Libraries, Christopher “Shhh” Arnsby was quietly shocked.

Arnsby proudly, yet quietly displays the tardy publication

At a barely audible level, Arnsby whispered, “Our records date back to the 1980s, so we weren’t aware this book was even missing. This has to be our longest-overdue ever!”

The associated fine could have been significant.

“The overdue charge could have been £6,000 (approx. $9,440), if we hadn’t capped our toll at £8.50 in recent years,” a hardly perceptible Arnsby exclaimed. “In this particular situation, we are waiving the fee.”

Clearly checked out on February 19, 1974; why so tardy?

Tracked down by the BBC, Tony Spence, a retired provincial court judge, denies any knowledge of taking the book from the London library, although admits to finding it in a crawlspace in his home.

 “Yeah, we were doing a deep cleanse up at the house, and there it was,” Spence admitted while reminding us no one had read him his rights.

“Furthermore, I intended to write a note of apology, but simply forgot,” he added guiltily.

“If you can’t pay the toll, don’t borrow the tome,” quips Law Society of Canada

It is believed The Law Society of Canada is to review all trials over which Spence officiated, “because if the man could not adhere to library rules, which other laws did he ignore?”


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