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 B.C. 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 “Wildnerness 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, but was finally returned anonymously on Monday 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 $4599 fine.

But 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 the library is 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

Bulls take revenge at South Okanagan rodeo

Keremeos Elks Rodeo packs ‘em in for some high flying fun

Mainly sunny Victoria Day in Okanagan-Shuswap

The South Okanagan is the hottest spot to be in the province for Victoria Day

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Most long-weekend rain has already fallen

A mix of sun and cloud is expected for the last two days of the the Victoria Day weekend.

Update: Mother dead, youth in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Sandy Point Campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Penticton Indian Band councillor trying for federal seat

Joan Phillip acclaimed as NDP candidate for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

The father and two youngesters fell down a steep and treachorous cliff while hiking on Burke Mountain

Okanagan Regional Library hosts famous author

Author of The Woo Woo, Lindsay Wong will be in Kelowna Tuesday

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘She was a sweetheart’: B.C. mom who died from carbon monoxide poisoning remembered

Sister raising funds to travel from Scotland to support family after tragedy

South Okanagan runners take top spots in Peach City RunFest

Both the top male and female half-marathon winners were from Penticton

Former Greyhound Canada employees gather in Okanagan to say a final farewell

“Greyhound may take our jobs but they will never take our friendships,” says former bus driver

Kelowna firefighters douse blaze in hedges

The cause of the fire on Renfrew Road is under investigation.

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Most Read