Better late than never?

BooksA man from Tallinn, Estonia recently returned a library book 69 years late, saying that a World War II aerial bombing which damaged the library was partially responsible for the late return.

According to the Associated Press, the Tallinn Central Library’s Ivika Turkson said that the man, who was in his mid-80s, returned the overdue book last week. It had been checked out on March 7, 1944, while Estonia was occupied by Germany. The man apologized and offered to pay a late fee.

The library waived the penalty for the late return of the book, which fortunately still contained the original emblem and serial number, allowing librarians to identify it.

One can only wonder why the man waited so long to return the book, a work of fiction by Estonian author Eduard Vilde.

Any ideas? Was the book so boring that it took the gentleman 69 years to read it? Was he clearing out junk and stumbled across the book? If it was the only copy of that particular book owned by the library, did our extremely tardy but honest gentleman perhaps prevent the author from becoming well-known? Hmmmm . . . the possibilities are endless.

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17 thoughts on “Better late than never?

  1. Susan Kaye

    I think he’s a hoarder and it was part of his therapy in the Estonia version of “Get Rid of It!” to return a basket full of things they found lurking in closets, under stairways, and in garages. Some other things in the basket include a hacksaw borrowed from a neighbor, a dozen pens “borrowed” from several banks–some now defunct, and $47 borrowed from his now-dead brother-in-law as a down payment on a car in 1952.

    Procrastination makes more work in the long run.

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    1. Laura Hile

      Preach it about procrastination! I caught part of Storage Wars tonight on TV and was horrified to see what people cram into storage containers. And those nutty bidders who were so sure there was hidden treasure amid the junk…

      Reminded me of my poor garage.

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  2. Susan Kaye

    If he still had this book, can you imagine all the old magazines and newspapers stacked around his house? AAAAAAAAA.

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    1. Laura Hile

      Robin, Susan and I used to visit the Goodwill Distribution Center. This is the by-the-pound dumping ground for donated goods that are either just in, or won’t sell at the Goodwill stores. Stuff is dumped into large bins and wheeled out to eager buyers.

      It’s amazing how that “treasure hunt fever” gets to you. My son, Nathan, swears that his store sells many more “sale” movies that are jumbled in a bin for buyers to pick through. When sorted neatly, shoppers pass right by.

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      1. Susan Kaye

        The deal about by-the-pound junk is that these distribution centers, in my opinion, are the perfect dumping ground for a murder weapon. Not a gun perhaps, but any harmless looking blunt objet du murder you need to be rid of could easily be dropped into one of these bins. The next stop after the distribution center is recycling if appropriate, if not, the dump.

        No one would be the wiser.

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            1. Laura Hile

              Be afraid, Robin. Susan lives on a rather remote 80-acre spread with many hidden and handy spots for a hasty burial. This explains why she is most concerned about disposing of the murder weapon and not the body! 🙂

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            1. Susan Kaye

              Trouble is, I spend too many evenings alone in an isolated area. Writing about murder and hiding bodies would keep me awake even when I’m NOT alone! (Yes, I am a chicken in so many ways.)

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      2. Robin Helm Post author

        That’s certainly right. I always stop at the $5.00 dump display at Walmart, and I nearly always buy a movie. Maybe we should just dump our books in a pile in a public place?

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  3. Laura Hile

    Then there’s the point of no return with fines. I recently misplaced a library CD (The Lord of the Rings soundtrack). It, like, disappeared from my player at school, or something. Poof! it was gone. I looked through my stacks of CDs — I teach a music appreciation class and play music during work time — without success.

    Finally, I ponied up and paid for it. The librarian gave me the empty CD case, just in case I find it. It’s my very own. I’m wondering where the CD will turn up…

    I checked out a stack of audio books for my marathon drive to California. The thought of losing one of those makes me nervous. The Count of Monte Cristo has 36 CDs!

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  4. Robin Helm Post author

    We love to listen to books while we travel. It really makes the time fly by.

    Yeah, he should just pay for the book. He owes them that much for keeping it 69 years.

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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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