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.