A keen reader has escaped a whopping £4,000 fine after they anonymously returned a book – which was 63 YEARS overdue.
Staff at Rugby Library, Warks., thought they had lost their copy of ‘The Adventures Of Pinocchio’ forever after it vanished in 1950.
But last Friday librarians were stunned when the classic children’s tale was handed back in to them during a eight-day fines amnesty.
A ticket found inside the cover of the 68-year-old publication showed the story by Charles Collodi had a return date of New Year’s Eve, 1950.
If the book been been returned after the amnesty ended, the unnamed library user would have faced a penalty of £5.22 – which is the council’s cap for late returns.
But if the cap wasn’t in place, based on the council’s current charges of 18p per day, the reader would have faced paying more than #4,000.
Librarian Joanna Grindle said: “During my 34 years as a librarian I have never known a book to be that overdue.
“It is amazing to think how much the library has changed since the book was taken out in 1950.
“Of course, I’m pleased to say we have plenty of other Pinocchio books in our children’s section so I don’t think anyone missed out.
“Although our children’s stock is refreshed on a more regular basis we will definitely keep the book safely at Rugby Library – after all it has a wonderful story of its own to tell.”
Councillor Colin Hayfield, from Warwickshire County Council said: “We are pleased that after all this time the borrower felt they could return the book.
“We always wanted to use the fines amnesty to welcome people back who haven’t visited us for a while and we hope the borrower is enjoying our services again.”
The book was issued in the same year Princess Anne and TV presenter Jeremy Paxman were born.
The English national football team also made its first appearance at a World Cup finals in 1950 and Sainsbury’s opened the first purpose-built supermarket in Croydon.
Warwickshire County Council’s fines amnesty was launched on National Libraries Day Saturday 8 February 8 and ran until Saturday February 15.
* Britain’s most overdue library book was ‘Good Words for 1888’ which was an astonishing 123 years overdue which was unearthed at a historic house in the Lake District in December 2011.
In the same year Pulp rocker Jarvis Cocker also admitted hoarding an old school library book which he finally returned – 35 years after it was due back.