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 Vancouver Island 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 Wilderness 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. It was finally returned, anonymously, on Monday – left 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 $4,599 fine.

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 library officials are 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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

Vancouver Island Indigenous leaders supportive of B.C.’s new plan for old forest preservation

More than 260,000 hectares in Clayoquot Sound mapped for immediate old growth harvesting deferral

HISTORY COLUMN: Reflecting on the 32nd anniversary of Canada’s apology to Japanese-Canadians

Japanese-Canadians an integral part of Tofino and Ucluelet’s history.

Extravagant marriage proposal in Ucluelet

“It was such a dream. He brought a dream to life. No one does this anymore.”

Missing mushroom picker found “alive and well” after three-day search in Ucluelet

“It’s always great to have a positive outcome like this.”

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read