Book believed to be nearly 120 years overdue returned to Pennsylvania library

A book sale saw the library in Carbondale, Pennsylvania, recoup a tome missing from its shelves for over a century last week, a copy of “The Cruise of the Esmeralda.”

The copy was returned Friday by the public library in Hawley, Pennsylvania, the Carbondale library wrote in a Facebook post.

The book, one of numerous nautical adventure novels written by British author Harry Collingwood, was first published in 1894.



A library card found in the book and dated to May 23, 1904, belonged to one Horace Short, presumed dead, the Carbondale library said.

The library said in a comment that it does not know specifically when the book was checked out, but believes it was overdue starting June 7, 1904, two weeks after Short’s library card was issued.

Going from that date, the library wrote, “The Cruise of the Esmeralda” would be 43,641 days late. Using the 2 cents per day late fee circa 1904, Short would theoretically owe $872.82. Using the current 25 cents per day late fee, however, he would owe $10,910.25, the library said.

“Mr. Short is very lucky we currently cap fines for books at $10,” the library concluded.

Source: WT