Someone returned a library book after 55 (!!) years

The book The Fire of Francis Xavier may not sound like something you’d want to read. But one branch of the New York Public Library had to wait 55 years for it to make its way back home.

library books

Flickr/CCAC North Library


The book was taken out by an unnamed library patron in April 1958 before being returned earlier this week.

Fort Washington’s library posted about the development on the branch’s Facebook page, saying “This book was returned to us today! Not sure what the late charge should be?”

An NYPL spokeswoman told DNAinfo that the late fees aren’t going to be as hilarious as you or I might hope.

“It’s temping to say it would be an astronomical number, but it wouldn’t be,” the spokeswoman said.

The typical cost for a long overdue book is just the cost of replacing the book plus some restocking fees.

A copy of Alexander Neckam’s De Naturis Rerum is believed to be the longest overdue book to be returned after being found 135 years after it was withdrawn from a library in England.

The Fire of Francis Xavier is currently selling for $32.47 in paperback form on Amazon.