Staff at an Aberdeen library have been left in “disbelief” after a book that had been overdue for nearly 65 years was finally returned.
The copy of A Window in Thrums by Peter Pan author JM Barrie was last seen at the Central Library in 1954.
The book was spotted by a member of the public in a charity shop in London and was then posted back to stunned staff at the city centre library.
Thankfully for the man or woman who found the book, they will not have to pay the late fees – estimated at around £1,500.
JM Barrie’s book is one of a several he set around the fictional village of Thrums, which is believed to be loosely based on Kirriemuir in Angus, where he hailed from.
Dallas King, events and programming officer at the library, said staff were shocked when the long-lost book dropped through the letterbox.
He said: “We often get books returned to the library that are maybe a couple of days overdue but this particular book is 64 years, five months and 28 days overdue.
“It was issued on January 13 1954 from this very library.
“It wasn’t physically returned by the person who borrowed it.
“It was actually found in a charity shop in London and a Good Samaritan has sent it up in the post with a note saying ‘I found this in a charity shop, thought you might want it back, it is slightly overdue’.
“They found it and out of the goodness of their hearts had sent it back up.
“It’s just great to have it back and it is a great story for the library as well.
“The staff were in disbelief and excited that a book this old had been returned.
“We have checked and it was taken out and issued and has been on a journey somewhere, who knows where, and has finally made its way back home.”
The library is now considering displaying the book rather than returning it into circulation.
The team is investigating how the book ended up more than 500 miles away over the last six decades.
Dallas added: “Thankfully we cap our fines these days but I have worked out that, by going on the weekly rate, the fee would have been around £1,500.
“Originally, we wondered whether the book was in too old a condition to put back on the shelves and we have thought we might put it on display as the book that travelled and came back.
“I’m sure it is a novel itself working out where this book has been and finally it is coming home.”
Operations convener at Aberdeen City Council John Wheeler said: “We are delighted to have this book returned.
“It is astonishing that someone would hand it back after being issued it nearly 65 years ago.”