Librarians at a north-east school were astonished to discover an overdue book had been handed back – more than 70 years after it was first loaned.
The German language book Sprechen Sie Deutsch! by Oscar Burkhard was returned to Peterhead Academy’s library last week.
It was originally taken out by one of the school’s pupils back in the 1940s – around the time of the Second World War.
An Aberdeenshire Library service spokeswoman said: “A book was returned to Peterhead Academy Library last Thursday.
“That’s not an unusual occurrence, other than that the book, Sprechen Sie Deutsch! by Oscar Burkhard, published in 1935, was taken out by a pupil in the 1940s.
“Unfortunately the issue sheet on the inside cover has been ripped so we don’t have an exact date.
“A family returned it to the school, having been clearing out a relative’s house, and had decided to return it to the library.
“It looks well used, with notes in pencil in the margins and the borrower had attempted to stick some pages back in the book.
“Vielen Dank! (many thanks!)”
The inside of the book states that the book is the property of the Aberdeenshire Education Committee.
It adds that the pupil to whom the book has been issued will be held responsible for its safe keeping and good condition and required to replace it if ever lost or damaged.
The discovery is the latest in a series of overdue books across the north-east finally being returned decades after they were due – but looks likely to take the record for the longest overdue date.
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Staff at Aberdeen Central library were left in “disbelief” after a book that had been overdue for 65 years was finally returned.
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 did not have to pay the late fees – estimated at around £1,500.
JM Barrie’s book is one of several he set around the fictional village of Thrums, which he is believed to have loosely based on Kirriemuir in Angus, from where he originally hailed.
And last year a book was returned to Ferryhill Library 40 years after it was due to be returned.
However, years went by and it remained absent from the shelves until it was returned anonymously to Ferryhill Library on December 29.
The novel, by From Here to Eternity author James Jones, is about an American detective who runs into danger while operating on a Greek island.