toronto public library

Someone just returned a book to the Toronto Library 32 years late

Someone in Toronto may have just taken the record for largest library late fee. 

The Northern District Toronto Public Library posted a photo on Twitter this weekend of a book that has been returned after 32 years. 

The book, a hardcover copy of Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls, was due back at the branch in January of 1987. 

The returned book was also accompanied by a short hand-written note. 

"I am a believer that it is never too late, so I'm returning this book," the note starts. "I can't imagine what the fine would be (considering this is 32 years and 72 days late)."  

However, the anonymous reader promised to make a gesture (presumably a financial one) to make up for the unpaid late fees. 

The TPL, of course, will just charge you outright for the price of an unreturned item, should the late fees exceed about $14. But, if today's late fees of $0.35 per day were applied retroactively to the 32 years and 72 days, the person would owe roughly $4,113. 

Perhaps the news that Ernest Hemingway's Toronto home is up for sale spurred the person's memory to look for the book.

Stranger things have happened. 

Lead photo by

N. District Library


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