High School Library Book Returned 65 Years Late

$470 fine waived for 'Gone With the Wind'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2014 2:25 AM CST
High School Library Book Returned 65 Years Late
Rogers High School librarian Becky Huss checks out a long-overdue copy of "Gone With the Wind" as school principal Lori Wyborney finds the last student to check out the book in a 1949 yearbook.   (AP Photo/The Spokesman-Review, Tyler Tjomsland)

If Betty Mandershied is still alive, she no longer needs to worry about a huge library fine waiting for her—although frankly, she may not give a damn. The copy of Gone With the Wind she checked out of a high school library in Spokane, Wash., in early 1949 has been returned, and librarians have decided to waive late fees. The book was sent back to John R. Rogers High School by a Maine man who found it in his father's cellar last month with a library card still inside the 1946 edition, Reuters reports.

The man told the library he had no idea how the book ended up on the East Coast, but he was happy to send it back as long as he didn't have to pay the library's 2-cent-per-day fine, which would add up to around $470 over 65 years—or thousands of dollars if the library had charged compound interest. "Isn't this awesome?" the school's principal told the Spokesman-Review after the book finally made it back to the library. "It's in pretty good shape, too." The library plans to display the book in a glass case under its sign "Pirates always return their books." (Read more library stories.)

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