Library book returned 120 years late

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/12/09/library-book-returned-120-year.html

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Librarians know that to err is human so they’ll forgive a fine.

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Arthur Boycott? That sounds like the fellow who would sign one of those “Dear Sir, I wish to complain on the strongest possible terms” letters in Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

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fines - which based on the rate at Hereford Library of 17p a day, would have amounted to a staggering £7,446.

And that is before inflation correction.

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Perhaps he was just boycotting the return policy.

I’ll show myself out, thenkyewveddymush.

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His granddaughter was heard to say "I wish I’d never opened the damn safe! ".

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“Boycott” is a family name. The verb comes from Charles C. Boycott. He was an English land agent in 19th century Ireland who refused to reduce rents for his tenant farmers.

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This leads me to wonder if any books came with the sale of the Beschizza home? Maybe the combination is hidden in one…

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Ironically, the book was then put on a pile of other books to be sold for a pittance at the quarterly sale of obsolete books removed from circulation.

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Shit, I’d have kept it. The most overdue one I have is a book from 1968 my dad got out. My own personal best was 1986 (a copy of the TTA book Great Space Battles, sadly now lost).

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I call bullshit on the fine. Every library I’ve borrowed books from have a maximum amount to pay per book, which I would imagine is somewhere close to what it would cost to replace the book. So, unless this was some sort of rare book back then, the fine shouldn’t be more than a few quid.

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Most of the libraries that I looked at have a maximum fine of about £5-£10 per book, but that doesn’t make a good headline.

The woman who returned the book was a pensioner, so she wouldn’t have had to pay that much even if she had to pay a fine.

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I HIGHLY doubted the book was even in the system to keep track of fines.

They probably took the daily late fee and did some math to arrive at the number.

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I have a stack of books in my house from the British Council library. I’ve had them for something like 2 decades. Obtained exactly this way, bought for a pittance.

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I too have several ex-library books. I used to pester them for when they got rid of their magazines (IIRC they kept 5 years worth of back issue) so I could try to snag Aviation week and Discover or Scientific American.

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1886 was 130 years ago, not 120.

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