Who says that libraries have lost their relevance? Or that printed tomes have gone the way of the dodo?
One book in particular recently made a 53-year journey before being returned to its rightful place on a library shelf in New Jersey.
The book in question, "The Family Book of Verse", by Lewis Gannet, was lent by a local middle school to a student all the way back in 1966. And Harry Krame, then 13 and living in Fairlawn, where he still resides, allegedly never returned it.
Dominick Tarquinio, vice principal of Memorial Middle School, told CBS News that he was shocked when Krame, now 65, waltzed in and announced he had something to return to the school's library, adding of the original transaction taking out the book, “We never saw it again."
Krame, for his part, told CBS, “When he asked my name I told him I can’t give it to him because I was in the witness protection program. I took it out to read and never brought it back.”
Krame says that he recently discovered the book while doing a sweep of his basement. When he saw the book, guilty feelings began to surface.
“It lasted a few seconds,” he said. “It was like, I still have (it), sorry about that.”
From the time that Krame took the book out until he returned it, 19,345 overdue days had accrued. With school library fines of 10 cents per day, Krame could have wound up owing in the neighborhood of $2,000.
The school was willing to look the other way.
“We’re not looking to collect,” Tarquinio said.
The 1961 edition of the book cost $4.95 when it was published.