Helena man finds and returns library book 40 years later, along with a check for overdue fees

MARGARET REIST Lincoln Journal Star

The moral of Charlie Adams’ story is it’s never too late.

At least when it comes to overdue library books, specifically a hardback copy of John Barth’s “Sabbatical: A Romance,” which Barth wrote in 1982 and Adams checked out from the Lincoln City Library in August the following year.

Adams, who had just finished his first year of law school at the University of Nebraska, missed the Aug. 29, 1983, due date.

By 14,153 days.

On May 31, 2022, Lincoln City Libraries got a package containing the book, a check for $58, his apologies and an explanation.

Courtesy photo

Seinfeld’s hilarious library cop – Mr. Bookman – comes to mind, but there was no bullying involved in Adam’s decision to return the book.

In a letter to the library, he said he came across the book as he and his wife were preparing to move and “it seemed to be a good time to get it back where it belongs.”

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