Man returns library book with handwritten apology note after 49 years

The book was taken out in 1967 by a man in his freshman year at university 

We all know modern life can get on top of you occasionally, meaning we struggle to get around to those little jobs that have been on the backburner for a while, whether that's fixing that creaky door, clearing out your wardrobe – or walking down the street to return a library book.

One man, however, has taken this shirking of responsibilities to new levels, after he returned a library book 49 years late.

James Phillips, a former student of the University of Dayton, Ohio, found the book in a box at his home.

He returned the book to the library along with a handwritten note apologising for having the book so long and not bringing it back sooner.

The book, History of the Crusades, was taken out during the first year Mr Phillips attended the university, in 1967.

According to the university library, Mr Phillips would have owed £247 in fines, after charges of of around 1.4 pence per day.

But the university decided to waive the fee.

The note returned with the book read: “Please accept my apologies for the absence of the enclosed book, History of the Crusades.

“I apparently checked it out when I was a freshman student and somehow it got misplaced all these years.”

Another mystery reader returned The Real Book About Snakes 41 years late to the Champaign County Library in Ohio. The reader even enclosed a fine of $299.30 with the note.

“Sorry I’ve kept this book so long, but I’m a really slow reader!”

The longest overdue book was previously thought to be Law of Nations, borrowed by George Washington. After taking it out just months into his presidency, it was kept in his home in Virginia for 21 years.

The book was returned to The New York Society Library in 2011 and racked up a $300,000 fee, which was also waived.