A 53 years long overdue book returns to library
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A 53 years long overdue book returns to library

Newcastle : Australia | Nov 13, 2010 at 6:56 AM PST
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Have you ever fall in love with a book? Here is the story I found it so romantic!

Ray McLaren borrowed a book named "Knots, Splices and Fancy Work, a humble" from Newcastle library in 1957, which to date equal to 19,350 days overdue and he has cumulated almost $5000 in late fee. According to Newcastle City Council.

Today morning, RAY McLaren finally returned the book to Newcastle Region Library and paid the $5000 overdue fine in check. McLaren is said to be honored to pay the lump sum of his late fee.

Mr. McLaren was then 19-year-old, apprentice engineer, moving away from Newcastle shortly after he borrowed the book and never returned it. He is now 73 years old.

Mr. McLaren is a business man and obviously he's used what he learnt from the book to establish a cable and rigging company that has since grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise.

“It’s old and tattered now but still readable.” He said.

“I have had it for 53 years and I’ve used it from time to time and always kept it because it was one of those lovely keepsakes.”

After 53 years, 73-year-old realized the book was never really his to keep and his conscience finally caught up with him.

“I’m getting a bit older and I thought: ‘Maybe before I shuffle off I should do something about getting the book back to the library. ” McLaren said.

The library’s public programs co-ordinator Carol Edmonds said that in more than two decades in the business she had never heard of such a long overdue book returned to an Australian library.

The library staff are reportedly very thrilled with Mr. McLaren willingness to pay his late fee and plan to give the book back to him as they feel the book should be with the man who loves it most.

Realistically, library never charge anyone more than the cost of the book. However, library accepted the check and hopes to use the money for a special one-off purchase such as Australian landscape prints.

Souk_Phaiboun is based in Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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