Book returned to library 84 years overdue

Returned after 84 years Credit: Oodi Central Library

There was some amusement as well as surprise when somebody walked into Helsinki’s Oodi Central Library on Monday 27 with a book that was overdue.

84 years overdue

It’s not unusual to be a little delayed in returning a library book but this one was unusual in as much as it was due back on December 26, 1939 making it just over 84 years late!

The person who returned it isn’t the person who first took out the book The Refugees (Pakolaiset in Finnish) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and it is not known whether there was a fine and if so how much.

Coincidentally, another book which was also 84 years late was returned to Coventry Library in the UK in 2022 and the fine then was calculated at £18.27, being one old penny a week for the 4,385 weeks it was overdue.

Russian Invasion of Finland

Apparently the book returned in Finland was in remarkably good condition and the library is considering whether to put make it available to the current generation of readers, especially as this is a survivor of the Russian Invasion of Finland which took place at the end of November 1939.

This is not apparently the longest overdue book to be returned in Finland as according to TV station YLE, Helsinki’s Pukinmäki Library received another Conan Doyle novel in 2015 which was 87 years overdue.

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Written by

John Smith

Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica. Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene. Currently he is acting as Editorial Consultant for the paper helping to shape its future development. Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page