Better late than never, right? Librarians are astounded to receive a book that was checked out 47 years ago.

We all forget things from time to time, but 47 years is a long time to forget something! The Lake Elmo Library in Minnesota recently received a package that both surprised and delighted the librarians. It was a copy of “Chilton’s Foreign Car Repair Manual,” which they had last seen in the 1970s.

Inside the book was an anonymous note apologizing for returning the book 47 years after its due date. “I was living in [Lake Elmo] in the mid-1970s and working on an old Mercedes Benz,” the note explained. “I took this book out for reference. A few months later, I moved, and the book was apparently lost in the process. I discovered it 47 years later…

in a trunk with other interesting items from the 1970s. It’s a little late, but I figured you might want it back.” The borrower even included a late fee donation, but the library no longer charges late fees, so they’re out of luck. This story exemplifies the adage “better late than never!” Watch the video below to learn more about this page-turning story, and please share.

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