Library mystery: Book checked out 50 years ago finally returned

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — It has been more than 50 years since a certain book sat on a shelf inside the Plymouth Public Library in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, but after a long journey consisting of many moves, it is finally back where it belongs.

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“Coins You Can Collect” was returned to the library last month along with $20 and a letter, written mostly from the viewpoint of the book, The Wilkes-Barre Citizens’ Voice and The Associated Press reported.

Our director is on the front page of the Citizens’ Voice today! Come on down to the library to read this incredible...

Posted by Plymouth Public Library on Wednesday, August 4, 2021

The letter reads:

“Fifty years ago (yes 50!), a little girl checked me out of this library in 1971. At this time, she didn’t know they were going to move from Plymouth. Back then, kids weren’t told things like that.

“As you can see, she took very good care of me.”

The letter also said the book was packed for frequent moves with many other books, the AP reported.

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The voice of the letter then changes to the writer who said she always planned on sending it back but never got around to it, adding that “the Plymouth book” became a family joke.

She knows the $20 wouldn’t cover the cost of her own late fee, but hoped that it could go to pay off the fines of others.

It did help one family who was banned from borrowing at the library when their late fees went over $5.

The book and letter will be on display at the library, the AP reported.