A long-overdue book checked out three years after the end of the Second World War has made a surprise return to an Auckland library.
Myths and Legends of Maoriland, by Alexander Wyclif Reed, was loaned out by Epsom Library and was due back by 17 December 1948.
The due date slip inside carried a warning that late returns would attract fines of three pence for the first week, and one penny a day for every following day.
Yesterday, 67 years, 4 months and 12 days after its due date, the woman who got the book out as a youth returned it to the library.
The book was out for 24,605 days past its due date.
Librarian Zoe Cornelius was the one who accepted the shock return.
"She told me she'd been an Epsom Library member as a child, however they'd moved away and accidentally taken this report with them.
"She'd been meaning for years to bring it back for us, but had never been able to - so she's had this book for a very long time," she said.
The woman was apologetic about her overdue book, but mentioned she'd read it a number of times over the years.
"I was just really glad that it was out there and being loved and being read.
"It probably won't go back on the ordinary shelves, it's an old bound book and it's had a long life - we might see if it's worth putting into our protected collection, but time will tell," Ms Cornelius said.
Despite the warning of fines of a penny a day, the woman has not been asked to pay anything.
"There was nothing that she was fined for, it was so many years ago and she would've been a child and we don't charge children these days," Ms Cornelius said.