I Don’t Know Why He Bothers

Man returns book overdue since 1960

HANCOCK, Michigan (AP) — Robert Nuranen handed the local librarian a book he’d checked out for a ninth-grade assignment — along with a check for 47 years’ worth of late fees.

Nuranen said his mother misplaced the copy of “Prince of Egypt” while cleaning the house. The family came across it every so often, only to set it aside again. He found it last week while looking through a box in the attic.

“I figured I’d better get it in before we waited another 10 years,” he said after turning it in Friday with the $171.32 check. “Fifty-seven years would be embarrassing.”

The book, with its last due date stamped June 2, 1960, was part of the young Nuranen’s fascination with Egypt. He went on to visit that country and 54 others, and all 50 states, he said, but he never did finish the book.

Nuranen now lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches seventh-grade social studies and language arts.

The library had long ago lost any record of the book, librarian Sue Zubiena said.

“I’m going to use it as an example,” she said. “It’s never too late to return your books.”

Do you think the man realised the newsworthy potential of his act or it was just an honest, do-the-right-thing upholding of principle?

And sure the librarian loved it. A $171.32 check…


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gilascarecrow13
    Feb 13, 2007 @ 15:19:57

    He should have bought a book to replace it rather than pay the fine…. It’s probably cheaper that way?

    sulz: well, i highly doubt that a book from the 60s would still be in print today for him to buy as a replacement. anyway, he claimed to return the book for the principle of it.


  2. drmike
    Feb 15, 2007 @ 04:42:25

    I know one of the libraries I used to volenteer at, the fines when into the librarian’s coffee fund.

    sulz: tsk tsk. i guess librarians don’t get paid a lot huh? like the policemen in malaysia who get coffee money instead of giving out fines for traffic offences. how much can he collect anyway? i don’t think he can afford a latte at starbucks like that…


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