Book checked out in 1919 returned to library

Detail of an old book.
Detail of an old book. Photo credit Getty Images

Sometimes, you really want to take your time and enjoy a book instead of reading through it as quickly as possible.

That was the case for one person who checked out a copy of “Famous Composers Vol. 2” by Nathan Haskell Dole from the St. Paul Public Library in 1919.

After taking 104 years to read the book, it was finally returned to the library this week.

The book was found by a Hennepin County resident last week while they were looking through their mother’s belongings.

The resident decided to take the book back to the shelves it once sat on in case someone on the waiting list still wanted to read it.

A librarian at the library examined the book, helping to uncover more about its journey, the library shared.

Inside the front cover, it was seen to be stamped once in 1914 and once in 1916, meaning it was entered into the library’s catalog twice.

In 1914, the St. Paul Public Library’s home was in Market Hall, which burned down in 1915, destroying nearly two-thirds of the books being housed there, more than 160,000 volumes.

“Famous Composers” was likely one of the books to have survived the fire before being moved to the Central Library building, which was constructed in 1917.

The 1916 stamp likely shows that the book was re-added to the collection that year, and the checkout slip in the back says that the book was last checked out in 1919, the library shared.

Lastly, as everyone is thinking, the St. Paul Public Library does not charge late fees, otherwise, it could have been costly.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images