Man Returns Book to Library -- 76 Years Late!

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Never say Mark McKee doesn't return borrowed things -- it just takes him a little longer to get around to it. The 89-year-old Michigan man just returned an overdue book to a library 76 years late.

McKee was 13 years old in 1934 when he checked out "A Dog of Flanders" from the Mount Clemens Public Library.

He liked the book, so much so that he kept it. McKee said he recently discovered it among his things, decided he had kept it long enough and mailed it back to the library.

"I was entranced by the book and kept it with my prized possessions, intending to return it forthwith," McKee wrote in an accompanying letter. "Thus began a 76-year odyssey of missed opportunity and intention."

Library Director Donald Worrell, Jr. said he was thrilled to get the book from McKee.

"He spent a great amount of time in here," Worrell said. "He was very supportive. He was very generous to the library."

In his letter, McKee, who now lives in Arizona, said he estimated the fine on the book could total thousands of dollars.

"I figure the fine for this book at 10 cents a day for 76 years would be $2,774. As I am … a senior citizen on a fixed income, I can only throw myself upon the mercy of the library," he wrote.

But Worrell said McKee doesn't have to worry about any of that. "We figure the story is better than the money," Worrell said.

Worrell said he plans to put the book and letter on display at the library. In addition, he is sending a brand new copy of McKee's favorite book to him.