U.S. News


'Long, strange trip': Library book returned 37 years late with a note

The book, "Psychedelics" by Bernard Aaronson, was due back to Riverside Library and Cultural Center in Colorado on May 30, 1987.
An worn copy of "Psychedelics" by Bernard Aaronson with an apology sticky note on the inside for a late return.
Posted at 9:26 AM, Mar 21, 2024

A Colorado library was in for quite the surprise after a particular book was brought back through its doors.

The book, "Psychedelics" by Bernard Aaronson, was due back to Riverside Library and Cultural Center on May 30, 1987 — nearly 37 years ago.

"Somebody call Lt. Bookman," joked the High Plains Library District in a Facebook post. It noted the book was exactly 13,437 days past its due back date.

The book returner had quite the sense of humor, acknowledging the rather large delay with a handwritten sticky note: "Sorry so late, it's been a long, strange trip."

Issuing an apology, the note was also a nod to the book's subject matter of psychedelics.

The High Plains Library District had some fun of its own in response.

"Guns N' Roses was still a couple months away from releasing 'Appetite for Destruction' on the day this book was due!" said the library district in its Facebook post. "Lionel Messi was born like two months after this was due!"

"But, hey, we get it. Sometimes you get busy. For almost 37 years. It happens," it said.

The High Plains Library District posted photos of the blue book with trippy imagery, which appeared to be worn. The note was stuck to the inside cover.

The library district challenged anyone who may have an even older return to make to do so and break the record, offering no repercussions in the exchange.

"If anyone can beat the current record of 13,437 days, I'm offering you total amnesty for the safe return of your items. Although I'm not encouraging you to check something out TODAY and return late enough to bear the record, which would be...January 1st, 2061. We'll be closed New Year's Day. Probably. Maybe. By 2061, who knows?" said the library district.

Replying to a comment on its Facebook post, the High Plains Library District said that exact copy of the book will not be returned to shelves because "it's a bit damaged and headed for an archive." But it did note a copy of the same title is still available.