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Overdue library book returned 69 years late

TALLINN, Estonia – An Estonian man has returned a library book 69 years late, partly blaming a World War II aerial bombing that damaged the library for the late return.

Ivika Turkson of the Tallinn Central Library said that last week the man in his mid-80s returned the overdue book – which was checked out on March 7, 1944, while Estonia was occupied by Nazi Germany – along with an apology and an offer to pay a late fee.

Turkson said Tuesday that the library waived any penalty for the late return of the tome, which still contained the original emblem and serial number, allowing librarians to identify it.

It was not immediately clear why the man waited so long to return the book, a work of fiction by Estonian author Eduard Vilde.

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