Racy Book Returned to New York Public Library After 50 Years

The book came with a handwritten note both humorous and sad

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A librarian recently revealed the New York Public Library has finally gotten an overdue book back after five decades. Roseanne Colletti reports. (Published Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014)

    A library book racy enough to make any mild-mannered bookworm blush has made its way back to the New York Public Library after 54 years.

    The book was due Aug. 17, 1959 and it arrived at the Fifth Avenue branch just last year, in a padded envelope from Scottsdale, Arizona. 

    The content of the book, "Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique," may have had something to do with the delay. Written by a Dutch gynecologist and published in 1926, the scientific sex manual is filled with graphs and diagrams, and, according to the National Review, "is not a prude's book." 

    The book came with a handwritten note both humorous and sad.

    It read: "We found this book amongst my late brother-in-law's things. Funny thing is, the book didn't support his efforts with his first and only marriage, it failed. No wonder he hid the book. So sorry. A shocked in-law." 

    The fine for an overdue book at the time was 5 cents a day, which would total more than $1,000 by now. But the library caps book late fees at $12. 

    "We just want to get our materials back," said managing librarian Billy Parrott.