Book returned to Courtenay library 42 years late

Book returned to Courtenay library 42 years late


Hotel California topped the charts, Star Wars ruled the box office, and someone in Union Bay walked into the public library and took out a copy of “Wilderness Living” by Berndt Berglund.

The year was 1977, the book had been missing every since.

Then earlier this week, the Vancouver Island Regional Library says it was finally returned to its Courtenay branch, 42-years late.

Staff say they have no idea where its been for more than four decades, only that it was brought back in pristine condition.

The borrower, who was not identified, would have faced a penalty of $4599 if the library didn’t have a cap on overdue fines.

All these years later, the book still gets good reviews on line

“After digging into this step-by-step survival manual for North America, I realized that this was a perfect, general survival guide for every locale from the Arctic Circle to Mexico,” writes one buyer.

“Berglund goes over firemaking, shelter, hunting, plants, first aid, in concise but specific detail.”

Since they don’t know where the book wound up all these years, they are asking the public to come up with some creative ideas.

“We decided to host a little short story contest! Where did it go? What did it inspire? Who gazed over its informative pages?”

You can post your version on the VIRL’s Facebook page, and they will draw three random winners from across their 39 branches to win a new VIRL book bag.

The contest closes Sunday at 8 p.m., the winners will be drawn on Monday after 2 p.m.


Ben O'HaraBen O'Hara

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