• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Strindberg library book returned 44 years late

Ann Törnkvist · 7 Mar 2014, 15:22

Published: 07 Mar 2014 15:22 GMT+01:00

A mystery person put the thin volume through the library's automated drop-off system, but as the newer books churned through the system, the chip-reading robot Svea protested. Instead, a librarian had to take a look at the book, which had an old-fashioned library card on the inside.

"March 18th, 1970," the stamped due date informed him. Amused, he brought it up to his colleagues.

"We don't know officially if this is a record, but I'd think so," spokeswoman Birgitta Widlund told The Local. "We'll see if anyone manages to better it in the future."

Luckily for the person who borrowed the volume of letters penned by legendary Swedish author August Strindberg, the Stockholm libraries never fine anyone more than 100 kronor - or 10 kronor a day. Without that maximum limit, the Strindberg fan would be facing a 22,880-kronor fine ($3,600).

Widlund said that while Strindberg's books had been borrowed a lot recently, as Stockholm last year celebrated the playwrights' legacy with a plethora of culture events, this particular volume of his book felt like a postcard from the past.

"It's woven, and waxed, but the inside cover looks like a modern-day pocket book," she said. "And it's in good condition."


The return of the book amused the library staff. Photo: Stockholm City Library

The book in question - 'Letters' - contains excerpts of Strindberg's correspondence from 1857 – 1912 , including lettters to Siri von Essen.

Story continues below…

"She was married, he was in love with her," Widlund said succinctly about one of that era's big romantic scandals.

The book has only 264 pages. Over a span of four and a half decades, the reading rate would be almost nine weeks per page. That could have made the person who borrowed the book one of the the world's slowest readers, if it hadn't been for the City Library staff's own theories. Widlund told The Local that someone had probably stumbled across the book while sorting through a deceased person's estate.

They will not send out an invoice for the 100-kronor fine.

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brexit
Event: Come and discuss Brexit in Stockholm
The speakers at Monday's event.

Are you in Stockholm and want to talk about what Brexit could mean, for Britain, Europe, Sweden - and you?

Sweden set to sizzle with weekend highs of 23C
Dogs enjoying the sunshine on Thursday. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Sweden's capital was the first spot in the country to formally shake off the spring on Thursday, while warm weather is set to stick around across the country.

Blue flight: Swedish cops are quitting in droves
Police on standby at a political rally in 2014. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

And unions fear the situation is about to get much worse.

IN PICTURES
Dig out your glitter: Sweden counts down to Eurovision
Stockholm's Globe Arena where the final will be held. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

Here's how Stockholm is getting ready for a week of Eurovision madness.

'KKK' flag mishap messes up Swedish pump makeover
Uh oh! New Circle K flags at the Länna service station. Photo: Alexander Lindell/TT

Today’s lesson: Don’t put three K flags in a row.

The Local Music
Eleven fantastic Swedish summer songs for May
Northern Sweden's Goat are one of our picks this month. Photo: Goat Facebook

The Local's music writer, Paul Connolly, offers up the fab fresh Swedish songs to see you through the month.

How Sweden is getting to grips with 'sleeping rapists'
Photo: Sandra Qvist/TT

'Sexsomnia' is a relatively new problem for Sweden's courts.

Innocent 'terrorist' shocked by paltry payout from Sweden
Photo: Anders Ahlgren/SvD/TT

A man falsely accused of terrorism has reacted with disbelief at how little Sweden will pay him in compensation.

Now AC Milan is named as option for Sweden's Zlatan
Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing in Paris last month. Photo: Francois Mori/TT

Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic could consider a return to AC Milan, according to the Sweden striker's agent.

The Local Recipes
The Swedish strawberry drink that's perfect for summer
Strawberry cordial is a refreshing summer drink. Photo: John Duxbury

The sun's out! Here's our favourite refreshing Swedish drink.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
National
Can these cartoon Swedes help foreigners blend in?
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
Why this fearless woman is the talk of Sweden
International
Eurovision heads to the US (kind of)
Blog updates

5 May

Something to reflect on (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Reflexive verbs and reflexive pronouns In Swedish, and many other languages we find reflexive verbs and…" READ »

 

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
National
Sweden set for sunny weekend
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Fastighetsbyrån
Gallery
Property of the week: Vollsjö, Sjöbo
Features
How to be a cool Swede during a hot summer
Gallery
People-watching: April 29th - May 1st
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm startups help new employees feel at home
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
3,294
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se