A California man who returned a library book that was found to be 96 years overdue said he believes the tome was originally checked out by his deceased wife’s grandfather.
Jim Perry of Napa said he was going through boxes of books that had belonged to his wife, Sandra Learned Perry, when he came across a copy of Benson Lossing’s A History of the United States from the St. Helena Public Library.
Perry said he believes the book was checked out by John McCormick, Sandra Learned Perry’s grandfather, who would have been 55 when the tome was borrowed from the library in 1927.
Perry’s story solves a mystery that has intrigued librarians since the book was returned by Perry earlier this month.
The Napa man said he was out of town for a family wedding, but happened to be streaming the KPIX-TV news when Library Director Christina Kreiden was interviewed about the long-overdue book returned by a “mystery man.”
The report led Perry to get in touch with the library and offer details of the story.
“I thought it would be fun to just drop it off, and [the staff] would get a kick out of this book,” Perry told the Napa Valley Register. “But I didn’t realize it would have special significance for them.”