John J. Wolfe told The Baltimore Sun he found "Sound and Symbol in Chinese" while going through his books recently. He had taken it out of the library in 1946 because he believed, wrongly as it turned out, that he would be sent to China.
Wolfe, who has lived in France for the past 45 years, mailed the book to the library with a note begging them not to charge him 64 years worth of fines.
"At least, I can be credited with keeping the book safely all these years without its suffering any damage," he said. "It does not appear that there was an overwhelming rush of people interested in the book since the last time it had been checked out was January 1945."
Ellie Luchinsky, in charge of humanities, sent Wolfe a thank you note for "the smiles" he had given the library staff and for his service to the country.