‘It’s quite late and I’m sorry!’ Bob Dylan record returned to Ohio library 48 years overdue

A copy of a Bob Dylan album has been returned to an Ohio library 48 years after it was due back.

Howard Simon returned the Self Portrait record, which he describes as one of “Dylan‘s least-loved albums”, with a letter explaining the almost five-decade delay in giving it back to the Cleveland Heights library in the state.

Mr Simon wrote: “As a recent retiree, I am taking the opportunity to turn my attention to some of the many vignettes of life that by dint of career and family have been neglected these many years.

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“In that context, I am returning with this letter an overdue item (by my count, approximately 17,480 days overdue as of this writing) that I borrowed from the library in the spring of 1973 when I was 14 and in 8th grade at Wiley.

“So it’s quite late, and I’m quite sorry!”

The album itself was released in 1970 on Colombia Records, and featured tracks like All The Tired Horses, Let It Be Me and Like A Rolling Stone.

Mr Simon estimated he owed $1,748 (£1,231) in fees at a rate of 10 cents a day, but argued that the cost to replace the album was just 1% of that.

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Instead, he enclosed a cheque for $175 “for this transgression of my youth”.

Mr Simon also added a copy of his own album Western Reserve to the letter, saying it could be an “obscure item” for the library’s collection.

Bob Dylan
Image:The album featured tracks such as All The Tired Horses and Like A Rolling Stone. Pic: AP

Writing on the Cleveland Heights library’s website, manager Sara Phillips said: “I got a package in the mail from San Francisco that was record-shaped and – lo and behold! – it contained a record from our collection that was due back in June 1973!

“The funny thing about this is that we don’t charge overdue fines anymore – as long as we get the item back, we see no need to penalize people.

“We’re grateful that Mr Simon returned the record. I’d said we can now call it even.”

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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