Man Returns Library Copy of Bob Dylan's 'Self Portrait' 48 Years Late

The record was a good 17,480 days overdue but he's "quite sorry"
Man Returns Library Copy of Bob Dylan's 'Self Portrait' 48 Years Late
Photo: Howard Simon
Back in 1973, an eighth-grader named Howard Simon borrowed a Bob Dylan record from the University Heights Public Library in Ohio. Now, 48 years later, Simon has finally returned the library's copy of Dylan's Self Portrait, along with an apology and a donation to make up for the thousands of days' worth of late fees.

Chalking up his mega-tardy return to his "nomadic lifestyle" over the years, Simon, now 62 years old, shipped the original vinyl, along with a letter, back to Ohio from San Francisco, where he now lives.

"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," Simon explained in his letter. "In that context, I am returning with this letter an overdue item (by my count, approximately 17,480 days overdue as of this writing... it's quite late, and I'm quite sorry!"

Simon also included a donation of $175 USD as a "replacement fee," plus a copy of his own album, Western Reserve, to be added to the library's collection.

Sara Phillips, manager of the University Heights branch of Heights Libraries, explained in the branch's blog that while they appreciate the donation, Simon was not obligated to pay anything for the overdue record.

"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," Phillips said. "We're grateful that Mr. Simon returned the record. I'd said we can now call it even."

Simon has since replaced the record in his personal collection.