NEW JERSEY -- A lot has happened in the last 44 years: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid, and the invention of the internet and electric cars.
It's also the same length of time it took one book to be returned to the Mercer County Library System.
It was quite the mysterious re-appearance of a book that was checked out in 1979.
The book called 'Back to Basics' by the editors of Flying Magazine was checked out nearly 16,000 days ago.
It was due back on July 25, 1979.
Earlier this month, it made its way back home, in a box of donations that was dropped off at the library's Hopewell branch.
"We found this old library book in there from our library system," says Andrea Merrick, the branch manager of the Hopewell branch of the Mercer County Library System.
So, what will they do with it?
"I think we're going to keep it for a while," Merrick says. "We will probably use it in some displays every once in a while."
They posted about the book's return on social media, laughing that "at least they dodged the 10-cent fee since they managed to keep the checkout card intact (and looking like new!)"
"We have had a lot of people making comments like, 'What would be the fine for something like that?' and 'The library police came and got the book,'" she laughed.
As for late fees, the library's current overdue rate is 10 cents. Add that up, and the total would be about $1,600.
Luckily, the library has a maximum fine of $6.
Library officials don't know who returned it, or where the book has been.
Even though 44 years may sound like a long time, the world record holder is actually in England.
In 1668, a book was borrowed from Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge University.
Officials say it was returned 288 years later.
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