Kareem Abdul-Jabbar fan returns books to library 40 years late

(Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dick Raphael/NBAE/Getty Images

A library in Lansing, Michigan, got quite the surprise over the weekend when somebody returned two books on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that were due nearly 40 years ago. On Monday, Capital Area District Libraries shared a photo of the books and the due date card on Facebook.

It'd be pretty interesting to hear how and why these books managed to stay on the lam for nearly four decades, and why somebody decided just now would be a great time to return them. Maybe they were lost. Maybe someone was very dedicated to becoming the world's foremost authority on Kareem, or maybe they were just a really, really slow reader.

If it's the same person who checked out and returned the books, should they be praised for being so honest after all this time, or should they be scolded for being so tardy and irresponsible with the due date? It's like seeing someone drop their wallet in the street, picking it up and not stealing any money, but then taking 40 years to return it to the person — after they've written it off as a lost cause, forgotten about it and moved on with their life. It's cool to have it back, but do you really need it at this point? Do people even read books anymore?!

Regardless, luckily for whoever it was, the library won't issue a fine since they didn't start charging late fees until 2012. In that case, it's a bummer that whoever it was didn't wait until Dec. 2nd to return them on the exact 40th anniversary of the due date. I mean, it's been 39 years and change — you can't hold off a couple more months just to provide some added emphasis to the story?

Kareem in 1976. (Rogers Photo Archive/Getty Images)