ITHACA, N.Y. – A hardbound edition of "The Hobbit" is back on the shelves at a New York library nearly 40 years after it was checked out by a reader who traveled the world as a Marine.
Bob James tells WSTM-TV in Syracuse that he checked out the J.R.R. Tolkien book from the Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca before enlisting in the Marines in 1979.
The book became so popular with his fellow Marines that there was a waiting list. James believes the book was passed along to Marines and sailors serving aboard at least eight different ships in the western Pacific.
He brought the book the home after getting out of the Marines and held onto it until Monday, when he returned it to the library.
The library didn't charge him any late fees.