Sex Book Finally Returned To New York Library 54 Years Later

Inside the book, an old stamp reads "Due: August 17th, 1959"

This was 54 years ago, when a New York man had checked out the scandalous sex manual "Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique" from the New York Public LIbrary. Scandalous as far as 1950's standards are concerned, with sexuality not being as open as it is now. The library's staff was curious if the man hadn't returned the book because he was simply too embarassed. One, because of the lateness and two, because of the subject matter.

Ideal Marriage is a scientific instruction manual for sexual activity written in 1926 by TH. H. Van De Velde, M.D.  In today's terms, that's like Pornhub for 1959

But who was it that had the book in the first place? And why for so long??  According to the library, the book's owner for the last 54 years had recently passed away, until the book was found by his brother-in-law. Upon discovering the Library's information and past due date on the inside, he mailed the book back to the New York Public Library from Arizona.

The library staff said they were surprised to see the book get returned at all, but mainly felt sorry for the guy because he was clearly desperate for help. The more interesting part though is the note that was inside the book found upon its return.

The note reads: "We found this book amongst my late brother-in-law's things. Funny thing is the book didn't support his efforts with his first (and only) marriage. It failed! No wonder he hid the book! So sorry!!  -A shocked-in-law"


source: NYPL