updated 12/9/2009 3:44:59 PM ET 2009-12-09T20:44:59

A book has been mailed back to an Ohio library after six decades, accompanied by an anonymous letter of remorse.

The biography "Napoleon" by Emil Ludwig recently arrived at Toledo's main library, with a brief note that read: "I removed this book from your stacks in 1949 and did not check it out. I apologize. It's an excellent book and in good condition."

The person who signed it "An ex-Toledoan" also wrote, "Carrying guilt for 60 years is a terrible thing," according to The Blade newspaper.

Library spokeswoman Rhonda Sewell says the package, with its Beverly Hills, Calif., postmark, came as a shock. She says the holiday season may have moved the sender to right a longtime wrong.

Circulation clerk Harry Johnston speculates the book was taken by a high school student in a hurry.

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