This library whodunit is straight from the pages of a book

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Someone perfectly removed one word from a children’s library book – and borrowers are coming up with their own theories.

Cutting out words (DjelicS/Getty Images)

When a librarian found a note about a damaged book she assumed it had been ripped.

But when she turned to page 51 to see the problem for herself she discovered a single word had been perfectly cut out – with care not to damage the rest of the book.

“You never know what’s going to come across your desk,” Ayer Library in Massachusetts wrote in a Facebook post.

Staff had been alerted to the damage by a borrower at its partner library in nearby Holden.

“We had a book returned back to us from the Holden library with a lovely note saying that a patron had reported that a word was cut out.

“Assuming they meant the book was ripped we opened it up to assess the damage. And lo and behold, there it was. A perfectly neat cut, with care taken not to damage any other pages. And one word missing. You could feel the curiosity coursing through the Children’s Room.”

You never know what is going to come across your desk…Today we had a book returned back to us from the Holden…

Posted by Ayer Library on Wednesday, April 25, 2018

“Holden had a fully intact copy on their shelves, and with some help from an equally excited and curious librarian, we learned the truth. ‘Excellent’. The missing word is excellent. I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn’t that.”


Fans of the library are plotting their own mystery stories about why it happened and what it means.

“Maybe someone was putting together a ransom note!” said Elisa Krochmalnyckyj.

Others thought it was for a craft project, a treasure hunt or just a “bored kid playing with a new pen knife”.

Mandy Wonson Clark said: “I hate to laugh at damage to a library book, but the word choice is just too funny!”

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