Uri Gellar returns library book – about himself

It was better late than never for spoon-bending performer Uri Geller.

The self-proclaimed psychic recently made a nearly five decades old discovery when rummaging through some cardboard boxes in his storage unit in Israel.

He found a book – about himself – that he had checked out of the Los Angeles Public Library 47 years prior.

Mr Geller borrowed The Geller Papers in January 1977.

“I slash open the tape and I start pulling out the books and lo-and-behold the yellow paper is in front of my eyes,” he told BBC News.

The showman, now in his 70s, said that he left Israel in 1972 for the United States to participate in several CIA-conducted experiments looking into his purported psychic powers.

A group of scientists further investigated Mr Geller, leading to publication of The Geller Papers in 1976.

It includes a collection of scientific papers that detail the investigations and experiments conducted on him when he was in the US.

The book, like Mr Geller, is well-travelled.

He unknowingly brought it with him from California to New York to Connecticut, back to New York, then to London and Massachusetts and finally to Israel.

Mr Geller checked the book out of an LA public library branch when he was in the city spending time with his friend, New Age writer Carlos Castaneda.

He was telling Mr Castaneda about the book but didn’t have a copy at hand, so opted to check it out from the Cahuenga branch of the library instead.

He ended up bringing it back to New York with him and “totally forgot about it”.

He found it while rummaging through some storage containers in search of the lids to two Ming Dynasty vases.

A self-proclaimed hoarder, Mr Geller said he was “elated” when he found the book.

“When I saw it, the first thing that came to my mind was: ‘Wow, I’ve gone through so much in my life,'” he said.

He also wanted to return it.

Luckily, Mr Geller’s daughter, Natalie Geller Kaldes, lives near LA with her family.

Mr Geller shipped the book to her and she took charge.

Fearing a hefty fine for the overdue book, Ms Kaldes was surprised to learn there would be no consequences.

The LA public library no longer charges late fines, according to public relations representative Monica Valencia.

Ms Valencia said The Geller Papers was added to the library’s Cahuenga branch in 1977 but at some point was withdrawn and is no longer available there – though it remains part of the library system’s wider collection.

Still, “it truly was a delight to have this particular work brought back by Uri Geller’s daughter”, she said.

Because the book has been withdrawn from the branch, Ms Kaldes was able to keep her copy.

“It kind of makes it even more special that we get to keep it now,” she told BBC.

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