More than £50,000 in library fines is being paid in Tayside and Fife every year but the real figure could be even higher.
Figures obtained under freedom of information legislation found that £40,250 (70,101 fines) were paid in Fife in 2012-13 and £41,180 (60,214) last year.
The statistics show Fife Council waived £12,000 (18,569 fines) in 2012-13 and £14,157 (17,587) last year with £7,195 (4,754) still unpaid at the latest count.
In Dundee there was £10,487 (23,069) fines paid in 2012-13 which dropped to £8,138 (17,611) last year with £6,908 fines (5,722) still outstanding.
That could just be the tip of the iceberg though as Angus and Perth could not give figures for the total number of fines over the past two years.
However, Angus did provide figures for fines issued, which was £5,400 in 2012-13 (1,555 fines) and £4,367 last year (1,515).
Perth and Kinross Council gave figures for total outstanding fines which was £1,882 over 484 borrowers in 2012-13 and £1,280 last year (375 fines).
It said the introduction of Library Elf, an email alert system that alerts customers before their loans become overdue, has considerably reduced the number of fines levied.
A spokesman for Taxpayer Scotland said: “You have to feel for our local librarians when so many people do not play fair and adopt library materials as their own.
“These fines are important to tell people that they cannot just purloin property that’s meant to be shared.
“At the same time, there are still too many fines not being chased and our taxes will inevitably end up making up this lost resource.
“Well done to Perth and Kinross in showing some imagination in bringing books back to where they belong.
“It’s time some other councils showed the same gumption in protecting our hard earned money.”
A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “Fines are not generated until items are returned, so it is difficult to determine the exact amount due for a specified time period.
“A fine due in 2012 might be paid in 2013 which may lead to fluctuations in both sets of figures, but these shouldn’t be significant.”
It recently emerged that one Angus fan of Dire Straits took home one of their CDs from their local library more than 10 years ago and has never returned it.
The album has been overdue since June 2003, and was the item that has been missing from Angus Council’s library collection the longest.
Angus Council charges people 20p per item per day overdue.
Overdue charges are capped at £11 per item.
Dundee City Council charges 20p per item per week up to a maximum of £2 after five weeks.
Perth charges 25p per week for overdue books and up to 45p for a DVD.
Fife late fees are 40p for weeks one to five with a maximum fine of £2.