Someone once gave us a personalized book for our son's birthday. This type of personalized book is the sort that "stars your child" and has their name and certain details about them incorporated directly into the story.
It looked cute and all, but as I read it and came across the "special details" our friend had submitted to the publisher to put in the story, it kind of creeped me out. The text went something like this:
"Hi, Michael," said Peppy the Clown. "Welcome to Happy Land, where you and your dog, Missy, can play soccer with Katherine and all the Happiness elves on Shalimar Drive. Only be careful! There's a witch who likes blond boys with green eyes and Power Rangers toys, and she might try to lure you away from Mom and Dad."
Is it me, or does that sound like a ransom note?
Anyway, we never got into the whole personalized kid thing, and neither did our kids, and our friends moved on to other things, so I forgot about it. Until tonight, when I did a search for a place that sells personally monogrammed journals (other than the people who want all my money and just might get it), and accidentally discovered that personalized books have grown up.
1. Basic starter: For $29.95, you can buy The Personalized Romance Novel.
2. Basic starter with hot title, also $29.95: A Love So Bold
3. For $34.95 you can commission Romeo and Juliet the happy ending version as well as customize the cover to show you and your suicidal lover (and do you think Brad and Helen is a sequel to Brad and Jen?)
4. Finally, for $44.99, the Deluxe model -- TorridRomance.com offers five different types of personalized romance novel, from strangers meeting in Paris to strangers meeting at a medieval castle. Strange being the keyword here, I think.
I can just imagine how the story goes, too:
"Halo, Paperback Writer," said Philippe the French gardener. "Welcome to Paris, where you and your cat, Jericho, can exchange lingering looks with moi and Russell Crowe and all the sexy Frenchmen who come to sit on your heart-shaped bed. Only be careful! There's a dark and handsome vineyard owner who likes chubby brunette sirens with myopic eyes and none of your damn business toys, and he might try to lure you away from your one true love, writing."