When I was a kid, I lived in a holler. I had one friend, Lisa, who lived just down the road. I had my dog, Precious Pup. And I had my imagination and reading. I would read all the time. Comics, novels, magazines, anything I could get my hands onto. Ma was a fan of ordering things from the backs of magazines and in the small advertisements of newspapers (I have a stamp collection from around the world to prove it). When I was eight, she signed me up for a subscription of books. They were personalized books and I LOVED them
What’s a personalized book, you ask? THESE were MY personalized books. When I was 8, the first to arrive was Me, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. It was addressed to me (I had never before received mail). Ma acted as if she had no idea what it was.
In reality the “what it was” was a ticket into a world of books written JUST for me.
When I opened the book, on the first page it said: “A story written especially for Michelle Seletyn with love from Mom and Dad.” The little advertisement she found in some magazine asked a few questions:
- Child’s name?
- Child’s birthday?
- Street Address?
((In retrospect, this could have opened me, as an eight year old, up to a kidnapper, couldn’t it have? Holy shit, was Ma trying to get rid of me under the guise of gifting my literature hobby???!? Old me is far more cynical than young me, but I digress…))
Using that information, they plug it into the books on key pages and the story becomes suddenly more personal. I, Michelle Seletyn, went on an adventure with Snow White and there was a plot that my friend Lisa and I had to figure out, but my pup, Precious was there. Oh, and, a key to the adventure was my birthday!! What??
In a fit of nostalgia (and easy access to the interwebs), I tried looking up the company and it appears to no longer be around (stab to the heart). However, there are other publishing companies that are available for books that are similar.
The Snow White book was the first one, a paperback. Then, every month for one year, I received a hardback book, personalized with my information. It was a great year!
So, here it goes, I will post the entire book here. I no longer live on Oakwood Street in Carlisle and Precious died when I was 18 but the joy I still get when I look at these books is immeasurable. The best thing my Ma could have ever done at such a young age was to stoke my imagination, to feed that imagination books and to encourage me to be the best version of myself.
Loved these books. I had the same one with Snow White!
Wish I could find company that would do similar books now for grandkids
These were absolutely heaven sent books. I had 2 and my sister had 2. My favorite was “Me and the yellow eyed monster”.
I have one of these in storage back in Maine! (I currently live in Missouri). Mine was “My Adventure in Mother Goose Land. It was a paperback book. Apparently I colored (scribbled) on some of the pages since I was a little kid, but the book is still readable. They did misspell my last name, but I’ve dealt with that all my life!
I finally got my book out of storage at my sister’s house in Maine this past July!
I, too, got these (Snow White and another one about a Monster in the neighborhood are still around, but I have a foggy memory of others). I agree completely that these were so magical to me and really had an impact on my young mind. I now share them with my young son and so wish I could have some made for him. Also my first mail – it was all so exciting and some of my first and fondest memories. Thank you Adi Silveira!!
I have the same book of Me, Snow White with my name in it. It has more illustrations than this one. It’s always been a treasure to me.
Did you make the MeBooks? I have 5 that are dated from 1974-1978. I love them and now share them with my daughters. Thank you for creating these one of a kind memories!! Shannon
I have 5 of the paperbacks including the Me, Snow White and the seven dwarves! I was just asking my mom if she knew when I got them as they are unfortunately not dated! Such a great remembrance of my grandparents. Grandma is still around and just celebrated 99! Going to chat with her tomorrow to see if she remembers the birthday these were given! 🤞
I just found mine amoungst all the moving boxes. i was going to ditch it but decide to Google. Long live persinalized books and that i have decided to keep it.
I just read My Birthday Land Adventure to my grandson that was a personalized story about his mom Sylvia when she turned 6 years old on May 31, 1978! Yes my daughter still have her birthday book. Thank you for great memories about friends and family so dear to my beautiful daughter😍
That is just amazing! Those books made me feel so important. To have a book about me! And how amazing to share that with your grandson! Family treasures!
Wow…hundreds of thousands had passed through my hands for years.
I had a bookbindery business and manufactured those mebooks for years. Lots of good memories
I wish I could put into words how important those books were to me as a kid. I loved the fact that they were written just for me! Did you actually read any of the entries as they came through?