Y MUM/ dad / grandparents have had such an eventful life, they should have a book written about them. How often do you hear that? Well, now it need not stop at a casual remark.
For the past three years, Watfordbased Leanne Simons has been producing personalised books for people from all walks of life — usually when they are approaching a significant birthday. The books vary widely in look and content, according to their subject’s experience. Leanne explains: “They are designed to be a memory book, to give a legacy. They will include tributes from people who know them, stories from throughout their lives and memorabilia f rom the era they have lived through. I’ve had barmitzvah invoices from the 1970s, travel tickets — whatever I’m able to scan, I can use.”
Five years ago, Leanne decided to produce a book to celebrate her grandmother’s 85th birthday. It was so popular that she started to do books for friends and what started as a hobby soon became a business.
She says: “I like the books to be colourful, I use lots of textures and design all my own backgrounds. I do my own sketches and a timeline. For example, for a 70th birthday, it will start the day the birthday boy was born and include lots of historical events that happened during his life.”
The books not only give pleasure, says Leanne but they also bring the past to life. “Rather than have everything stacked in boxes in the attic, it’s all there to look at on the coffee table whenever you want.”