Did you know that people used to personalize their books by adding illustrations to them? Sometimes they drew or painted these or pasted in maps, engravings, letters, stamps, autographs or photographs.
Just like now, somebody figured out how to monetize the trend, although I doubt James Granger used that word.
In 1769, he published the Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution of 1796. It featured blank pages to which you could add your own prints, which you could buy from London print stalls.
This became so popular that the process was called Grangerizing and fans of the process were called Grangerites.
Many Grangerites were women. As a fascinating article by Amy Stewart in the Literary Hub points out, "It's one of those interesting, mostly forgotten domestic arts practiced by women at a time when they were barred from participating in so much of the arts, culture, and scholarship of their day."
As happens with most trends today as well, there was a backlash. Some people trolled the Grangerites, calling them "knights of the shear and paste," and made fun of the Grangerites who went to extremes and had books taken apart and rebound incorporating prints, turning one volume into six or seven.
It's an interesting footnote to popular history, but I wonder whether in this increasingly digital age, Grangerizing might make a comeback?