A quick glance at the current Amazon best-seller list reveals that at this moment, a quarter of the top twenty best-selling books are coloring in books for adults. That’s five out of twenty, a huge proportion considering that just a few years ago, coloring in books in best-seller lists were unheard of.
So, what is an adult coloring book, and why do you need to know about them? Adult coloring in books are exactly what they say they are – coloring in books designed specifically for grown ups. They often feature images and designs that are more intricate than kids’ versions, as well as subject matter that is less juvenile (think less superheroes and cartoon characters).
Why are Adult Coloring Books so Popular?
You may have had the pleasure of filling in coloring books with pencils, crayons, or textas as a child, or perhaps you’ve bought them for your own or other people’s kids. They’re generally cheap to buy and a good source of entertainment, a way to settle kids down for some quiet time to focus on a play-based task that requires some concentration and helps develop motor skills.
Adults, too, are now rediscovering the enjoyment of coloring in. Coloring is seen as a great way to relieve stress and tension by slowing down to enjoy a no-pressure, repetitive, enjoyable past-time that often evokes more than a hint of childhood nostalgia (read more about the benefits of adult coloring in books).
Many grown ups are also finding that unplugging from technology to enjoy a practical, hands-on activity that doesn’t tax their brain, helps them to unwind and leave other life pressures at the door for a while. Unlike many other adult hobbies, all it will cost you is a few dollars for a book and a packet of pencils, textas, or crayons.
Variety of Adult Coloring Designs
The five adult coloring in books that currently (as of 7 August, 2015) feature in Amazon’s top twenty best-sellers are good examples of the diverse types of coloring designs that are available. They are, in order of popularity:
In 6th place: Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
In 8th place: Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
In 10th place: Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns by Adult Coloring Book Artists
In 15th place: Creative Haven Creative Cats Coloring Book (Creative Haven Coloring Books) by Marjorie Samat
In 16th place: Balance (Angie’s Extreme Stress Menders Volume 1) by Angie Grace
Many of the books use digitally created designs, but Scottish artist’s Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest feature hand-drawn illustrations, which probably has something to do with their immense popularity. The beautifully rendered trees, leaves, flowers, and motifs of nature are intricate and detailed. Some have argued that the designs are too lovely to sully by coloring in, but many have dived in with their textas and produced astounding results. Basford’s website even has a coloring gallery to showcase such work.
Pattern books, such as those by Angie Grace, are also very popular, and feature repetitive designs such as mandalas and geometric shapes. Other books follow particular themes, such as animal pictures, mermaids, stained glass, or kaleidoscopes.
The variety of adult coloring in books is growing along with the demand for them, so no matter what your preference in terms of design or complexity, it’s possible to find something to help you de-stress, unwind, and recapture the simple joy of playing around with pencil on paper.