Adult Coloring Books Are All The Rage

I read a Buzzfeed headline today about how physical copies of books are selling better than they previously have!


But then I actually read the article and discovered that this rise in sales is linked primarily to 1 thing (among others but still): adult coloring books.

I finally caved and bought one of these last week. It’s a small one, with a variety of different types of coloring pages, and it was $3 at Target.

Personal opinion here: If you’re looking to kill a bunch of time, these are great. I started mine yesterday and only got halfway through a page in the 20 minutes while I was waiting for my dryer to finish (curse public laundry-doing). But if you’re as picky about aesthetics as I am (and I can be with somethings), adult coloring books are the devil.

I started color one section in one color, and then I got really concerned with what colors were considered complementary to purple. But of course only two colors are, and you need way more than 3 colors to finish filling this thing in, so I had to pull up a color wheel and pick my colors for a reason. Purple, yellow and magenta are complementary. From there, I had to make sure yellow was next to reds and oranges. Pink and purple were in the vicinity of blues and greens.

I got so concerned with making sure it looked good that it wasn’t remotely “relaxing.”

Besides that, these darned things can be expensive! I think the price on many of them has dropped, but I find it kind of ridiculous to spend $10+ on a coloring book. Whenever I would randomly get the urge to color, I’d go buy one from Dollar Tree for a buck. Lisa Frank is crazy intricate too, ya know.


Apparently, also jumping into the adults-want-to-be-kids-again craze (I don’t mean this to sound as judgey as it does. I LOVE coloring haha), they’re making adult “dot-to-dots” and “color by numbers” books as well:



Okay, this wasn’t supposed to diverge into a rant about adult coloring books, but it did.

I’m totally going to keep coloring mine. Might need to go buy a better set of colored pencils, with more color variety so I can make sure my colors are more complementary to each other.

I think it’s great that something is helping physical book sales rise again. The numbers alone will be enough cause to keep bookstores open for longer. But why can’t it be for books that tell stories?

Do you color in books geared towards adults? Do you find it to be calming and stress-free? Explain because I want to stop caring so much and let it be a calming experience!


12 thoughts on “Adult Coloring Books Are All The Rage

  1. I find it really calming until I’ve coloured half of the picture and then realise the colour scheme is terrible, it doesn’t match etc. I’ve been meaning to get one of these for AGES but, as you say, they are expensive and I can’t justify spending money on a book I’m going to scribble in 🙂

  2. It seems to be an absolute waste of time to me. I have one (or is it two?) and I never do them. I have so many better things to be doing with my time. Reading relaxes me, writing relaxes me, chatting with friends relaxes me, watching TV relaxes me … coloring is just dull and mindless. But I suppose it’s a matter of preference.

  3. I’ve been a fan of those coloring books for a few years now, and honestly, they were great for me at the time. I was going through a very stressful year(s) and when I was coloring those mandalas, I was able to be at one with my thoughts. So in that sense, it was “therapeutic.” But nowadays, with a little less stress than those days, I don’t have the time ): I still collect a whole bunch of them on Pinterest now, and my 30 Ultra-fine Sharpies are still all in this jar on my desk, but ack! I could spend that time reading or writing (;

    They are really fun though, I would color again if I had the time!

  4. I’ve never bought one, and I’m not likely to, but who knows. My daughters might like them. I write, read (stories or nonfiction books), or crochet — or sleep — to relax. Coloring has just never been on that list. I don’t begrudge anyone their enjoyment of it, though. Maybe over the years of picking up stray crayons, markers, and broken color pencils, the idea of buying new color pencils (even for myself) just makes me think, “No, no, NO!!! No more!” Plus, I never enjoyed coloring all that much as a kid. I’d get bored of trying to color neatly inside the lines, and my finished product was never worth the time I’d invested — at least not to me. it’s different, though, when I’m looking at something one of my kids colored.

  5. My daughter loves them but personally I find them frustrating – not that I have anything against colouring. It’s just that as someone who’s day job is art, it feels a bit stifling to me to have to follow someone else’s vision! (Though they are useful as line art inspiration.)

  6. I love coloring when the mood strikes. But I am sticking to Pooh, Scooby Doo, and Lisa Frank. Those adult coloring books give me a stress headache just looking at them. I did buy one for inspiration for my husband’s carving projects. He wanted a fox and this paticular book was animals.

  7. I print coloring pages and color them in while I’m on conference calls. I tend to do things like Sugar Skulls and hang them up in my office. I like it when people ask if my nieces made them for me.

  8. That is the freakiest looking Marilyn Monroe I have ever seen.

    I do own an adult coloring book, but have not started coloring in it yet. I’ve downloaded a coloring app instead… And the upside is that you can easily change your mind about colors. The downside is, you’re still staring at a screen.

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