Perhaps it’s motivated by life’s increasing stress, nostalgia for the things of childhood or maybe it’s just a fun way to kill time with zero pressure. Whatever the reasoning, in recent years the book industry has enjoyed an explosion in sales of what was once a very small niche — adult coloring books.
Although the gross numbers are not compiled yet for 2016, if we look at the meteoric rise in sales of adult coloring books for the previous year — 2015, we see in the UK alone a 300% increase in unit sales. But even more impressive, here in the United States sales of adult coloring books went from about 1 million per year to over 12 million books per year — a 12X increase!
Part of the attraction is the wide range of subject matter. Landscapes, animals, nature, religious icons, geometric patterns, fantasy figures, comic book heroes, and cityscapes — almost any subject matter is available at a very reasonable price for hours of mindless entertainment.
Having spent a few hours researching the psychological impact of this phenomenon, my lay person’s conclusion is that it’s mostly a proven and benign stress reliever — the mindless, repetitive actions, the non-crucial decisions of color choice, and the chance to escape the real problems and stresses of everyday adult life. Some call it therapy. Others refer to it as meditation. While still others don’t call it anything — they just enjoy doing it!
So if your life contains even a modicum of discomfiting stress; if you find yourself getting too upset at the banal idiocy of the Internet and social media; if you feel yourself beginning to lash out at others inappropriately — you may find this bourgeoning pastime of coloring for adults to be of calming benefit. Check out some of our resources listed below, and for about $10 (plus the cost of the latest super box of Crayons or coloring pencils) you can buy yourself several hours of peace and tranquility.
Mindful Coloring is on the Rise
by Samara Serotkin
The Adult Coloring Book Trend Gets a Very Violent Parody
by John Brownlee
Adult Coloring is Still a Thing
Books and Products
Available at amazon.com. Click on title to purchase.
Adult Coloring Book Designs: Stress Relief Coloring Book: Garden Designs, Mandalas, Animals, and Paisley Patterns
Best Seller – Paperback – December 2015
Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book
by Sasha O’Hara
Sargent Art Premium Coloring Pencils, Pack of 50 Assorted Colors
by Sargent Art
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