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August 7, 2015

Bookreporter Readers Share Their Passion for Coloring Books

Posted by emily

A comment about National Coloring Book Day (August 2nd) in the Bookreporter newsletter on July 31st inspired lots of reader feedback. Please find below a selection of the comments that we heard, and see photos of some of our readers coloring and their work. Also, be sure to check out our latest bookshelf, "20 Coloring Books for Adults: Inky Adventures, Stress Relievers, Mandalas and More" and our roundup of some of the best supplies for coloring, "Passion for Coloring: What to Color With?"

Sue: I had an adult coloring night for my meet-up group (pictured left) --- 25 ladies came, and I had a waitlist! Most bought coloring books at Amazon or B&N; there are tons of free images on the Internet you can download, so I also had a supply of them. Although I started out with colored pencils, I switched to thin markers as I found the color deeper. The girls are asking me when our next coloring night is: We used to color while drinking milk and eating cookies; now it's wine and cheese! I use Crayola supertips --- you can go thin or thick with them. I highly recommend the activity --- it promotes relaxation and conversation (no one looked at their phones!!!).

Lynda: I'm a fan of coloring, a fairly recent discoverer of coloring books for grown-ups, and like many new fans/converts, I've been spreading the word of coloring to various friends and co-workers. I've been pleased to have many of them buy coloring books of their own, and sometimes to discover that they've been coloring themselves for years and I never knew it. I'm hoping that some of us can get together and have a coloring party --- I've heard of people having those at restaurants and coffee shops. Somehow, the quiet, solitary activity of coloring lends itself to people sitting together and actually having a fun time!

The coloring books I own (so far) are COLOR ME CALM by Lacy Mucklow (and I have given this same book --- or her other one, COLOR ME HAPPY, as gifts) and ENCHANTED FOREST by Johanna Basford, and I color them with colored pencils. Just today, I bought a set of markers to color with, too, though I'm told that it's best to use markers if coloring a single page pulled out of a coloring book or printed out from the Internet (there are MANY free coloring pages that you can print to try out) OR put a piece of wax paper between the pages of the book to keep the markers from bleeding through the pages. 

Johanna Basford's website has a gallery --- people who've colored in her books can scan in a colored page, and it might get posted online for anybody to see and admire. Some people have an amazing gift for coloring beautifully.

There are so many great coloring books out there --- check your favorite bookstores (smart booksellers are carrying more and more coloring books) and check online. You'll find books that are $3 each, free pages to print out, and some really fancy coloring books for upwards of $20. It just depends on how much you want to spend. You can buy fancy sets of markers, colored pencils and crayons (which I don't use simply because the tips are too wide for detail work) for lots of money in art supply stores OR you can hit the back-to-school sales and get a box of colored pencils for $1, like I did today!

Marcia: I, too, have been reading about these coloring books, was intrigued, and so I ordered SECRET PARIS from Amazon and then went to Michael's to find colored pencils. I started with Crayola Twistables, but I wasn't overly fond of all the colors. So I splurged and bought these Prismatic color pencils, which I love. Although I haven't had a lot of time yet to experiment, I've enjoyed the experience I've had and plan to do more. It puts me in another world --- just like a great book! 

A friend just told me about another creative exercise called Zentangle --- a sort of meditative doodling. So far I have a book, and am looking forward to giving that a try. Two new avenues for creative relaxation!

I'm thinking about a starting a class for this at the senior center where I work. I'll let you know how that works!

LaVonne: I've been coloring for quite some time now. I started doodling in meetings at work. I saw a segment on the news about adult coloring books and promptly bought about six! Most are purchased at Amazon but some from Michael's, our local craft store. I've gotten my best girlfriend into it, too. I bought a nice set of markers and colored pencils, and I was all set. I told my husband coloring for me is like fishing is for him...relaxing. My grown kids think it's a hoot. They laugh every time they see me at the dining room table with my coloring book, markers and my glass of wine! Fun times! Try it...! I crochet, too, but this is a different hobby. It's sort of mindless but creative.

Alexis: I have always enjoyed coloring and have picked it up again at the ripe old age of 67. I use colored pencils, fine point markers and gel pens depending on what effect I want. I am thoroughly enjoying it, and it is extremely relaxing. I color for about an hour, which is just enough for me, and sometimes color with a glass of wine. I can't wait for my granddaughter to be old enough to color with me. She just turned three and loves to read and loves being read to!

Enjoy coloring!

Jude: I have been using markers because most of the book pages are one-sided. They are sharp in color and look better. My sister took one of my finished ones home to frame it…. The coloring is so calming as you choose the markers and bring the pictures to life.

Beth: I attended a Scrapbook Expo a few weeks ago in Duluth, GA and got a stamp for birthday cards to put on the outside envelope to color and mail. A longtime friend has a birthday this week, and he is my guinea pig! 

Ellen: I’ve been a Bookreporter follower for years and have read many good books thanks to your recommendations! Just wanted you to know that I am a colorer, too. I have SECRET GARDEN and use artist -quality colored pencils because of the detail in the pictures. Between reading and coloring, I find retirement very relaxing! When not relaxing, we hike with our beautiful Goldendoodle, Suki. Our goal is 400 miles this year. Thank you for the great book recommendations, and happy coloring!

Paula: I color with Angie's extreme stress reliever, BALANCE. I use Angie Grace Tombow brush pens. Best ever. If you enjoy mandalas, they are my favorites. (To the right are two pieces of Paula's art.)

Jan: I've never stopped coloring since I was old enough to hold a crayon or a colored pencil. Staying in the lines came later. I just turned 63 and love that they are coming out with coloring books for adults! It is very relaxing and stress-free, except when my crayon breaks, or I (still occasionally) color out of the lines. The only difference I can see is that, in the adult coloring books, the areas to color are smaller. As I get "more mature," I find the children's coloring books are easier on the eyes and coloring bigger areas is easier, also. Lastly, there's something about the feeling you get when you finish a picture. This is done more quickly with the children's books.

Sherrie: I'm in love with my MANDALA COLORING BOOK; it is such a unique and easy relaxing tool, and I just let my mind wander and de-stress. The ENCHANTED FOREST book is on my list!  Adult coloring books and color pencils have been my recent go-to gift for friends.

Mary: I purchased my first coloring book yesterday; all the pictures are flowers. I bought a box of 20 colored pencils to color the pages. Barnes & Noble has a very good selection, and the prices are reasonable.

Nanette: I have to admit I am obsessed with coloring. I loved coloring as a child, and it never went away. I'm 54, and before the "adult coloring book craze" I had to say I kept coloring books in the house for friends with children. I've recently purchased SECRET GARDEN and SPLENDID CITIES. Now I can color away. I prefer colored pencils but still love my Crayola crayons!  Everything old is new again. Did I mention my love of paper dolls?  Take care, and good luck finding that nocturnal visitor!

Susan: I also am starting to color; I have a book on my desk but haven’t found the right pencils --- if you get suggestions, please pass them along! It is titled SPLENDID CITIES and has things to look for in the pictures when you color --- looks like fun! So busy reading that it's hard to find time to color! There are some great videos on YouTube for coloring!

Marilyn: Just started coloring in SECRET GARDEN using fine line markers. Very relaxing.

Mary: I have been coloring since April when I discovered adult coloring books. I check out Barnes & Noble weekly for any new books that have come in. I color every day. My seven-year-old granddaughter and I color whenever we can. Mandalas are my favorite pictures to color. I use fine tip markers and have every color known to man....  I find coloring incredibly relaxing and fun. 

Susan: A friend gave me the CREATIVE CATS coloring book, and I am using colored pencils, fine and extra fine Sharpies (from Costco) and a few other markers I had on hand. Have not decided whether to color in the background yet. (Pictured to the left.)