Nine of the 20 books on Amazon’s current bestseller list contain few words and belong to a genre that didn’t exist two years ago. Welcome to the biggest publishing craze of the year: coloring books for adults, writes Susannah Cahalan in the New York Post.
More than 2,000 have hit stands since 2013 and the genre’s two biggest bestsellers, “Secret Garden” and “Enchanted Forest,” have sold a combined 13.5 million copies in 50 countries, she wrote.
“Adult coloring books are key factors in three of the top four adult nonfiction categories,” according to Kristen McLean, director of new business development for Nielsen Book.
“They make up 14 out of the top 20 for games/hobby/activity, including the top three slots. They are 40 out of the top 50 in art/design. There are even three in the top 20 in self-help,” she was quoted an article in the ABA Winter Institute’s look at 2016 bookselling trends from Publishers Weekly.
So what is the attraction to coloring books? People consider it therapeutic, stress-relieving and calming. Adrienne Raphel in her piece in The New Yorker called the trend, the “Peter Pan Market” as adults turn to coloring to relive the joys of their childhood.
Starre Vartan wrote in Mother Nature Network (MNN) that MNN’s own Robin Shreeves is a fan, “I enjoy them because when I’m doing them, I don’t think about anything but colors. They take me away from life’s problems without a lot of effort. So do many other creative endeavors, but with the coloring book, I can do it for 10 minutes instead of the time it would take me to do some other things. I don’t do it often, but I pick it up from time to time and get lost for a bit,” Shreeves wrote.
“Coloring fulfills a creative urge and is also soothing and calming,” wrote Jan Hornbeck Chapman, an Ohio-based youth librarian in her 60s, according to Vartan.
Vartan also quoted Sophie Hessekiel, a college student at Vassar in Poughkeepsie, New York, echoes Chapman, even though she’s at a completely different stage of life. “Coloring lets you think about nothing for a little while, and the feel of a marker on paper is very soothing,” she wrote.