I am writing this post as the new year begins. By the time you read it 2017 will have crossed 16 days off the calendar, and Christmas will be long over. However, hands up those who got an adult colouring book for Christmas? I've got both hands up as I got both a colouring book and a pack of pens. I will admit I have grabbed the adult colouring craze with both hands and sprinted with it. As have many others it would seem. This has got me thinking about these books and why they are so popular.
My research started on Amazon where I typed Adult Colouring Books in the search bar. This gave me 37,962 books to choose from. I kid you not. I was stunned, knowing it was popular but not that popular. That's a lot of books to choose from. It then got me thinking about different genres of colouring books. The one I had for Christmas was a daily devotional so I started with Christian. That gave me 501 books, with devotionals being 95 of these. A quick look at my genre of crime gave me 31 results with the top one being a detective colouring book. Fantasy, as I thought, was big with 1,383 results.
I also have a Character Sketch and Colour book which is designed to help develop characters. Therefore I did a search for Adult Colouring Books Writing. This showed 14,456 results. I seriously didn't think there would be that many. Blimey, how's a body meant to get any writing done with so many books to colour in to help with the writing process. There are also colouring notebooks and I invested in one of those for my trip to New Orleans for Bouchercon in September. The perfect size for note taking and a quick colouring project.
Now that I had proved their popularity it was time to look at why they captured our imagination in such a way. having looked at several articles it would seem that they serve to calm us down. This is particularly true of the ones with repeated patterns. Repeating the process over and over allows us to relax and to focus on one thing. Studies have shown that it slows the heart rate thus helping to relieve stress.
I certainly think this is true. In addition it forces us to slow down. Modern life is frenetic and most people have very little time to themselves. We live in a high octane world where everything is fast and full on. Colouring allows us to take time out, gives us time to think. As a writer I find that ideas often come when I am colouring in. I will then jot them down quickly so that thinking about them doesn't pull me away from my colouring task. I find the process soothing and relaxing which is why I love it so much.
I would be interested in others views about this phenomenon. Please let me know if the comments what you think of this and the reasons you think it is so popular. Now, if you will excuse me, I've a counting book with my name on it. Maybe I'll even bring one out, you never know.
About the Author
Wendy H. Jones is the author of the best selling DI Shona McKenzie Mystery series of crime novels set in Dundee. Killer's Crew, the fifth booking the series was released in November, 2016. Dagger's Curse, the first book in her Fergus and Flora, Young Adult Mystery series was released on 10th September, 2016. She also has one non fiction book, Power Packed Book Marketing: Sell More Books.