U.S. fills in the blanks as coloring books sweep market

Thu Mar 31, 2016 5:34am EDT
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By Pavithra George

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Coloring books, once seen only as a pastime for children, have become a growing craze for American adults looking to unwind or test their creativity with coloring pencils.

The trend has spawned coloring parties and clubs where grown-ups get together to color and socialize.

"You feel creative and you're like, 'Wow, I didn't know I could that, that looks pretty good,'" Washington resident Lydia Pesant said at a city library that hosts coloring parties every month.

With thousands of titles on the market, coloring books emerged as the most popular category of 2015, according to Publisher's Weekly, a trade magazine.

Nielsen Bookscan, a data provider, estimates that more than 2,000 coloring books were published in 2015, up from 300 in 2014.

Illustrator Teresa Roberts Logan said many people preferred the books to scrapbooking or knitting as a way to relieve stress because of the minimal investment required.

"You could have three or four color pencils with you or use your kid's crayons," said Roberts, who has produced her own book of paisley designs. "They're very accessible, they're very portable. I think they're user-friendly."

The adult coloring books are a far cry from the ones with simple pictures aimed at children. They often feature pages of complex black-and-white drawings frequently inspired by flowers, animals and geometrical patterns.   Continued...