While the adult coloring book fad isn’t exactly new, that doesn’t stop us from getting excited about one of our favorite pastimes. Tiny books, large collections, literary based, abstract art, books for all ages, and some definitely not for kids–we love them all!

I got interested in adult coloring books after seeing them for the first time at BEA but I never expected a craze like this. My first reaction was that they were a perfect blend between nostalgia (come on, who didn’t love to color as a kid) and the crafty trend. It’s like a Pinterest project that’s hard to fail (much more user friendly than knitting, my current crafty love/hate relationship but more about that in an upcoming post). It also made me think of my friends with young children. This seemed like a perfect activity for parents and kids to enjoy together and as a result has been the theme of many gift purchases I’ve made in the last year.

Admittedly, I haven’t had as much time for coloring as I’d like personally (again, yarn) but I have built a decent collection of books and enjoy pulling them out when I need mindless relaxation. Some of my favorite books are the literary based ones, Harry Potter, Outlander etc. but I also enjoy some of the abstract mandala books with not as much fine detail work. Books with large coloring sections are perfect if you want to set your inner child completely free and break out that giant box of Crayola’s. You know the ones–the big box with the sharpener in back. Only this time you won’t have to fight for your favorite colors or have your sisters break your crayons 😉

So when Jess asked if anyone wanted to join her in posting about adult coloring books I may have squee’d a bit and replied with this is what I’ve been training for! I jumped on the coloring bandwagon early on because I really enjoyed coloring when I was younger and I missed being creative and hadn’t really ever found an outlet that I was good at since being older. My first one I bought was Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden and I was hooked immediately. The illustrations in her books are so beautiful that when you color them in they just come to life.  Since then I basically have not stopped buying them. But I’ve also not stopped coloring them either so at least they aren’t going to waste! I find them so relaxing to color in when I’m having a bad day and it’s so easy to do while watching TV.

My favorite additions to my collection have been James Alexanders Sweary coloring books – he has a whole line out and every time he puts out a new one I have to buy one. They’re always at a really good price and he puts them on sale all the time. I find coloring in the swear words and adorable animals even more relaxing than the pretty flowers! Everyone has different opinions on what to color with, personally I am not a fan of colored pencils to color with because I don’t like the pale colors, I prefer vibrant colors. It took me a lot of trial and error but my favorite is Staedtler triplus fineliner markers – they are amazing. They put out a pack of 36 recently and they don’t dry out, I love them! I only wish they had more colors, I would buy in a second. My next buy will be the Johanna Basford release that is coming out on August 9th – Magical Jungle, that will be my 4th of hers.

Looking for your first coloring book or adding to your collection? Here are some books we love and a few on our shopping lists

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