Colouring books are now hugely popular with adults

Colouring books have exploded in popularity recently – but among adults, not children. They’re now selling in the hundreds of thousands, and parents are telling kids to keep their hands off.

According to The Telegraph, Waterstones reported a 300% rise in colouring book sales and indie bookseller Foyles has devoted extra floor space to them in their new premises.

Head of children’s buying at Waterstones Melissa Cox says the trend among adults began in France. Now not only are more people buying colouring books, but more are being published. Adult versions have more intricate designs or are sometimes based on pop culture designs. (Naturally, there’s a Breaking Bad colouring book.) Bestsellers include Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta and Secret Garden by Johanna Basford.

In France, they’ve been marketed as great for stress relief. They’re also an easy way to make something creative, or just a way to stay awake while on an extended conference call.

Foyles’ Head of Art Mohara Gill told The Telegraph, ‘Colouring books are great if you’re interested in creativity but don’t know where to start. They’re also very therapeutic.’ Some even allow you to tear out your work and frame it – which is great, so long as you don’t mind having identical original ‘artwork’ to thousands of other people.

Diane Shipley