Relearning to love coloring books

Coloring HP

A few years back, a dear friend of mine was going through a scary hard time. Since we don’t live in the same town or even state, I couldn’t drop by her house to dispense hugs and warm treats. So instead, I put together a care package of things I hoped would bring her refuge. Normally, a care package from me would include books, especially for her (she is a reader), but she wasn’t in a mindset to read. As an alternative, I included books of another sort: coloring books (and crayons).

This was before adult coloring books exploded into a phenomenon. It was my little boy who gave me the idea to include them because, with him, I spent many happy hours returning to one of my favorite childhood pastimes (besides reading). Coloring, I realized all over again, is soothing and relaxing. Something about seeing the colors bloom across the black-and-white pages feels like springtime and laughter.

Later, when my friend’s world became more bright itself, she told me how much she valued those coloring books and crayons. So you can say the adult coloring book phenomenon makes perfect sense to me.

Earlier today, I gave myself a splitting headache trying to write about a book that’s just really hard to write about. I know I’ll keep trying to capture what I feel and want to share about it. But until then, I decided to take a break and was happy to finally find a use for the Harry Potter Coloring Book I picked up recently.

I love that it’s about a book series that has meant so much to me as a reader and thinker. It makes me wonder what other great books should be coloring books, for those moments when you want to engage with the world of books but in a different way. I could see myself buying A Christmas Carol coloring book, or versions based on A Little PrincessTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, and Northanger Abbey. Which books would you like to see as coloring books?

4 Replies to “Relearning to love coloring books”

  1. That’s so kind, what you did for your friend. And I love your question. I agree about “A Christmas Carol” – or any Dickens book. And your other ideas seem great to me, too. Maybe I’d add some books that seem like they’d have really stunning “set pieces” (maybe this is the phrase that comes to mind because many have been adapted into movies?), like “The Great Gatsby” or “L’Ecume des jours” (“Froth on the Daydream) — or anything by Shakespeare. You make me want to find these books and get coloring!

    1. Thank you, Alysa! I love the idea of “The Great Gatsby” and set pieces in general. I just noticed reading this that all the books we both mentioned are classics. And now I’m trying (and failing) to think of a contemporary adult novel that I’d like to see as a coloring book. Maybe “All the Light We Cannot See” – a view of Saint-Malo, perhaps…

  2. Thanks Sally for the nice story. I too love coloring books as it calms the mind which is so needed in this busy world.

    1. Thank you so much, Barb! And yes, it does quiet the mind and bring calm, doesn’t it? I can see why it has become so popular! 🙂

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