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The new phenomena – colouring books

Time to dust off that pencil case from decades ago, to sharpen those points and find your eraser. Dystopian fiction or science fantasy is so passé apparently. What really cool readers want is to be able to put coloured pencil to paper (staying within the lines of course).

To the surprise of the publishers, the best selling book at Amazon’s US site for the past few weeks is a colouring book designed especially for adults. Johanna Basford, a Scottish illustrator, has sold more than a million copies of Secret Garden and 220,000 copies of her newest book, Enchanted Forest, The proud ‘artists’  are busy spreading the results of their labours across social media sites with pictures sprouting up on Instagram, Facebook and the like.

Are they all regressing to childhood to deal with a mid life crisis? Is the trend a comment on the state of television today such that people would rather switch off and get down to some artistic endeavours than watch another tv-cop series? Or is a consequence of our economic woes that people can’t afford to go out and socialise? As yet, the psychology pundits have been remarkably quiet but you can be sure that somewhere someone in academia is already dreaming up a theory. And maybe some marketing whizz kid is already thinking of promoting join-the- dots books for adults.

Are you tempted by the idea of revisiting your childhood? or are you so talented you can turn out a passable work of art without the need for someone to hold your hand?


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