In her scarlet tights with matching jacket and blue denim skirt, Bonnie Smith looks like she just walked out of a Crayola box. Asked about her reawakened passion for a childhood pastime, the academic assistant for the music department offers, “I’m fascinated with color.” Her fascination extends beyond her fashion tastes and the stew of hues she selects for the music-event posters she designs — to coloring books. “Most people are not surprised to hear I color,” she says. “I’m a crafty kind of person.
With coloring you can be creative in a nice little book that doesn’t take up a lot of space in
Whether a newfound or rediscovered pursuit, adult coloring has taken off in the last two
years, and books with illustrations varying from tattoos to the masterworks of Van Gogh and
Monet are flying off the shelves.
Customers strolling through the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University Bookstore before
Christmas espied a dazzling display. A month later, coloring books still graced the front of the
store — on the bestsellers’ rack. In fact, two of Barnes & Nobles’ and 10 of Amazon’s top 20
books of 2015 were adult coloring books.
The surge began at Bucknell’s downtown Lewisburg store in July, according to Debbie
Sheets, trade book manager. The catalyst, she says, was a TV appearance by Johanna Basford,
NO LONGER JUST FOR THE PRESCHOOL SET,
COLORING BOOKS ARE BEING CO-OPTED BY ADULTS.