Coloring Books for Adults

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Image: Chronicle Books
Image: Chronicle Books

Coloring books are ubiquitous in childhood. You can’t ever finish them, because people give you new ones long before you finish the ones you have. My kids were drowning in the things before we purged. (Of course, they were never big colorers, but that’s beside the point.)

Only just recently, publishers have caught on that sometimes adults like to color too. They have started publishing books in many different styles to appeal to adults of different styles. Florals, geometric shapes, architecture, organic shapes, themed collections, works of art, and more are represented in these books.

For those of us who sometimes like to do mindless things with our hands, but for whom doodling takes too much mental energy, coloring books are a great option. I like to use colored pencils, but pens, markers, and even crayons are useful tools. You can spend five minutes or an hour. You can take them with you wherever you go, or color a few shapes right before bed. Coloring can help you relax, give you something to focus on while you meditate, or pass the time while you wait in your car for your kids to get out of school.

And, you know what? If you get your own coloring books, you get to make the rules about them. You don’t have to share. You can color them in, any way you like, and no one can tell you that you’re doing it wrong. Because there is no wrong way to color them in.

Here are some wonderful examples of coloring books for adults. There will likely be something here for everyone to enjoy. I know I have a few on my wish list already.

Image: Dover Publications
Image: Dover Publications

Dover’s Creative Haven Coloring Books – Dover has put together quite the collection of coloring books. From Christmas Trees to Steampunk to Mehndi Designs to Zenscapes to Ugly Holiday Sweaters, Dover’s quality, value, and low price continue in this series.

Image: Laurence King Publishing
Image: Laurence King Publishing

Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford – These books are fanciful but bold forays into beautiful gardens and forests, with plants, insects, and small animals as your companions. Color them as you will!

Image: Barron's
Image: Barron’s

Barron’s Coloring Books – From Mandalas to Blossoms to Winter to Optical Illusions, Barron’s puts together quite the collection of coloring books for adults.

Image: Chronicle Books
Image: Chronicle Books

Fantastic Cities by Steve McDonald – Coming out in August is this detailed coloring book focusing on densely packed city life, and is great for people who love coloring architecture and geometric shapes. It is published by Chronicle Books, who also publishes The Indie Rock Coloring Book and Graffiti Art Coloring Book.

Image: Little, Brown and Company
Image: Little, Brown and Company

Little, Brown and Company’s Coloring Books – This publisher also has a nice series of coloring books for adults, focusing on cities once again. From a general city coloring book, to books on Paris, New York, and Tokyo, travel the world through the tip of your crayon.

Image: Blue Star
Image: Blue Star

Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns – If you just want a basic pattern book to color with a variety of styles, this book fills the bill. It’s high on my list, because what I want to look at varies greatly with my mood. Perfect for winding down and decompressing.

Do you have a favorite coloring book for adults? Share it in the comments.

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