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Ever wished you could go back to the days when you could lose hours coloring in (and out of) the lines of your favorite coloring book? As it turns out, you can! That’s because the newest smash hit in books for adults is adult coloring books.

As English newspaper The Guardian reported, the top selling two books on Amazon.com’s, U.K. Site right now aren’t new thrillers from Dan Brown, or books from which a popular TV series has been made. They’re two coloring books, made for adults.


The books were created by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford. “Secret Garden” was released in 2013 and has sold more than 1.4 million copies to date. The follow up, “Enchanted Forest” was released this year and has already sold more than a quarter-million copies. Its release also prompted a resurgence in interest in Basford’s first book, which brought both of them up to the #1 and #2 spots on the online vendor’s best sellers list.

What makes these coloring books for adults? Well, they’re a lot more detailed than the coloring books you remember from your childhood, and require fine motor skills that coloring-book aged kids probably don’t have yet. But the finished product can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. Beautiful depictions of ethereal and fantasy-themed nature scenes are showing up all over the internet on the social media accounts of proud adults, who are loving this opportunity to relive a favorite childhood activity.

Brasford has noted the indulgence of a childhood pastime as one of the reasons for the rise in popularity of her books. And according to Slate, she has also cited the tactile and human nature of these books as another aspect of their appeal.

Basford calls herself an “ink evangelist” and says she prefers “pens and pencils to pixels.” Has that feeling intensified with the passing of time and the increasing digitalization of our world?

I have a lot of contemporaries who produce amazing work digitally, but for me personally, I just love the imperfect circle and a slightly crooked line. I think there is something natural and soulful about the little intricacies which are evident in a hand-crafted illustration,” she said.

We’ve talked a lot in our blog about how the hands-on component of physical books gives them that extra something that e-books don’t have, and it sounds like Basford is on the same page! You can learn more about Basford’s work, as well as the nascent trend of adult coloring books, in these links from The Guardian and Slate.