My husband paused on his way to the refrigerator when he saw me sitting on the stool hunched over a book with a look of concentration on my face.
The mere fact that I was engrossed in a book would not have sparked his curiosity, because I am always with a book. In the kitchen while I’m cooking, by the bathroom sink when I’m blow drying my hair, in the car for when I get stuck in traffic. God forbid I shouldn’t have something to read.
But this time the book was oversized and flat with a lot of white space and I was drawing in it.
“A … coloring book?” he asked.
“Sshh, I’m almost done,” I murmured without looking up, magenta colored pencil in midair. My husband fell silent.
He watched. I colored. The only sound was the soft scritch scratching of the pencil as I oh-so-carefully filled in the design. Then I held the book aloft so I could scrutinize my work from all angles.
“What exactly do you do with it when you’re done?” my husband asked.
I thought for a second. “You start another one,” I said.
Adult coloring books have been A Thing, you probably know, for a couple of years, and their popularity continues to grow. There have been articles written about them in The New York Times, CNN, The New Yorker, and more.
Ten Speed Press offered me a copy of The Time Garden: A Magical Journey and Coloring Book by Korean artist Daria Song and I was eager to try it out. The book tells the story of a young girl transported into a fantasy world within an ancient cuckoo clock and her journey back home. The designs are intricate, whimsical, and simply charming. It took me hours to complete just one page because of all the detail. Here are two samples. See what I mean?
Adults have embraced coloring books as a way to relax, to de-stress and unwind. And I get it now. When I color, focused only on the tiny spaces my pencils will fill, my mind is freed and calm. A break from the incessant over stimulation of social media, a coloring session is meditative and restorative, much like yoga is for the body.
The demand for adult coloring books has occasionally exceeded supply. I know this because my local bookstore completely ran out and is restocking for the holiday season, which I am glad about, because these make terrific gifts. I just bought one for my best friend.
I may be late to the adult coloring book game, but I’m addicted now. Would you like to see my work? You would? Really? Well, OK, if you insist.
Here is one I completed.
And here is another still in progress.
Don’t look too closely. I still can’t stay completely inside the lines. But I know that really doesn’t matter.
What matters is the color of green to choose next. Should it be chartreuse, spring green or olive?
The nice folks at Ten Speed Press are letting me give away a copy of The Time Garden to one of my readers. Leave a comment and I will choose a winner randomly. US addresses only, please.
I received a copy of The Time Garden from Ten Speed Press for an honest review, which is the only kind of review I write.