Friday, January 8, 2016

The Newest Book Craze

The Newest Book Craze

by Warren Bull

If you are close to my age you might remember Donovan singing Mellow Yellow, which includes the

praises of an electrical banana.

Electrical banana
Is gonna be a sudden craze
Electrical banana
Is bound to be the very next phase
I don’t know what an electrical banana is but I’m sure you can find all sorts of explanations on the web.
I am here to announce an even greater event.  Bigger than books with titles like Sell a Million Books!  The first page reads SUCKER.  The rest of the pages are blank.  It is bigger than Snoopy with Zombies.
will take you to Richard Davies’ description of the way people reduce stress by buying and using coloring books for adults.
It could actually help.  On the other hand, it won’t help me.  I can’t draw a credible circle.  How would I write a coloring book?  Why are all those people coloring when they could be reading books?  Maybe even my books.
As Roseanna Roseannadanna would say, Never mind.  Go on with whatever you were doing.  There's 

nothing interesting happening here.


  1. I put it in the same category as Pet Rocks, Warren. People actually bought them--I guess someone will make money on this too. People with nothing better to do. It's sad.

  2. Buying a blank book that isn't a journal strikes me as nonsensical, but I'm fine with adult coloring books.

    Afterall, there is no reason one person's way of relaxing or entertaining themselves is better than another. I enjoyed playing sports -- at the end of the day I "wasted" a lot of hours on the soccer pitch, baseball diamond, basketball court, etc. Now I spend time running around my neighborhood. I sing too. After either activity I feel more relaxed than I did before, physically and mentally healthier.

    I spend countless hours wandering woods, sometimes looking for birds, sometimes looking for flowers. And I play card games, which I enjoy a lot. I do it mostly on foot, but when I am going a distance, I'll use an ATV.

    None of those hours enriches the world, or puts money in an author's pocket. (I do read 70-80 books a year, so I'm not feeling guilty on that score).

    Others spend their time in front of the television. Some meditate. Some, including two of my faux-step-daughters-in-law color. They do it while in conversation or while watching TV-- much as my partner Jan needlepoints.

    I like seeing how they choose their colors and make a flat black and white drawing come alive. And I have met a romance author (NY Times bestseller, too) who makes WAY more on her coloring books than she does on her writing. I say congratulations -- and I'm sure this too shall pass.

    ~ Jim

  3. Trends come and go….I think we have to figure out what will come after adult coloring books.

  4. Warren, I remember when paint by number was popular.I've heard of the coloring book trend, too. As for me, I'd rather be drawing and painting pictures which I did for at least twenty or more years before I started writing. Now as a break from writing, I either read or like Jim, walk in the woods or work outside, weeding, mowing, planting or raking leaves depending on the season. I still have my paints and painting supplies for that time when I find time to get back to it. In fact, there's a newspaper photo that I still have because I want to use one person in it in a painting someday.

  5. I was with my wife at a crafts store yesterday, standing there in the checkout line with her, when I saw a bunch of coloring books that were obviously not for children. I remember thinking, what in the blue perfect hell is going on here?

    Now I know.

  6. Some of what are being billed as "adult coloring books" have been around for years, esp. the ones with the geometric patterns and such. They can having a calming effect on someone (adult or child) who works on them, esp. if used in a time out situation. Some of the patterns are very akin to the psychedelic images and posters of the '60s and '70s.

    Perhaps the most relevant comment (from one of my students--a 17 year old in foster care who was now in trouble with the police and probably headed to a secure juvenile detention facility) was a rather surprised, "Of course I color. It makes me feel better to see the patterns come out and be able to choose the colors. Don't you color? You should try it, especially when you're on house arrest and can't go anywhere."

    Of course, I have also seen "adult coloring books" with truly "adult" (read pornographic) content that I have a feeling doesn't calm anyone down.

  7. Some years ago when my husband and I were writing to a prisoner in the federal pen, I would decorate the outside of the envelopes with a black pentel and then fill in the open areas with colored pencil. While 'they' opened the envelopes, and read the letters they always let him have the colored designs on the outside, as well as the letters. Many of the covers of my Christmas stories are done the same way. It is just like the books only I do it myself.
    For Christmas this year a fried gave me a coloring book and a wonderful set of watercolor pencils. I do prefer to make my own designs, but sometimes it is nice to have something else just to fill in mindlessly. OK so I probably won't spend much time with the book, but the pencils will be much used.

  8. I've heard of this before. But it's not of interest to me. I do landscape painting and so it's not my style.

  9. Hysterical, Warren. I am a proponent of adult coloring books. Years ago I was diagnosed with a serious illness. The first thing I knew I wanted to get me through the tough days of treatment ahead was a coloring book. So, I bought a giant box of crayons (the kind with the built in sharpener) and set out to find a coloring book. Not so easy, not even in the children's section. I did finally find a Hello Kitty book that filled the bill. So, although I am hopeful I will NOT face a similar situation, it will be nice to have a coloring book for adults to see me through if I do.