• Colouring books for adults are selling millions, racing up bestsellers chart 
  • Sainsbury’s revealed that one million books have been bought since April 
  • Fans say colouring is relaxing and an antidote to so-called tech stress 

Sean Poulter Consumer Affairs Editor For The Daily Mail

Forget expensive gadgets and futuristic technology – all you need to keep up with the latest trend is some good old-fashioned colouring pens.

Colouring books for grown-ups are taking the nation by storm, selling millions of copies and racing up bookstores’ bestseller lists.

Fans say setting aside a few hours for colouring is relaxing and a good antidote to so-called ‘tech stress’.

Scroll down for video 

Flying colours: Millie Marotta whose Tropical Wonderland book features in Amazon's top selling list 

Flying colours: Millie Marotta whose Tropical Wonderland book features in Amazon’s top selling list 

Sainsbury’s reveals today that more than one million of the books have been snapped up since April, bringing in over £1.2million in sales, while Waterstones and WH Smith say the books have stormed on to their lists of bestsellers.

Hobbycraft, the UK’s largest craft retailer, said its sales of the books are up by 374 per cent on last year.

Four colouring books for adults currently appear in Amazon UK’s top ten bestselling books, including the £3.99 Animal Kingdom by illustrator Millie Marotta, which is currently at number four.

Miss Marotta, 36, from Tenby in Wales, believes her books are such a hit with adults because her drawings of animals and flowers are so intricate. 

Her book Tropical Wonderland also features in Amazon’s list, along with two colouring books by Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford – Secret Garden, which has sold more than 1.4million copies since its launch in 2013, and follow-up book Enchanted Forest.

TV property expert Kirstie Allsopp said hands-on tasks such as colouring help people relax, adding: ‘It’s the perfect antidote to the business of modern life and I’d recommend it to anyone feeling stressed.’ The trend is thought to have started in France and was taken up by celebrities such as Nigella Lawson.

Sainsbury’s said it now offers 34 different adult colouring books after the surge in demand. Some publishers have moved to cash in on the craze by creating colouring books featuring stars such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Taylor Swift. 

Even the Ordnance Survey mapping organisation has joined in. It has just released a set of black and white maps of major UK cities, which can be downloaded from its website to be coloured in.

Anna Grace-Davidson, of lifestyle consultants Grace Guru, said: ‘Adult colouring books will definitely help to relax your mind and connect with your inner self. [They] are almost like yoga practice, only you don’t have to sweat to feel balanced.’ 

Some are sceptical about how much the books improve wellbeing. Donna Betts, of the American Art Therapy Association, said she would never use colouring books in a therapy session as they are not the same as creating real art.

But Miss Marotta said colouring offers ‘a much needed distraction’ and ‘a little bit of escapism’ from the stress of the ‘grown-up world’.

 

The comments below have not been moderated.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Who is this week’s top commenter?
Find out now