The Hippo


Jul 22, 2019








Adult coloring groups

Nashua Public Library, 2 Court St., Nashua, has two groups; one meets Mondays 2 to 3:30 p.m., and another meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Concord Public Library, 45 Green St., Concord, meets the first Tuesday of the month; the next is Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 6 p.m.
Nesmith Library, 8 Fellows Road, Windham, holds a meetup Tuesday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Wilton Public & Gregg Free Library, 7 Forest Road, Wilton, holds a meetup Wednesday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m.
Goffstown Public Library, 2 High St., Goffstown, holds an adult coloring session Saturday, Oct. 17, at 10 a.m.

Grown-up coloring craze
Local libraries respond to the phenomenon

By Kelly Sennott

 Good news, grown-ups: Coloring is cool again.

The world-wide craze has finally exploded in New Hampshire, with groups forming at libraries in Concord, Nashua, Windham, Goffstown, Wilton, Bedford and other towns these past couple months. 
In Concord, the push started with employee Sharon Bonner, who set up a coloring station in the library break room.
“Because, you know, there’s a lot of information about coloring being sort of meditative, and that it can help you re-focus. She thought it would be a good thing for people to do during break,” Concord Public Library adult services manager Deb Baker said via phone.
Needless to say, it went well, and librarians decided to open the program up to the public. Its first adult coloring session had 36 participants who ranged in age from teen to elderly. The room was too small to hold them all.
Carol Eyman at the Nashua Public Library picked up the buzz in her Facebook library networks and put out a patron survey that yielded more than 30 responses. 
Globally, the trend has been brewing for months. In March, The New York Times ran a story called “Grown-Ups Get Out Their Crayons,” about Scottish coloring book illustrator Johanna Basford. In July, The New Yorker printed “Why Adults Are Buying Coloring Books (For Themselves),” which suggested the trend has been fueled, to some degree, by social media, with people posting elaborate colored art on Facebook and Pinterest, and by the idea that coloring relieves stress. This summer, there were weeks in which the Amazon bestseller list contained coloring books.
Michael Herrmann, owner of Gibson’s Bookstore, said via phone that Gibson’s has reorganized its coloring book section to make way for adult material. Basford’s Enchanted Forest and Secret Garden have been flying off shelves, as has The Mindfulness Colouring Book by Emma Farrarons, which is the store’s bestseller. Herrmann called it a “fun phenomenon.”
Non-colorers may be scratching their heads at the newfound popularity of this children’s activity, but most interviewed said it’s relaxing, meditative and maybe even therapeutic, although it’s too early to tell what science says. (The Guardian also produced an article this summer that took insight from therapists; many said it could be therapeutic, but it’s not art therapy.)
Most adult coloring books contain more intricate illustrations, with landscape, seascape and mandala designs, which you can buy or download. Participants use all media, from colored pencils and gel pens to aquash water brushes and watercolor paints.
“I think people just like to create. We don’t get much of an opportunity to do that in our society anymore. Even if you’ve just colored something, it still feels like ... you’ve made something beautiful,” said Deb Jensen, adult services manager at the Wilton Public & Gregg Free Library.
Sandy Whipple, adult services/outreach Goffstown librarian, said it allows you to let go of everyday worries and become a kid again. She likes to play classical music during coloring meetups. 
“It gives people the chance to not think or plan but just let go and let the colors flow on the paper,” Whipple said. “One woman, who was a nurse at the VA, was very anxious to take this back to her clients because she thought it would be very beneficial.”
On a more personal note, Whipple said her adult daughter who has disabilities took right to it.
“I’ve gotten her three to four different books. She does a little bit each day. And I can tell she’s pleased with the product. There’s an immediate gratification,” Whipple said. 

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