Secrets of grownup colouring revealed!

How do Canadians love adult colouring books? We have counted the ways.

A couple of weeks ago, we shared a blog post all about the recent uptick in colouring books for grownups, along with a quick poll to find out who’s buying these books and why. Now that the poll is closed, we can dig our greedy fingers into the data and finally get some answers. (Bearing in mind that the sample size is relatively small at just under 200 respondents.) And the timing couldn’t better. Earlier this month, the top-selling book in Canada according to SalesData figures was an adult colouring book, and they’ve been seen all over the bestseller lists in non-fiction and juvenile categories. 

So, what did we find out? In short, the poll results show that almost all purchasers of adult colouring books bought them for their own personal use (80%). Among those who bought one for another person, 82% gave it to another adult rather than a child. (Which, by the way, means that I’ve won an office debate with another BookNetter about whether or not adults were buying the books for kids. Huzzah!) For those who bought one for a child, the age range for recipients was 13 and under.

Q: Who did you buy it for?

But why? What’s motivating grownups to suddenly wield pencil crayons en masse? Well, the main factor for those who bought colouring books for their own personal use was to relax or unwind, followed closely by general solo recreation and as a creative exercise. It was pretty clear that buyers do not see colouring as a social activity, or even care if they create a work of art or not. (One write-in answer said they just wanted to know what all the hype was about, to which we can relate.)

Q: How important were each of these motivations in your decision to buy?

You can currently find adult colouring books in a number of categories: art, self-improvement, games, and juvenile non-fiction. But with these results, I think it’s safe to say that the juvenile categorization is the least representative of how they’re actually being used and self-improvement is probably the most on point. Disagree? Let us know in the comments!