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​Julie Stiltner, a sophomore majoring in early childhood education, channels her inner child by coloring. She owns six coloring books and says that coloring is a therapeutic and fun experience for people of all ages. 

Favorite childhood pastime of coloring books is rediscovered in recent trend

Sales of adult coloring books have skyrocketed as many rediscover the joy of coloring.


As it turns out, sometimes students still like to keep it between the lines with a favorite childhood pastime.

The “adult coloring” trend popped up this past fall and has increased in popularity around Christmas time, as coloring books became a popular gift for the season.

Import House, one of the shops Uptown that carries a variety of the books, began selling them in September of 2015.

“We had some people asking for them and then our distributor was telling us how popular they were becoming, so we dabbled in a few and then started ordering more and more,” Karen McGuire, manager of Import House, said.

Most of the sales come from students right here at Ohio University, according to McGuire. She believes coloring is a relaxing and stress-relieving hobby that may be the reason why so many students tap into their creative sides.

Brittany Austin, a sophomore studying communication sciences and disorders, is one of those students who uses coloring as a means of channeling her creative side, especially on those lazy Saturdays.

“I usually color on the weekends when I don’t have anything to do. … I’ll sit and watch Netflix while I’m coloring or something,” Austin said.

Combining those two leisurely activities has become increasing popular among groups of friends on campus.

Julie Stiltner, a sophomore studying early childhood education, often gets together with her two friends who also go to OU to color while they chat and catch up on the week’s happenings.

Stiltner said she especially enjoys the way coloring reconnects her to her childhood.

“Everyday when I came home from school I usually had a coloring book. … I think people are trying to channel their inner child … Our generation, I feel still wants to be like a kid cause we’re not ready to ‘adult’ yet,” Stiltner said.

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Not only has coloring allowed people to relax and reminisce of simpler days, but adding splashes of color to the different coloring book themes of nature, Buddhism, wilderness and other designs is an easy way to unwind while still feeling productive.

Stiltner is one who would opt for sitting and coloring for enjoyment over lounging around and watching episode after episode of Netflix. Stiltner said Netflix can sometimes become a sad situation when it’s episode after episode and the program asks, “are you still watching?”

Coloring, on the other hand, produces an end product one can be proud of and possibly give to a friend like Stiltner often does.

“I think people are looking for a way to be creative and relieve stress,” McGuire said. “Something that’s not related to their smart phone or staring at their computer.”


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