Three of Amazon’s top 10 bestselling books of 2015 were coloring books for grown-ups. Together, Johanna Basford's Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest coloring books have sold more than 13 million copies worldwide. It's not the first time adult coloring books have captured the nation's attention. In 1962, sales of adult coloring books reached $1 million, topping the New York Times bestseller list and inspiring Barbra Streisand to release a song titled "My Coloring Book."
Mort Drucker’s JFK Coloring Book spent 14 weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list in 1962.
BROOKE Three of Amazon’s top-10 best-selling books last year were coloring books. The “Secret Garden” and “Enchanted Forest” by Johanna Basford together sold more than 13 million copies worldwide. A new trend?
Not entirely. In the Kennedy era, adult coloring books were chart toppers…
STREISAND: “For those who fancy coloring books / as certain people do. / Here’s a new one for you / A most unusual coloring book, the kind you never see / Crayons ready, very well, begin to color me … ”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50tdDpwfXvo
Barbra Streisand’s 1962 hit riffed on the fact that sales of adult coloring books that year had reached a million bucks..
STREISAND: “This is the heart that thought he would always be true. / Color it blue”
BROOKE: But where today’s coloring books are marketed as therapeutic, stress-relieving, creativity engines, the coloring books of the 60s, were decidedly more subversive. In a recent New Republic, Laura Marsh filled in the details.