EDUCATION

US libraries, meetup groups get into adult coloring craze

Adults in the U.S. are caught up in a craze for coloring books, once an activity for children alone.

Coloring books took up the top 10 spots on The New York Times best-selling list of games and activities this month, up from nine in December.

Libraries across the country are holding adult coloring programs in response to the spike in interest, according to the American Library Association, including New York City, Denver and Milwaukee.

"People just love this. I think they feel successful, like they've finished something," said Jane Henze, the adult programming director at DeForest Public Library near Madison, Wisconsin.

Carrie Danhieux-Poole, art therapist at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, said that people "feel more focused, they feel more relaxed."

In Raleigh, North Carolina, a healthy living group that organizes through Meetup.com tried coloring for the first time this month.

One participant, Sophie Dangtran, 60, started coloring a few years ago when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She's now in remission and recently picked it up again, with different results.

"I find the healthier I get, the more colorful my designs are," she said.

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Associated Press writer Allen Breed contributed to this report.