Adult coloring books? Put down the colored pencils

Adult coloring books
Adult coloring books are displayed at a Barnes and Nobel store in New York this month.
Jewel Samad | AFP/Getty Images

Every week, The Thread recommends a book that offers a fresh perspective on the news.

Coloring books for grown-ups were one of the hottest trends in publishing last year, taking many by surprise. The numbers were so impressive, Quartz advised, "If you want to be a bestselling author, make an adult coloring book."

When I heard this, I thought: "Are you kidding me?!"

How can it be that when Americans have a precious moment to put a book in their hands — any book! — they are choosing to color inside the lines instead?

Yes, I know adult coloring books aren't filled with clowns and princesses. I know some people view them as a psychological refuge from our stressed-out lives. But that's exactly what great books are for!

They connect you over space and time to old and new worlds. They tell stories of compassion, isolation, resilience, fear, resolve. They bring you into a realm you might never encounter anywhere else.

Colored pencils are no match for the rich and vivid worlds of a Dickens, an Allende, a McBride or an Irving. Put down the crayons and find out why!

Tell me what you're reading on Twitter @KerriMPR.

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