“The craze for adult colouring books shows how we’ve all become infants” – A Response from an Adult Colourer

Dear readers,

This is a link to the article I’m responding to – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/colouring-books-for-adults-prove-how-infantile-weve-become/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Dear Susan,

I read your article yesterday titled “The craze for adult colouring books shows how we’ve all become infants”, and my readers and I were deeply upset and offended by your assertion that activities such as adult colouring, and reading Young Adult (YA) fiction, are “infantile” and “childish”. Your article also seemed to have little coherent argument and by the end of it, I was unsure what point you were even making; perhaps you were too? Here are my thoughts.

There is such a vast difference between embracing your inner child and being childish. Studies show the huge importance of playing, even into adulthood. I’m not sure what activities you’d suggest involve playing or having fun within the adult world, clearly none of these must be undertaken by children or they’ll be classed as infantile, but as a society we have decided that play is intrinsically linked to children and I think you’ll therefore struggle to find a playful activity that isn’t undertaken by them. I certainly don’t get to play whilst filing my tax return, nor doing the washing or dusting, and no matter how many times I try to turn it into a game of “who can get it the cleanest”, my partner and I don’t manage to play whilst washing up.

To continue reading, click here to be directed to my original post.



  1. My boyfriend and I collect and play board games. I believe if I were to tell the author of that article this, should would scoff and call me a child. My board games are designed to make you think and strategize and are typically made for adults. I am not playing “Candyland” or “Shoots and Ladders”, I am playing Trajan, a game designed with the Trojan Empire and politics in mind. It is not childish.
    Furthermore, I suffer from depression, borderline personality disorder, and ADHD. When I color or play with Play-doh (God forbid!) it helps me to concentrate on what is going on around me and also allows me to relax and focus my thoughts.
    As an extra note, I love to read. Love it. I just read 12 books in a row in the past three months or so. They ranged from “East of Eden” (definitely not YA) to The Chronicles of Narnia, and everywhere in between. To be told that I am a child simply because I enjoy a good, fun story is beyond offensive.
    I am so glad you responded to this article.


  2. I just discovered your blog, and this post and I just had to comment. I graduated with a degree Psychology and went into the field right away, after almost a year, I was horrendously burnt out. But I never sought help. Instead I went on and found other jobs, eventually leading to my current career. After several events in my life happened all at once, I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a major depression episode. I had made a plan to end my life.
    That plan scared the hell out of me and I asked for help. Today, I take medications, and I go to therapy every 2 weeks, which is now down from every week.
    Personally, these coloring books, are not to escape my adult life, or my job, or my family, or my responsibilities. I use them to escape my head. To escape my thoughts. Everyone I know who suffers from a psychological disorder all say the same thing, and all look for ways to get out of their heads. Whether it’s coloring or reading or what have you, we want to get out of our own heads and be in the present. Our minds are constantly coming up with worst case scenarios, and how worthless we really are, and what to do when xyz happens, and what if this and what if that…. it doesn’t stop. All the therapists and therapy groups I have gone to, all advocate for reading (no matter what book it is), exercising, coloring, journaling, crafting, etc., to interrupt the downward cycle of self talk we give ourselves.
    The author of the original article has no idea what she is talking about. Some of us like to journal. Is that also infantile? Because it is no different from her writing her article, it’s just that our journal entries hardly get published by The Telegraph. I am not going to stop what I like to do, and what my therapists and psychiatrists advocate for, all because a philosopher thinks it’s beneath us. Girl, get over yourself.

    Thank you so much for writing this letter. I have gotten so much more help from “infantile” activities and speaking to other people with similar issues to myself, than whatever “grown up” activities this author probably thinks I should be doing.



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