A Much Too Long (like This Title) List of Place- and Culture-Themed Coloring Books for Adults and Colorists of All Ages (but It Could Be a Whole Lot Longer)


OK, here’s the deal. Since adult coloring books are all the rage now, and because there are studies that show that coloring can reduce anxiety and stress, I decided I’d search Amazon to see what titles I could come up with on the topics of travel, places, cultures, and the like.

After I came up with 30 or so, I was feeling pretty good about myself, but then a few things happened. First, my tendency to be obsessive about lists kicked in and I felt the need to make my list not just longer, but all-inclusive. Then I realized that if I wanted to include designs and patterns (Indian, Celtic, Arabic, etc.) I’d never be done, so I eliminated them, as much as it pained me . . . because a lot of those book are pretty cool. But just when my list seemed more manageable, I discovered the whole library of Dover coloring books. I was bombarded with all their history-themed offerings, and I had to decide what made a coloring book “adult” rather than “for kids.” I put some more titles in, left some out (more pain), and expanded my category from adults to “colorists,” a term I see thrown around by publishers. I figure it means people who take their coloring seriously, even as they use it to wind down, people who are more-mature colorers who choose detailed pictures that can accommodate sharpened pencils, not just fat Crayons: colorists. Of course detailed pictures would include all those intricate designs and patterns. . . . Did I mention how much it pains me to leave them out?

So after all that, here’s the list I’ve come up with. It’s nearly 200 entries long, and it’s caused me no small amount of anxiety to put it together. It wasn’t just finding them all, but also arranging them (I gave up on working too hard on that), trying to get all the links straight, and realizing that my list is outdated before I hit the publish button.

What I’m trying to say is that my efforts to put together an exhaustive list have left me exhausted . . . and stressed.

I guess I need to order a coloring book so I can relax. Now, what about colored pencils? Is 24 enough, or should I go with 500?








Latin America




North America/United States







[photo: “Crayons de couleur,” by Nicolas Buffler, used under a Creative Commons license]