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Color Them Curious: Bergen, Passaic Adults Rediscover Joy Of Coloring

Joan Endrigo, of Ramsey, at a session of Coffee and Coloring at the Oakland Public Library. She prefers coloring with gel pens because they have a little sparkle. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Judy Manegold, of Pompton Lakes, shows her creative side during a session of Coffee and Coloring at Oakland Public Library. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
A Friday afternoon adult coloring session at the Oakland Public Library. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
One participant colors little images that can be used as cards or put into a scrapbook. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Joan Endrigo, of Ramsey, left, and Lorraine Harburg, of Franklin Lakes, enjoy a light moment while coloring in Oakland. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Claire Salvador, of Oakland, colors and converses at a recent session of Coffee and Coloring at the Oakland Public Library. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash

OAKLAND, N.J. — The ladies of the Coffee and Coloring for Adults group at the Oakland Public Library meet like clockwork every first and third Friday of the month.

“I’ve been coloring for years,” said Claire Salvador of Oakland, “but you always could only work with kiddie coloring books.

“It was nice when they got the idea that adults could have their own books.”

The Oakland group has been meeting for three months. The official start of the national adult coloring movement was the 2013 launch of Johanna Basford’s coloring book, “Secret Garden.”

Last year, 12 million copies of coloring books were sold in the United States, up from 1 million in 2014, according to Nielsen BookScan.

In Oakland, the library provides the coffee, gel pens, colored pencils, crayons and books for Coffee and Coloring.

The books on the table last Friday included “Balance: Recapture the fun and stress-relieving joy of coloring” and “Beautiful Birds Coloring Book.”

Different libraries enhance the experience in different ways.

At the Ridgewood library, the Tea and Coloring group colors while sipping tea and listening to classical music.

Meanwhile, at the West Milford library, the creations of The Coloring Crew are put on display.

Statistics show millennial women are driving the trend as a way to detach and calm down in a hyperconnected techno world.

"Coffee and Coloring" in Oakland, whose members are decades older, say they’re hardly ever online but they’ve still got stress.

“I have constant back pain and when I’m coloring, I forget about the pain a little,” said Joan Endrigo of Ramsey. “It relaxes me. I love it.”

They get to know each other as they color, too, trading candid stories about their travesl, husbands, parents, joys, regrets, cars and food.

“I once worked with a man who ate spaghetti sandwiches,” said Lorraine Harburg of Franklin Lakes.

“Sheryl, do you have a yellow down there?” she asked. “I’m coloring a bird here.”

Here are some local libraries that feature adult coloring groups:

  • Closter: Adult Coloring Club. Third Wednesday morning and evening. Contact: Janet Fleck at 201-768-4197 or Ruth Rando at
  • Hackensack: Coloring Club, Tuesday mornings. Contact: Barb Schuit, 201-343-4169, Ext. 19,
  • Norwood: Adult Coloring Books. Contact: Maureen Cuschieri, 201-768-9555.
  • Oakland: Coffee and Coloring for Adults. First and third Fridays. Contact: Rose Curry, 201-337-3742, Ext. 7005, or
  • Ridgewood: Tea and Coloring. Monthly, Friday morning. Contact: Lorri, 201-670-5600, Ext. 136.
  • West Milford: The Coloring Crew. Wednesday nights. Contact: Joanne Grady, 973-728-2822.
  • Westwood: Adult Coloring. Thursday nights. Tuesday mornings. Contact: Janet Dunn, 201-664-0583.

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