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Adult coloring can calm minds
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Juanita Hester flips through her adult coloring books in Gainesville on Dec. 1, 2017. Hester said coloring helps calm her while she is battling cancer. - photo by David Barnes

During a challenging time in her life dealing with cervical cancer, 66-year-old Juanita Hester said she found just the right activity to take her mind off her problems — coloring books.

“It calms me down,” Hester said. “I take books with me to doctor’s appointments and color. I’ve been doing it over a year now.”

Hester said she picked up the hobby on her own by looking at coloring pages inserted in shoppers that came in the mail.

“I went to Walmart and bought some,” she said. "Then people started buying me some too.”

Sheila Nix, an acquaintance, is among those who has bought coloring books for Hester.

“It’s not about the cancer anymore,” Nix said of Hester’s hobby. “It’s about how to make your mind stay strong.”

Some of the books that Hester buys or are given to her depict stories from the Bible. Other books are filled with inspirational thoughts. She also enjoys coloring nature books and others that are filled with geometrical shapes.

Adult coloring books have been trending over the past few years, according to Gabriele Koecher, event coordinator at Hall County Library System’s Gainesville branch.

Koecher said the branch holds a coloring week for adults every three months.

“It’s a drop-in thing where we lay out the materials in the adult services area, and people can utilize them as they have the time and want to do it,” Koecher said.

A special holiday edition of adult coloring is taking place at the Gainesville branch through Dec. 16 — just in time to help soothe nerves on edge from all the holiday hustle and bustle.

Adult holiday coloring week

When: Through Saturday during regular library hours

Where: Hall County Library System’s Gainesville branch, 127 Main St. NW, Gainesville

Times coloring contest

Learn more.

Koecher said there’s always good response by the public to adult coloring.

“It’s a general trend,” Koecher said. “Coloring books for adults is a big thing. You can see it in the book stores just how popular they are.”

Hester said she’ll likely drop by the library to see who else enjoys adult coloring as much as she does.

“I’m the only one at my church that does coloring,” Hester said. “I don’t know of others who do this.”

Regional events