Off The Bookshelf Coloring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Off the Bookshelf: 45+ Weirdly Wonderful Designs to Color for Fun & Relaxation (Coloring Art) is published and was very kindly sent to me by Search Press Publishing and is illustrated by Samarra Khaja. This book contains over 45 images which are all printed single-sided and are perforated for easy removal for gifting, framing, or even before colouring to make it easier to get to all the areas. The book itself is A4, paperback and glue-bound. The pages are bright white and fairly thick and water-based pens didn’t bleed but did shadow, though this doesn’t matter as the images are printed on one-side only. The paper is lightly textured meaning it’s ideal for using pencils too and you can easily build up a few layers for blending and shading. Because the pages are perforated, you don’t have to worry about the borderless images entering the spine so you can colour all the way up to the edges without that horrid unreachable strip down the middle. The images include all things weird, wonderful and wacky, from books shelves to science lab equipment, snowglobes to US landmarks, citrus fruits to flying pigs and owls to postage stamps. It really is a very quirky book that’s full to the brim with eccentric, imaginative images. It’s almost like you’ve stepped into a person’s imagination and someone has then drawn everything they found there. This means that many of the images have an almost childlike quality to them and because these pictures are hand-drawn there are little quirks with unfinished edges and lines that don’t quite join up which gives it a real nostalgic feel as it takes you back to the books you coloured as a child, without being childish. At the back of the book is a page explaining the basics about colour including information on primary, secondary and tertiary colours, blending and shading, and colour schemes that work well including monochromatic and analogous schemes. This is great for the novice colourer to help you get started!

In terms of mental health, this book is pretty good for it! The whimsical nature of the images and the lack of realism in many of them allows you to really free up your creativity and try out outlandish colour schemes and go to town with rainbow colours and mixed media. The line thickness varies throughout from spindly thin to medium thickness but mostly it’s medium thickness so you certainly don’t need perfect vision or fine motor control to enjoy this book. The level of intricacy and detail also varies throughout but it’s not overly intricate and most of the spaces aren’t tiny so you can use most colouring mediums to good effect. The images don’t need loads of concentration so they’re good for bad days when your focus isn’t great and you need to zone out and be distracted without having to really pay attention. This book isn’t samey and you certainly won’t get bored when flicking through it or when colouring because there’s always something new to spot. The childlike quality of some of the images and the imaginative content is really heart-warming and is sure to cheer up your mood and make you smile on even the darkest of days.

I would recommend this book to those of you want a less complicated book and those who like to use alcohol markers because the single-sided printing make it ideal for them and the perforations mean you can easily frame your work. The quirky images are sure to make you nostalgic about colouring as a child and will almost certainly put a smile on your face.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Off the Bookshelf: 45+ Weirdly Wonderful Designs to Color for Fun & Relaxation (Coloring Art)
Book Depository Worldwide –

The image below was coloured using Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip pens.


  1. Hello!

    I’ve just discovered your blog through a review you left on amazon about the Harry Potter colouring book and I have to say I’m really loving it.

    I used to draw mandalas and zen tangles but recently I’ve been looking into colouring books. I never colour my own drawings but I thought it could be fun to try with someone else’s.
    Which one would you recommend as the very first one, must have, kind of book?

    Thank you and keep up the amazing work!


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