The image twirls over the page, intricate, complicated and with about half a million tiny, fiddly little bits to fill with colour.

I quickly decide that this is one project I won’t be attempting as I join the new colouring-in class at Broadstone Library, and so pick a postcard sized affair, with a jolly repeat pattern of pineapples.

How hard can it be? The answer is: very if, like me, you are a perfectionist who feels infuriated when they colour outside the lines or it doesn’t all look good.

Not that this class is anything to do with perfectionism, who’s got the steadiest hand or picked the best colours. The colouring-in group is, says Sue Wills, library service manager for Poole Borough, about people being able to get together socially, tapping into a new craze which has swept the Western world.

“It was the idea of a staff member who had noted the huge number of colouring-in books being sold,” says Sue. They did their research and discovered that: “In France they are more popular now than cookery books.”

Obviously libraries can’t provide books for members but, explains Janet Westcott, the borough’s reading and access librarian, they allow club members to write their name on the page of the image they want to colour in, in the books provided, and they can return to it the next week.

The point is that visitors enjoy it and feel the incredible benefits which this innocent little pastime is supposed to bring.

Janet says that in talking to people who’ve visited the group they have discovered those who have found it harder to make friends, following the loss of a partner.

“You can’t exactly turn up to a library and strike up conversations with other users, but our visitors say this is a good way of chatting because you don’t have to stare at the other person while you’re doing it, it’s much easier than, say, a coffee morning.”

Certainly the group seems to think so.

They are a friendly bunch, all nattering away. I’m next to a lady who comes here while she waits for her grandson to leave school. There is a couple and several men, all producing really good work.

Elizabeth Hodge is an occupational therapist. She’s been colouring-in since she was a child and is eager to reap the benefits for her clients, who include people with learning disabilities.

She explains that colouring in can be soothing because it helps participants to be mindful; concentrating on what they are doing which relaxes the mind.

“I’d love to encourage my clients to come along, I think this is something people of every ability could do,” she says.

After an hour passes, it’s time to go but no-one’s in any hurry to leave.

And if you don’t live near Broadstone, don’t worry – the borough is determined to roll the class out in all its libraries, with Canford Cliffs next.

In the meantime, if you fancy discovering the joys of colouring in then get to Broadstone Library on Thursdays, from 2-3pm.