Ashley Tisdale bought hundreds of books the day before a tour of her home

As if we didn’t have enough controversy this week, Ashley Tisdale has entered the fray. Only she did so unwittingly when she asked her husband to buy some books. Here’s how she pissed off book lovers. Ashley enjoys renovating homes, having grown up watching her contractor father, Michael, her whole life. And she loves to show them off. So Ashley invited Architectural Digest over for an Open Door video. For the AD video of Ashely’s current home, there is a particular scene that caught everyone’s attention, the one in which Ashley said she padded her bookshelves for the shoot. Here’s the video. I’ve queued it up to the bookshelf/admission part at the 3:22 mark:

For those who can’t watch the video yet, Ashley stood in front of a bookshelf, the only bookshelf in the video from what I saw, and admitted that those shelves had been empty a few days prior. She explained that her husband, Christopher French, believes books should be collected and bookshelves filled throughout a lifetime. However, when Ashely got the AD call for this video, she kiboshed the slow-growth plan and told him to go out and “buy 400 books.” And people took exception:

That’s a sampling, Buzzfeed has more and, of course, Twitter is on fire. Many people also had the same reaction I did, which was “we’re mad about her buying books?” That means some bookstore had a banner day. This is not an unheard-of practice. Bookstores have a thing called Books by the Foot (or Yard) specifically for these types of requests. I wouldn’t have been bent out of shape if they had just grabbed a bunch of books for their shelves, but Ashley also specified that her husband purchased the books. So if I’m forced to defend this, my guess is he probably selected a bunch of titles he or they were interested in. I can’t justify questioning someone for this and I consider myself a book enthusiast. Ashley also said she rarely uses her pristine kitchen that has no pantry or her gorgeous pool because it’s usually covered in shade. Where’s Cooking and Swim Twitter on those comments?

Ashley caught enough heat that she actually felt she had to address it. She explained – wait for it – she was exaggerating. That and she merely admitted to something almost everyone else does for their videos:

The only negative thing I could say is that instead of medicine cabinets, I go through people’s bookshelves, so if it doesn’t reflect who she is, I wouldn’t know it. But I don’t look at shelves to judge people, more to see if our tastes are similar enough to ask for book recs. And I always ask first, so they could tell me if they hadn’t read the books. Anyway, poor Ashley. She wanted to show off her beautiful home, which I grooved on. I like color more than she does but I love the design of the house and most of the furniture. Not wild about her kitchen, but she admits she went for style over function. I love her yard. Her drought resistant landscaping is gorgeous! I could grab one of those phony books off her shelf and read by her neglected pool all day.

ps – Christopher replied to the brouhaha as well:

Photos via Instagram and Twitter

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125 Responses to “Ashley Tisdale bought hundreds of books the day before a tour of her home”

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  1. Evening Star says:

    As long as those books find loving homes after the shoot, there’s nothing to get upset about. If it comes out they ended up in a dumpster, it’s on sight lol

    • Eurydice says:

      Sadly, there are fewer and fewer loving homes for books – libraries and institutions are dumping books every day.

      • Riley says:

        Just as a point of order, libraries don’t “dump books”… if a book is weeded from the collection (due to wear, poor circulation numbers, etc.), one of two things will happen. First, if the book is in poor condition (i.e. torn cover, broken binding, stains), it will be recycled. Second, if the book is in good condition, but is being weeded due to poor circulation number (suggesting that the item is not relevant to the community), it will be placed in a book sale that is usually put on by either the library, the Friends of the Library, or some other volunteer group. The money raised by that sale will almost always go right back to the library to purchase new books or to put on programs.

      • Eurydice says:

        They certainly do dump books. I recently watched the library of a major museum throw almost half of its collection into a series of dumpsters – they weren’t in bad condition, but there was no more room, the institution didn’t want to spend money on storage and nobody would buy them. They had to pay to have the books hauled away. I’m sure the books were recycled, but that’s the same as dumping as far as I’m concerned.

      • Riley says:

        They would most certainly be the outlier, then. I have worked for many public and special libraries and we do everything we can to avoid just that.

      • Eurydice says:

        @Riley – I know, I think it’s a real shame and a failure of leadership. But I know of a private library that has been pulping its excess publications and another larger private library that’s bursting at the seams and considering dumping those books which can be easily found somewhere else. The membership are furious, but I don’t know if they want to pay more in dues to cover off-site storage or digitization.

      • Anne says:

        It’s her choice to do what she wants but she probably should have expected some criticism. We are building a house (what a nightmare). We are downsizing. When we finish the walkout basement, I have been promised my own library! I’ve already gotten rid of hundreds of books and still have hundreds and have thousands on my kindle. I read all the time and listen to audiobooks. Anything on my shelves I’ve either read or is to be read.

      • BeanieBean says:

        My local public library used to give away books & magazines they deaccessioned. I’ve picked up some gems that way! And let’s face it, they have to deaccession their books. There’s only so much space in a public library & they continually buy new books, which is what you want in a library.

      • Nico says:

        As a former Library Aide, books are absolutely dumped. One of my jobs was to rip the front cover off and throw the book in the trash(not recycling bin). Any store that sells books and magazines does the same. We were also warned not to take stripped books out of the trash because it would be considered trash.

      • tealily says:

        Weeding isn’t “dumping books.” It’s a necessary process to maintain collections and keep current and relevant materials available to the audience using the library. Maybe they bought 80 copies of a bestseller when it came out. They weed the additional copies when it loses a little popularity and they don’t need so many to make room on the shelves for other new books. Maybe it is a scientific text that has aged out of usefulness as learning as developed in that area. Maybe it’s something no one has checked out in 5 years that is easily replaceable. No one is dumping any rare tomes. Weeding is part of the job of librarianship, it’s guided by principles, and people go to graduate school to study best practices. Y’all need to chill a little and be a little less precious about objects (I say as a book lover and archivist).

    • gah says:

      one of my greatest regrets in life was not snagging the about to be binned bound vintage copies of vogue magazine. this was circa 1998 in the south and the main downtown library was cleaning house.

    • Laura Johnsen says:

      Who cares if she bought 400 bucks? She is young and has the rest of her life to enjoy them. Why not?

    • shellstorm says:

      God Bless this Trendy Mess

  2. Miss Jupitero says:

    Whatever helps bookstores, I say. But if she organized them by color, the gloves are off.

    • Southern Fried says:

      You’ve got that right lol

    • ChillinginDC says:

      Thank you. LOL. I loathe books by color. Please stop it everyone.

      Also, tons of people do this. I love Apartment Therapy, but commenters will call out certain tours where you can tell people just bought a ton of books and just arranged by color.

      • SophieJara says:

        Oohhh I do this 🤷🏻‍♀️ First by category, fiction vs non fiction / topic, but after that by color. People hate that? I saw Ericka Hart do it and I liked how it looked, idk. I used to go category and then alphabetical by author, but I like this better. I don’t have more than 3 shelves in any one category so it’s not hard to find a book still.

      • gaveUP says:

        From someone w neither expansive money nor impressive formal education- 2nd hand books were LIFE until 4th or 5th move into rentals uUP several floor. Gave heavy book collection back where they came from & audio book ever since. #toobrokeforbooks

    • Margot says:

      My daughter did this out of boredom the other day. She broke up all her sets to put her books in rainbow order. Then she told me she didn’t have the third book in one of her fave series. 🤔 How’s that filing system working for you, kiddo?!

    • Lucy says:

      Hey! I organize by topics, then by color, although that means the mysteries are a range of black to blue. I’m highly visual so it helps me find stuff. I also like it because it means each shelf is basically ordered.

    • JanetDR says:

      I would find organizing by color so confusing! I organize by author and somewhat by genre. And in the order they were written. Like everyone else I know 🤣

      • BeanieBean says:

        Wow, I’m so impressed with how everyone organizes their books! Mine will be by genre, if they’re non-fiction, or by author, if they’re fiction, but that’s as far as I go! I found myself hanging onto fiction less & less; I’m a big library user, so that’s where I get my main fiction, but I have a big sea grass basket full of paperbacks for when I travel (I travel a lot). Those get recycled, either on the plane itself–fellow passengers, the crew–or back at the hotel/AirBnB/etc. My albums, on the other hand, are organized alphabetically, right to left.

    • Stacey Dresden says:

      Exactly. At least they are real books and not papered all in white or ecru, that is what a lot of interior designers are doing right now and it disgusts me!!! How fake can you be?!

  3. Normades says:

    Love her house. This is exactly my style design wise. Great designer pieces, neutrals with a bit of color, in a space that you could still be comfy in.
    As for the books, I hope they really did go through a local bookstore and not amazon.

  4. LovelyRose says:

    Maybe I’m just old but I really feel people are so harsh on each other at the moment. So she sorted out some books so make herself look different than she is. That’s ok.

    Anyway, let’s turn this conversation around and mention what we’re reading at the moment. I’m reading Jingo by Terry Pratchett and it’s amazing.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      I have very eclectic reading tastes and I am currently knee deep in Tom Clancy’s “Fighter Wing” (A guided tour of an AF Combat Wing)
      Before this one, I read Lady Bird Johnson’s “A White House Diary”

    • Normades says:

      The last book I read was The Overstory by Richards Powers. They are making it into a series and I can’t wait to see who gets casts. Currently reading Pachinko before I watch the movie.

      • Haapa says:

        I just finished The Overstory as well. It was a very interesting book and it really forced you to look at things (life) with a different perspective.

        I am currently reading the non-fiction book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and it is SO GOOD.

    • Twin Falls says:

      I’m currently reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. The last series I read was Truly Devious a really good YA mystery series if anyone’s interested in those genres.

    • Hecate says:

      I just read The Sentence by Louise Erdrich – fantastic. Currently reading The Book of the Most Precious Substance by Sara Gran. I really like it, but it’s taking me a while to read. Not sure why?

    • RMSchrey says:

      “The Sparrow: A Novel” by Mary Doria Russell. SO Good and well written. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig, very very thought provoking and meaningful. “The Latinist” by Mark Prins – super unexpected, brilliantly written, interesting ending. “Lights Out in Lincolnwood” by Geoff Rodkey – I can NOT stop thinking about this book, about how true it is, and what I would do if placed in the same position. Last, but not least, a book that sold over a million copies IN FRANCE ALONE during the pandemic “The Anomaly” by Herve Le Tellier – incredible premise, thoughtful book, intellectually stimulating, haunting.

      • Lou says:

        I’m currently reading the sequel to The Sparrow! Mary Doria Russell is such an excellent writer!

    • Cobra says:

      I am currently reading ‘The gold finch’. I started few years ago, but read only a few chapters. I recently finished ‘The secret History’ by the same author and I really liked it. So I am back to the ‘The gold finch’ and hopefully I’ll finish it. I take e books from library, when it expires and not available to loan again, I kinda lose track. I am also reading ‘unmentionable’ recommended here. It’s an interesting read but I usually read during eating, so it’s hard to read that book while eating 🙂 . I am simultaneously reading ‘American psycho’, but the first murder scene turned me off so much with its cruelty. I’ll finish it, but I am revolted by the protagonist so much now, it’s hard to continue.

      My favorite place to buy books are secondhand bookshops. I figure if people bought it in the first place,there might be some substance to it. But I hoard my favorite books to reread throughout the years, so there’s that 🙂

      • SomeChick says:

        I love your mini reviews! I’ve read american psycho and my opinion is, don’t force yourself to finish it. it does not get better, and is hella misogynistic. Ellis is a hack and idk why he got so popular. when I started giving myself permission to not finish books that turned out not to be enjoyable, it was such a relief (and timesaver). there are so many good books!

        I mostly read nonfiction. Gloria Steinem’s memoir was a great read. Good Girls’ Revolt is an engaging history of women working for Newsweek advocating to be allowed to have a byline instead of just being researchers.

        for fiction, the Time Traveler’s Wife is amazing.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I concur with SomeChick. Don’t finish a book if there’s nothing you like about it. Don’t do that to yourself.

    • Lux says:

      What I ENJOYED recently (which is very different from my most recent reads):
      “My Friend Anna” — Rachel DeLoache Williams (got sucked in by Netflix, quick read and not half-bad!)
      “My Ex-Life” — Stephen McCauthly
      “The Perfect Nanny” Leila Silmani

      And I am currently awaiting the availability of many holds. Love the local library app!

    • Margot says:

      I recently read “Run Towards The Danger” by Sarah Polley. It’s wonderful if harrowing at times. She has been through so much in her really interesting life!

    • SarahCS says:

      @LovelyRose I’ve re-read Jingo a couple of times in recent years (big Discworld fan here) and it never fails to feel scarily on-point!

      Right now I’m reading Dumb Witness by Agatha Christie. The more the world descends into chaos the more I find solace in the past.

    • dj says:

      I am currently reading fiction of Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It is a good read.

    • Anners says:

      I just started The Paper Palace by Miranda Heller. Not sure how I feel about it yet – I’m only about 15 pages in, but I’m not warming to the main character.

      I have Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See on deck next.

      Love book recommendations here!

    • BeanieBean says:

      Finally finished House of Gucci. My goal for April is more book reading, I’ve slacked off a bit.

    • Desdemona says:

      You’re right. People are harsh and nowadays one feels like we have to always be careful.
      Good for her for buying the books. Maybe she’ll read them in time. Maybe not. The bookstore appreciated, I’m sure.

  5. Eurydice says:

    Actually, this would be fun for me – just to go into a used bookstore and buy a truckload of random books. An interesting way to be introduced to subjects and stories I wouldn’t know about.

    • Merricat says:

      If only she’d opened any of them.

      Whatever, she wants to look smarter than she is, but doesn’t want to actually read anything. That would be like me being a local actor and buying fake Oscars to put around my house. Lol.

      • Eurydice says:

        Who knows, maybe she will open them. But I didn’t see anything here about her pretending to be smarter than she is – she came right out and said she sent her husband to buy enough books to fill the shelves. For all I know, she might have a digital library.

        The opposite happened to a book-loving friend of mine who was trying to sell her home – the realtor told her the house was too cluttered with all of her book collection, even though everything was in shelves. She had to take down and store boxes and boxes of books just so the place could be dressed “properly.” The place didn’t sell, so all the books came back, but nobody thought she was pretending to be dumber than she is by removing a lot of books.

        I think in real estate people expect to see books on bookshelves, the same with shelter magazines and websites.

      • Lk says:

        She admits doing it for aesthetics and never mentions wanting to look to smart.

      • Christine says:

        Yeah, Lk, this is exactly like hiring a designer to stage your house when you want to sell it. I don’t believe there is anyone, anywhere, that wouldn’t fill up empty bookshelves before Architectural Digest arrives to film the house. If this is what people are getting dragged for these days, I fear for all of us.

      • Josephine says:

        That’s not at all what she said. And even so, there is no big lie in having a bunch of books in your house that you never end up reading. I can’t believe that we are so anxious to tear people down that we are criticizing a large book grab to fill out the shelves that they had originally intended to more slowly fill. They helped a bookstore and harmed no one in the process. They admitted that they did so to make the shelves look more full for the pictures. . Why do we even care that some people might want the books because they look nice? If you read into that display that they are huge readers, that’s on you and your need to categorize and judge people.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      We have 2 huge bookshelves in our house (built by MerlinsDad, yes I am shamelessly bragging on him) and I will be getting a third because BOOKS
      I am an avid reader, I have a library card which I use like some folks use a credit card at Starbucks and I have about 75 books on my Kindle and am always adding. I shop Half Price Books like a crazy woman. I grew up in a home full of books because both my parents read and passed that on to my brother and I and in turn I passed it on to my girls and they’ve passed it on to their kids.
      I wouldn’t use books as props, ever. But that’s just me 🤷

      • Eurydice says:

        My childhood dream was to buy a library and live in it. Maybe because my “punishment” for daydreaming in grade school was to be sent to the library.

      • Jais says:

        My dream was to have one of those libraries like Belle in beauty and the beast. Comfy couches, fire, and maybe a secret passageway.

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        @Eurydice @Jais
        We have a back bedroom that nobody uses (it’s just us 2 and the grandkids no longer stay over. Teenagers you know 😉)
        So MerlinsDad and I are in the process of turning it into my very own library ❤📚📚📚
        We have plans to paint and lay down a super comfy carpet. I already have a wing back chair (love those) and a futon with my favorite blanket and lots of pillows, 2 very sentimental lamps and I am currently looking for a footrest. oh and the above mentioned bookshelf.
        I am too excited and can’t wait

      • BeanieBean says:

        My dream library is the one in the Biltmore, the Vanderbilt estate in North Carolina. Just heavenly! And they’ve got one of those giant-dictionary-on-its-own-stand things. I’ve always wanted a dictionary so humongous it needs its own special little table!

    • kirk says:

      In my daughter’s neighborhood, people put out neighborhood library boxes in front of their house. I donated ‘The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy’ which was snapped up in a day. (YA is guilty pleasure, holdover from reading to kids on road trips.) Ashley’s house lotta beige. Love the sauna and landscape design with Día de los Muertos vibe planters. Entertainment room is gigantic.

  6. Southern Fried says:

    Good on her for admitting it. As a lifelong book lover I hope they read at least some or donate. Her critics, people are just mad these days for whatever reason with many of us expressing it on SM. Many times that those feelings pop up randomly, the target really having nothing to do with what’s pissed them off. Understandable with all that’s been going on in the world. I’m sure there’s a term for it, situational depression maybe. Ashley’s home furnishings are a bore. We see it all the freekin time. I like clean, modern, just be at least a tiny bit creative. Someone please create a new trend.

  7. Moss says:

    You are all FAR too sweet and generous. Using books as props is to book lovers like using people as props. Filling a dinner party with beautiful strangers, instead of loving friends. And not “everybody” does this. Weirdo celebs do this. We book lovers are drowning in our babies.

    • Miss Jupitero says:

      I’m doing my yearly ritual of pruning my library…. To make room for new books. Sign. I’m out of space and can’t keep everything. I’m a poet and I believe in supporting small presses. There is so much to keep up with!

    • Josephine says:

      Agree to disagree. My husband is a librarian. We inherited about a thousand books from his folks. We love books and read like crazy and have a hard time parting with them. But I have zero judgment for those who like the look of books even if they don’t read them (and that is not at all what she said).

  8. Twin Falls says:

    Love Christopher French’s response.

    • Nellie says:

      This 💯 . It’s their house, their book shelves, with books they brought with their money from a book store. They supported a local book store People want to stay offended when it has nothing to do with them.

      • Merricat says:

        I’m not offended, I just think she’s a phony. So what, she’s not a reader–why pretend to be something you’re not?

      • equality says:

        I’m a reader and don’t have enough books to fill those shelves because a good deal of what I read I get from the library or trade back at the used book store. I am selective about the books I actually keep which are mostly non-fiction nature and animal books. They actually went out and selected the books and didn’t just have them delivered by size or color so likely he plans to read and sort through them later. Books can be donated to libraries (for use or resale to support the library), prisons, schools, etc.

      • Genevieve says:

        Totally agree. Even if the shelves were completely empty, and they filled them for the look only, I don’t get the big deal.

        Right up front, she explicitly did NOT claim reading the books. For another thing, there are plenty of reasons to love books – sometimes it’s the words, sometimes it’s the physical beauty of them. If it ‘sparks joy’ to have a shelf of unread books, live and let live, I say.

        I say this as a book lover and collector with a wall of books (some of which are still only at TBR status).

        And at least she didn’t “decorate” by turning all the books so the spines are on the inside. (An even more heinous crime than organizing by colour.)

      • jwoolman says:

        Merricat – If she were a phoney, it’s unlikely that that she would have freely admitted that the books were bought so fast because of the tour to fill the bookshelves. It was obvious from what else she said that they intended to buy books over the years anyway, gradually filling the shelves. My guess is that her husband (the one assigned to find the books) had fun picking out his advance reading for the next decade or so. If they weren’t readers, they would have just called a bookshop and ordered boxes of random books.

        A lot of people read electronic versions of books. They can subscribe to things like Kindle Unlimited that let them read 24/7 without filling a single shelf. This is great for me because I’m allergic to the volatiles in printer’s inks and it’s not so much fun having to wear a charcoal mask to read. Even comic books can be read electronically now (also important for me).

        I know many people love the physical feel of books, but today you really can’t tell who is a reader and who is not from bookshelves in their home.

    • lucy2 says:

      I agree his response was perfect.

  9. girl_ninja says:

    See thought she got caught in a lie! She was being candid and upfront about wanting to show the beauty of the shelving with the beauty of the books. Is it idea? No. But for Godsakes folks ease up. That persons response is a bit much 🙄

  10. Haylie says:

    The pandemic has people stuck in an outrage loop. This doesn’t merit outrage. At all. People need to get lives.

    • Southern Fried says:

      That’s a great phrase for some of what I was trying to say earlier – outrage loop. I think it started earlier and exacerbated by the pandemic. At least I recognize mine began during trump years.

  11. Crowhood says:

    I’m a lifelong book nerd. English major. House full of books. My mom and i have a rule that books, even decorative ones, should be something you have or would read. That’s a rule for me and my mom, in the houses we own. I feel Zero emotions other than jealously that she went out and bought 400 books. Everybody needs to relax.

    • FancyPants says:

      That was my first thought too- she got to buy 400 books?? And had space to put them?? I’m so jealous! I personally don’t understand the concept of having books you’re not going to read (but maybe she will!), but how many other things do we buy and store in our homes that we don’t use?
      Side note: I think the silliest thing is her husband (accidentally?) bought duplicate copies of the same books, hardcover/paperback, like he really did push a buggy around a bookstore and grab random stuff with no thought to it…

      • BeanieBean says:

        I’ve bought duplicates before. I buy books from my favorite authors, but buy too many so I don’t get around to reading them all, then the next time I go to the bookstore I think oh, that looks good, forgetting I already have it at home in the TBR pile.

  12. Susan says:

    Do we honestly think that most of these Hollywood types that had on-set tutors to finish high school all have a deeply curated book collection? My husband has a master’s degree but “doesn’t read for pleasure.” It alarms me, but I married him anyway. LOL. I think this is a tempest in a teacup.

  13. EMF999 says:

    Funny timing on this, I was just telling the husb how some interior designers buy used books by the yard for their clients.

  14. Southern Fried says:

    equality- another place to donate is after school programs. Not just kid’s or teen books, parents and staff will enjoy. We tell those places we’d like the books to be taken home and kept. My kids are mostly grown but still enjoy buying kids books to give away.

  15. Liesel says:

    Book people can be so elitist about how much they’ve read and love to display their own books as virtue signalling.

    So what if she hasn’t read any of those books? She made a design choice and was honest about it. It’s no different to me than the ubiquitous styling choices of bowl of lemons or artisanal bread displayed as props in nearly every home decor photo shoot.

  16. Sasha says:

    Snobbery is correct. Books have a prestige and elitism to them and if you read a lot you’re considered cultured and educated. Spend all day watching TV and you’re wasting your time. Spend all day reading and you’re somehow superior. This is the only reason she caught heat for this. If I were a writer or publisher and someone did this I wouldn’t care. This is completely a ‘how dare you pretend to be more elevated than you are’ thing.

    • Dashen'ka says:

      Well, yes, it is actually better to be reading all day than to watch television, this is controversial?

      • equality says:

        I read more than watch TV but I don’t see a need to be judgmental. There are many documentaries and programs on TV you can learn from and there are many books that are just “light” reading. Different people learn and respond to different things and methods of learning in different ways.

      • Sasha says:

        Why don’t you read my whole comment if you’re such a GREAT READER.

    • Isa says:

      Yup. I like to read books and I don’t watch much tv, but I’m not cultured or whatever because I don’t read books that teach me anything. I like good stories that make me feel feelings. Definitely not better than anyone else’s hobbies.

  17. Willow says:

    Oh these AD shoots are so much fun. How much stuff can you spot that never gets used?

    I seen so many kitchens with a bowl of 20 green apples on a white empty counter you know isn’t going to be fed to starving children.

    The vase full of fresh cut flowers direct from the garden on the piano nobody plays.

    How about the bed with 25 artfully arranged pillows and couches with 3 draped blankets in California! Even in Minnesota I didn’t need that many blankets on my couch.

    I’m actually impressed she didn’t just put up entire encyclopedia sets.

  18. Betina says:

    I’m a voracious reader but I’ve shifted completely over to kindle because it’s more sustainable and less wasteful with the number of books I read. I’ll never have enough books to fill a bookshelf and if I ever have beautiful shelving like she does, I will also go buy used books to decorate.

  19. Isa says:

    She’s not being phony if she outright admitted what she did. People stage their homes all the time. Remember Dakota and her limes?
    I honestly would prefer a library of books I haven’t read to the ones I have. Feels more like an actual library. I save my favorites, but often once I read a book I’m done with it.

    • BeanieBean says:

      Yep, I don’t re-read anything; too many new books out there to be read.

    • Lucky Charm says:

      I love to read, and am usually reading two or three books at once (a different book in each room lol), but I have very few books actually on my bookshelves. I prefer to get my books from the library or used book store, then donate when finished reading.

  20. idon'twanna says:

    If you want to support small local bookstores instead of…you know… you can use this link:

    As for all the books purchased…luxury items went up some insane percentage in the last two years (I can’t remember exactly but suffice it to say the rich didn’t struggle with everyone else). At least this supports authors. I’m fine with it.

  21. MrsBanjo says:

    I do appreciate that the books aren’t color-coded or have white covers for a minimalist matchy-matchy look. I hate that. I like that they’re covering the shelves and not dotted around to blend in with the tchotchkes.

  22. Valentina says:

    So basically a bookstore had an amazing day? Well, how DARE she!!

  23. Andrea says:

    Props to her. She seems authentic and lovely. Compare her to KK walking around her show home that has as much warmth as a refrigerator. I’m sad this is upsetting people. She supported a local bookstore.

  24. Hello kitty says:

    This is hilarious to me. Defend her however you want, but she is a poser for this, point blank period.

    • equality says:

      They had the shelves put in and intended to fill them with books over time so one of them at least is a reader so not exactly a “poser” like someone who never intends to fill shelves except for the effect. She just sped up the husband’s timeline for filling the shelves.

    • Sophia’s Side Eye says:

      She’s actually not a poseur because she admitted in the vid that she just had her husband buy those books for the ascetics? She also said the plan had been to slowly fill the shelves over time, so they do read. I love to read but this elitism is just bizarre to me.

  25. Mai B says:

    Love her house.

  26. Cee says:

    Oh, what I’d give to just walk into a bookstore and purchase 400 books!
    I have a small library at home which I now share with my boyfriend. Our shelves are overflowing 80% are mine) and we’re running out of space. I usually buy them secondhand from a thrift store that supports a nursing home run by the argentine-american and argentine-british community, and I also donate to them books I don’t wish to keep.

    I suppose some people were ticked off because they presumed Ashley is merely posing as a reader, collecting books just to show them off and not read? Some people do it but to asume she is doing it too is a bit of a reach.

  27. myjobistoprincess says:

    I enjoyed her house and her tour. There is nothing wrong with buying a load of books. Some people buy them to make bedstands – are we gonna freak out over it too? OMG people. Ashley did a great job decorating the house herself. I’m too old to be in her fanbase but the girl definitely is fun. The only thing I thought maybe was a bad idea was to put glasses under her kitchen island where there were 2 high chairs. It would take me a few minutes to knock them over and break them all with my long legs.

  28. Lucía says:

    Maybe I’m biased because I’ve always like AT the most out of the HSM bunch but…this is such a stupid thing to get angry about lmao. In fact, why she did it makes total sense to me. And this is in no way an indicator of how much of a reader she is.

  29. WiththeAmerican says:

    I’m just jealous because I don’t have enough bookcases and am always having to donate more and more books to the library. At least I can say the local library has a lot of history books thanks to me, which I’m told isn’t taught here so much so maybe that’s helping someone.

    But honestly, I can’t believe people are outraged over this. All it tells me is she probably isn’t very stimulating to talk with.

  30. ky says:

    The Iliad is an amazing independent bookstore! I’m so glad she gave them the business! They have a really wide range of books on everything. Their art section is my favorite because art and photography books are usually cost-prohibitive. It is a cozy place. Careful if you have allergies. They keep cats.

  31. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Interior designers have been doing this forever lol.

  32. Lila says:

    Ugh okay now get off Twitter and actually READ the books! (And there’s a tell for fake bookshelves. Real ones tend to be jam packed two rows deep and not so prettily decorated. Plus the bedside book stand and the other random book nooks).

  33. Cecil says:

    As a bonafide book lover and voracious reader, it’s wild to me that she’s catching heat for this. I also have to imagine that if she did the AD tour with empty bookshelves she’d be catching heat from the same people for having such beautiful bookshelves and not filling them. On another note, who has the energy to be outraged about this?? This is like the least offensive thing a celebrity could do. Get a grip. Touch grass. Tend your own garden.

    Edited to add: Having bare bookshelves also doesn’t indicate anything about how much of a reader you are. She may prefer to read ebooks and have an extensive library. Additionally, (and I’ll say this in all caps because some of you need to hear it) BEING A READER DOESN’T MAKE YOU A BETTER PERSON THAN A NONREADER. People have different interests, and that’s okay!

  34. Maida says:

    My perpetual problem is too many books and not enough shelves (English major here) and I agree with everyone who is saying the outrage is ridiculous.

    Half Price Books has been selling books by the yard for a long time, and you can even specify colors you want. Decorators do this a lot, and it helps Half Price keep books out of landfills and stay afloat to sell books people do want.

    Perhaps being around a lot of books will inspire Ashley to read a bit more!

  35. Morgers says:

    I feel like this is why some people hate reading because you can never “get it right” with the book elites…I listened to a podcast recently where they were doing a get to know our staff episode and asked people what’s a book they own to look smart/interesting but haven’t read and now I’m asking all my friends! It’s lead to some fun discussions because everyone I know has at least one book like this

  36. Chlo says:

    I can’t handle these fake controversies anymore. People don’t think every single person whose home ends up in AD, Dwell, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Apt Therapy, anywhere else, doesn’t do this?! They all do it!!! Think of the staging that goes into just photos for real estate listings. This is insane. I don’t know why I’m so upset by the outrage. It’s been an outraged-filled week. I should just stay off the internet. Hahaha

  37. Pix says:

    Her house is gorgeous. People will complain about anything these days. She bought books – so what? And she’s right, any stylist or or designer would have done the same thing.

  38. Margot says:

    Those coffee tables are gorgeous. Wonder if she’s going to need to put those stick-on kid bumpers on them soon.

  39. Jenn says:

    I think people are annoyed because I have a lot of books and I finally ran out of shelves — uhhh I mean, THEY ran out of shelves. (Gimme those bookshelves, Ashley!)

    In all seriousness, though, I appreciate that these days people tend to buy their leisure reading on Kindle/Kobo (at least, I know I do, unless the book is “art” or “reference”). Didn’t Tisdale also decorate her own house, no hired decorators???? Pretty awesome tbh

    • SomeChick says:

      I love my kindle – especially for reference books, because it’s searchable! also compact and lightweight. I used to drag so many books every time I traveled (even camping) and now I just bring my little tablet. it’s also like living next door to an enormous 24 hour bookstore.

      I have way too many physical books. it is so hard to part with them!

  40. February Pisces says:

    I would actually love this. I love being around books, for some reason I find it very relaxing. I would love to have a mini library at home where I can stumble upon a new book. I don’t really get the faux- rage, don’t we all by stuff we never use? How many of us by clothes that never get worn? At the end of the day, it’s money back in the economy.

  41. Eggbert says:

    Eh I would’ve just styled the shelves with a few books and pictures and decor etc. but I don’t care that she bought books instead. Yay for that bookstore!

  42. Songs (Or It Didn't Happen) says:

    I worked in a bookstore for years. Reading is a therapeutic experience for me. I used to have a massive, massive amount of books. But, I treat them poorly by reading until they are in tatters, reading in the tub, leaving them piled here and there, etc. I’ve lost so many. I’ve got some special items, and some out of print things or rare finds, but I’m moving more and more to e-books. I can’t ruin a digital copy, and the book I want is never in the other room or lost if it’s all in my phone. So, not *having* a ton of physical books doesn’t mean you don’t read.

    Also, you are all, 100%, positively tripping if you think that vast majority of these photoshoots aren’t stocked with ish, including books, that people don’t actually own.

  43. L4Frimaire says:

    I’m not too bothered over it. Hopefully she’ll find some titles she wants to read in that collection. It is a interior design practice to use books as decor . There was an electrical outlet missing a plate in one of the shots which bugged me more. The house is nice but a little colorless, like it’s built to flip.

  44. Celebitcy4eva says:

    All I have to say is “who the f&$k is Ashley Tisdale?” I’m on this site a lot – who is this person?

  45. Mona says:

    Maybe I’m naive…but I always thought most celebrities do this. They spend ages on sets, photoshoots, method acting, partying, instagramming, yoga-posing and jet setting: never thought they’d have time to just read. Aside from scripts and the biography of their favourite actor/poet, I assumed that all the books in these a-listers b-listers homes were for “aesthetic”. The book shop had a good sales day and the assistants will probably get new books once it’s cleared out. Not a biggie in my book.

  46. Luna17 says:

    I think most celebs do this kind of stuff and they have stuff removed from their homes and styled before these shoots. It’s all fake, people! Hopefully a bookstore made some $$ from it at least.

  47. K says:

    Who cares? They’re supporting bookstores, which is a nice thing to do if you can afford it. Even though it would be more impressive if they could honestly say they read those books, they probably have other things occupying their time and they might attempt to read some later or donate them.

    I’ve been a dedicated reader my whole life, but mostly utilized the library because I can’t afford to buy tons of books. You might not expect that I’ve read thousands of books by glancing at my empty shelves, but I don’t need to prove that in any other way than sharing my accrued knowledge day to day.

  48. Lucky Charm says:

    I don’t usually buy books because it takes forever for me to be able to reread them. (If it’s too soon, I usually remember everything about it the first two paragraphs in. That takes away the fun & joy of reading that particular book.) Instead I’ll get them from the library or a used book store and exchange for a different one when I’m done reading. If you looked at my book collection, you’d think I don’t read, which is definitely not the case.

  49. Jewell says:

    What snobs. Its fine. Ive always thought that one day I would purchase and fill up my shelves with the books I’ve read and borrowed from the library , read on Libby or listened to as audio.

  50. Joanna’s says:

    This is too much! Criticized for buying books?! That’s crazy. And I know all the homes in magazines are staged so no big deal imo.

  51. tealily says:

    I was ready to be irritated by this, but I’m not going to be annoyed because someone bought a bunch of books. She owned up to it, who cares?

  52. Cas says:

    Hilarious. She’s just admitting to what all the celebs do for these spreads. Even regular people pad out their bookshelves so guests will think they’re smarter than they are.