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:
I… am speechless. pic.twitter.com/sF5wPAARSv
— Sarah Caldwell (@sarahccaldwell) March 29, 2022
you did NOT buy 400 books just to fill up your stupid shelves @ashleytisdale girl what???
— 👁🖤👁 (@cindita_m) March 30, 2022
I hope @ashleytisdale donates these books, otherwise this is a sad moment. This is supposedly a look at your home, why fake it? Either you, your publicist, or @ArchDigest have decided that authenticity is overrated. pic.twitter.com/J5oZ4UI0fo
— RHOHalifax (@aj_hfx) March 30, 2022
It's not snobby to call out pretend libraries. It's snobby to populate shelves with books to appear as if you have a library. Just put pictures and vases and curios and call the shelving a display case instead of a book case. 🤷
— Agora the Masked Hermit (@whosphobic) March 31, 2022
Because it‘s an accomplishment. You wouldn‘t put a diploma you didn’t earn on your wall. So why put books you didn‘t read on a shelf? The art is *in* the book. Not the book itself. People doing this tell me they‘re shallow without telling me they‘re shallow.
— Agent of Change (@escalisation) March 31, 2022
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:
Let’s clear this up. There are some of my books from over the years in there but yea 36 shelves that hold 22 books I did not have and any interior designer would have done the same. They do it all the time, I was just honest about it.
— Ashley Tisdale (@ashleytisdale) March 30, 2022
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:
(1) Support local used bookstores when (2) staging for photoshoots and (3) don’t worry if people have opinions about it, because some people will always feel the need to have an opinion about anything, no matter how trivial.
We got most of them from @IliadBookshop ! The best.
— Christopher French (@iamfrench) March 31, 2022
Photos via Instagram and Twitter