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

by Susan Ryant

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