Drew Barrymore has custom bookshelves and books lining her living room

by Susan Ryant

2021 CFDA Fashion Awards

I only got two books for Christmas. I’m happy to have them, I just expected more. I bought other people books that I intend to steal, however, so it’ll all work out. And the truth is, I don’t have any space for any more because the ones I bought right before Christmas keep falling off my nightstand. As much as I love to read, I have shockingly few bookshelves in my home. In other words, I am no Drew Barrymore. Drew, who is an author and an avid reader, posted a cute series of clips to her Instagram on New Year’s Eve of herself watching When Harry Met Sally. However, what most people took away from these vids is the fact that Drew has an entire room lined with custom bookshelves filled with hundreds of books:

A jealous b*tch says what?! This isn’t a library per se because it doesn’t look dedicated to reading (yes, I fell down a rabbit hole of room definitions, thankyouverymuch). This looks like a family/TV room that has had bookshelves installed. The first video gives us the best view of the shelves. The few things we can take from these clips is that Drew does not subscribe to the Marie Kondo view of book collecting. Or she maybe she does because Drew’s joy is sparked by books. I, by contrast, followed Kondo’s method without knowing it. I’m might have a few more than 30 books, but my bookcase only has books that mean something to me or my husband. Besides those, I have one shelf of “to-reads” along with the aforementioned nightstand, which can get a little out of hand, only because it’s tiny.

Do you think Drew has read all those books? Or are those her To Read shelves? Or did she hire Gwyneth Paltrow’s book decorator to line her shelves with filler books? I have watched these stupid clips so many times I feel like a stalker. I keep trying to look at the book spines because none of them seem cracked. That doesn’t mean they are filler books, but the shelves are pristine. I’m looking at my shelves and my poor, overly loved books can’t even hold a line. I have my mother’s high school copy of the The Three Musketeers up there – that’s 70 years of love warping it. Those babies have been read and re-read – a couple have been dropped in the tub or had a cup of coffee spilled on them. I just loaned my copy of The Great Gatsby to my son and the cover fell off. I know Drew is a reader, so my guess is these are her to-reads and books that were sent to her. She probably had those shelves built in because she needed a place for all her books. For what it’s worth, I love the look of her book room. I think a person should display their books however they want. I don’t even mind people who color coordinate their books. It’s their shelves. I guess, like Marie Kondo, I just want them to see joy when they look at them. When I look at my bookshelves, I feel like I’m surrounded by old friends, that’s how I like it. Maybe Drew, being the bright and bubbly person she is, sees all these books as new friends she’s about to make. Whatever her design scheme is, I wish I could get an invite to come hang out in that room.


CFDA Fashion Awards

Photo credit: Avalon Red and Instagram