A Secret Bookstore in New York City

The Paris Review blog, which just gets better and better each week, posted Andrew David Watson's lovely video yesterday about Michael Seidenberg, who moved his shop, Brazenhead Books, into his New York City apartment after his bookshop rent skyrocketed. "It's a continuation of just me being a bookseller in the way that I want to be... If it's all about money, there's just better things to sell. Just sell crack. That's a much better business." As for where he's located, he says "My name is in the phonebook, and anyone can call me... I'm hiding in plain sight. Come find me, visit me, and I'm yours."

A special h/t to Rachel Rosenfelt and The New Inquiry for first introducing Watson (and us) to Brazenwood Books.

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Sheerly Avni is a San Francisco-based arts and culture writer. Her work has appeared in Salon, LA Weekly, Mother Jones, and many other publications. You can follow her on twitter at @sheerly.

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  • Floyd Wilde (@floydwilde) says:

    I think this whole quote is worth repeating, also he didn’t say “crap”, he said “crack”:

    “I don’t know if it’s my familiarity with failure, but I find ways to survive with out *it* making enough money to be what you would call a successful business.”

    “It’s a continuation of just me being a bookseller in the way that I want to be… If it’s all about money, there’s just better things to sell. Just sell crack. That’s a much better business.”

  • anon says:

    As others have said, I believe he said “crack”, not “crap”.

    I also think his statement is probably erroneous. It is probably mean’t in jest, but unless you are at the top, you probably aren’t doing well selling crack. Anyone who has read Freakonomics knows what I’m talking about.

  • Dan Colman says:

    Mea culpa on not hearing things correctly — “crack” it is.

    Thanks for catching that.


  • Natalie says:

    What a lovely film – beautifully shot and edited.

  • Great business concept. Certainly isn’t greedy is he? And as long as his apartment isn’t in too obscure of a location (we are talking about NY here), he should do pretty well! Great video!

  • Lilian says:

    Challenge accepted.

    Never mind visiting the Met, I am visiting him.

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