A Hidden Bookstore

I’m not sure where I first heard about Brazenhead Books, the secret bookstore in Manhattan, but I was reminded of it yesterday and decided I had to share. Michael Seidenberg moved his bookstore, Brazenhead Books, into his apartment after the rent on his space in Brooklyn quadrupled. It’s inspiring to hear someone talking about doing what they love solely for the sake of doing it. Michael says, “If it were all about money, there’s just better things to sell. I could just sell crack. That’s a much better business.”

One day I’m going to look him up in the phone book and visit. Imagine the stories this guy has. I can’t think of anything better to surround yourself with than stacks and stacks of books, secondhand or new. It must be a joy (albeit a bit constricting) to wake up and wind through rows of your favorite books. My dad had a huge collection of books, paperbacks, art books, anthologies, everything. They were stacked 4 deep in his apartment. I think that’s what I love most about this story of the hidden bookstore: it’s something my dad would have done in a heartbeat, and the whole romantic aesthetic of towering stacks of books is so reminiscent of his apartment and of him. Really, who doesn’t love books? As someone that averages buying a new book a week, I’m raising my hand on this one.

And now, obligatory pictures of dreamy, cramped bookstores.

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October 23, 2012 / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 12

12 comments

  • so is he currently open for business? that’s a lot of books. I’m headed to NYC end of November. Any favorite places I should dine or see or do? xo Teri

  • What a dedication and what a dream to run your own independent bookshop, be able to flip through the pages, read and have visitors all day long. I absolutely love the idea.

    It’s a shame that large book collections will slowly stop existing with Kindle and Ipad, it may take a while but it will happen. I read a lot and love paper books, their smell and the sense of progress as you read but I do have Kindle and I am its biggest fan. I still go to bookshops for inspiration though I couldn’t do without a paper cookbook or photography book. Or a children book.

  • As a young girl I always dreamed of owning my own bookstore – I think I really liked the idea of it sounding like no work at all, sitting around and reading all day and talking about books with people. That still sounds like a good idea in fact :) The one element of clutter that never bothers me is books, in fact without stacks of them around I feel a little naked.

  • This place looks amazing! I’m definitely going to check it out, especially now that there are so few bookstores around. :(

    • Oops! I definitely misread this. Didn’t realize he moved the bookstore to his own apartment.

  • when i was about 15 i designed my own home complete with a round, multi-storey library with a giant tree growing up through the centre…
    love bookstores, love this post! ;)

  • Oh, I love books but I’m not sure I could live in a bookstore but a room filled with books sure! My dining room is filled with small stacks of books right now. A friend who moved out of the country gave me two big boxes full of books she didn’t want to take with her. Once I am finished with a book it moves to the other side of the room to a new stack and hopefully sometime soon I’ll give some away to friends…If you ever go visit his shop please take me with you…

  • One of the houses in the Homearama has a secret door in a bookcase. I tired to get a picture but too many people were oooh-ing and aaaahh-ing over it. It was pretty brilliant and the door opened into an awesome attic space (my warring selves were equally thrilled with the idea of secret adventures AND more storage!). Sadly, the bookshelves themselves were filled with few books and mostly knick-knacks. Not impressed.

  • Oh man, do you remember Beauty & the Beast and the library that the Beast had in his castle? That’s the kind of library I want when I grow up. I’m totally going to be that girl who has yellowed books stacked everywhere and you have to tiptoe around her place or else you’ll get buried in an avalanche of steampunk novels.

  • That is absolutely amazing! I would love to be surrounded by that many books… but moving them all… that’s the only nightmare in this dream of a situation

  • Oh, this video (and Brazenhead Books) is so inspiring. I’m so glad you shared it. Mr. Seidenberg is a perfect example of someone doing what they love for the pure love of it, regardless of fame or monetary compensation. I hope you do look him up one day and pay him a visit. Perhaps you can even get us an interview. ;)