Michael Seidenberg is an anomaly. A rarity. An eccentricity. He loves books, and while book lovers are commonplace, Seidenberg’s love is unique.
Sitting in a corner of a tiny apartment on the Upper East Side, pipe in hand, Seidenberg doesn’t hold back when talking about books. He philosophizes about the world and talks of how the Justice League of America is the basis of his personal philosophy. He theorizes that schools kill reading and laments about the seemingly disappearing love of books. Take a quick look around him and it becomes clear that the apartment is his chef-d’oeuvre. The apartment – the latest reincarnation of Brazen Head Books – is to Seidenberg what the Sistine Chapel was to Michelangelo.
Visitors to Brazen Head will find a lot of Seidenberg embedded within the bookshelves lining the walls. From an action figure of Oscar Wilde, to an old postcard of Fidel Castro – cigar in mouth – holding an I Love New York T-shirt, to framed images of authors Henry Miller and John Cowper Powys (two of his favorite), one can glean many things about the Seidenberg’s character. As Snowden Wright, a frequent visitor to Brazen Head, puts it, “You go there and it’s not just a bookstore. It’s a bookstore and him.” Continue reading