It wasn’t corporate bookstores that drove Brazen Head Books underground, but New York City real estate prices. After the secondhand bookstore’s rent quadrupled in 1998, owner Michael Seidenberg took a ten-year hiatus before reopening Brazen Head as an appointment-only shop run out of an unmarked apartment. Since then, Seidenberg, now known as the “secret bookstore guy,” has opened his doors to novelists, bibliophiles, the occasional New Yorker journalist, and, most recently, an Etsy video team, which interviewed Seidenberg and profiled Brazen Head for their blog.
Even without business taxes, Seidenberg acknowledges that running a used bookstore isn’t exactly a profitable enterprise. “If it’s all about money, there are just better things to sell,” he quips. “I should sell crack, that’s a much better business.”
You can watch the Etsy video here.
The New Republic’s Bradford Plumer wonders why British tabloids play so much dirtier than their American counterparts in spite of the UK’s stricter libel laws.
A Stolen Life, Jaycee Dugard’s account of eighteen years in captivity with a convicted sex offender, has skyrocketed to the number one bestseller spot on Amazon, a day after her ABC interview drew fifteen million viewers.
The editors of the Oxford English Dictionary trace the first use of "OMG" back to a letter written in 1917 by British Admiral John "Jacky" Fisher.
A douchebag by any other name? In response to a query from her editor at Harper’s, Elif Batuman considers when the term should be used.
Misha Glouberman tells Sheila Heti what it was like to go to Harvard after spending his teenage years in Montreal’s underground arts scene: “The thing I figured out soon after I applied was that, on Gilligan’s Island, it wasn’t the Professor who went to Harvard, it was Mr. Howell, the rich man. That was something of a revelation.” An excerpt from their new book, The Chairs Are Where the People Go, has been posted at the Paris Review Daily.
Novelist Adam Haslett takes a cross-country roadtrip.
We just came across (and enjoyed) Rick Moody’s thorough rebuttal of Tad Friend’s New Yorker profile of John Lurie.