A future wherein used books are sold in secret sounds like a dystopian nightmare. But that's what's come to pass for Michael Seidenberg.
The Brooklyn native initially began on his home turf, running a retail space where a teenage Jonathan Lethem worked (in exchange for books).
Years later, Seidenberg moved on up to the Upper East Side, but after seven years there his rent quadrupled so he shifted the enormous collection of used books into his home apartment (where the stock soon proved too cumbersome for its flatmates).
After years of dejectedly hawking his wares on the city streets and at book fairs, Michael stumbled on the idea of his current set-up: a hidden oasis for literature lovers. The technically 'illegal' operation is an equally informal business, wherein patrons are encouraged to stay and chat, and you needn't feel pressured to buy a single thing. But if you do? Just don't tell no one where you got it, alright?