I like the image very much - just the way it is. Very evocative. I don't mind the amount of black - it serves to isolate the important parts of the image and is very effective as negative space. Personally, the back story is interesting, but ultimately I don't really care where the subject was sitting. Because of the surrounding blackness, I can make up my own story of where he's sitting, what he's doing, etc., - and that engages my mind when I view the photograph. Isn't that what we all strive to do with our photography? To the extent I would do anything, I would darken the portion of his coat that is getting reflective light bounced into it by the book, and maybe try to darken the pages of the book - if there's any detail to be gotten from that (probably not). But even if you didn't change a thing, I think this is a beautiful image. It really made an impression and I could see myself returning to view it again and again. Very well done.