Thursday, January 19, 2012

American Pickers Guide To Picking (History Channel) By Libby Callaway, Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, Danielle Colby

American Pickers Guide to Picking (History Channel)

American Pickers Guide to Picking (History Channel)
By Libby Callaway, Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, Danielle Colby

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Product Description

A true adventure story and the go-to guide for "picking" American treasures from anyone's backyard, straight from the stars of History's American Pickers

In these pages, professional treasure hunters Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz chronicle their road trips across the American countryside in search of "rusty gold" to buy and sell among the picking world's one-of-a-kind characters. Whether you are a fan of the show or just like finding hidden riches, you will love seeing what Wolfe and Fritz dig up and enjoy meeting the devoted collectors, extreme stockpilers, and elite dealers who they encounter along the way.

Wolfe and Fritz do not deal in fine antiques. Their secondhand treasures are of the down-and-dirty and sometimes even bizarre variety, from old bicycles and vintage tools, to sun-bleached cars and handmade furniture, retired carnival games and unusual taxidermy. Assisted by Danielle Colby, who helps out at Antique Archaeology, Wolfe and Fritz buy on the cheap and then sell to dealers, art directors, interior designers, or anyone looking for a little bit of authentic Americana. The three now share their secrets to finding hidden gems, offering helpful hints that will show what average Americans can do to find the treasures that await them.

From American Pickers Guide to Picking:

Junk is Beautiful

When we knock on a door, 90 percent of the time the things we find are junk. But we don't care about the odds; a picker never turns down an opportunity, no matter where it is. We've picked pickup trucks. We've picked flat beds. We've picked dumpsters. We even picked a Mercury Sable. We're looking for the unusual, the impossible, the funky, the different, the bizarre--things we have never seen before. And we'll go anywhere we have to go to find it.

No location is off-limits to a hard-core picker. And there's plenty of things to be found at antique stores, thrift and consignment shops, flea markets, estate sales, and swap meets, and a lot of the tips in this book apply to finding treasures at these joints. But that's not really the kind of picking we do anymore. We look outside the box to find our junk--a word we use almost like a term of endearment: to us: junk is beautiful.

Product Details
  • Amazon Sales Rank: #13879 in Books
  • Published on: 2011-09-13
  • Released on: 2011-09-13
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .90" h x 6.30" w x 9.30" l, 1.05 pounds
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 224 pages
Editorial Reviews

About the Author
LIBBY CALLAWAY has contributed to widely regarded magazines and newspapers, including the New York Post, where she was employed as a writer and editor; Glamour, where she was a fashion advice columnist; Conde Nast Traveler; Travel + Leisure; Self; BlackBook; and Nylon. She holds a master's degree in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from New York University. She lives in Nashville.


Mike Wolfe

A lifelong "picker," Mike has been combing through junk since the age of four. Over the years, he's earned a reputation as one of the country's foremost foragers, traveling coast to coast in search of forgotten treasures. Where other people see dilapidated barns and overgrown yards, Mike sees potential goldmines packed with rare finds and sensational stories.

Mike spends as much time as he can on the road, usually with Frank - his friend of 30 plus years and picking partner-in tow. "A picker's kind of like a nomad," he explains. Wherever they go, the two guys unearth hoards of unique items and spend some quality time with the offbeat characters who own them.

What exactly does Mike look for? "Anything I can make a buck on," he laughs. That could be anything from antique baby carriages and vintage jukeboxes to old cars and scrap metal. Mike's clients include interior designers, art directors, photographers and collectors - and he owns Antique Archaeology, a specialty shop that sells antiques, vintage items and more in sleepy Le Claire, Iowa. Frank Fritz

Like his childhood friend Mike, Frank started picking early, collecting rocks and beer cans as a kid. He worked for many years as a fire and safety inspector but always had a passion for antiques, junk and anything with an engine. These days, he spends most of his time on the road with Mike, digging for treasure in barns, garages and junkyards across America.

Even-tempered and affable, he has a way with potential sellers and a knack for putting out fires: Mike calls him the bearded charmer. Frank does get a little carried away, however, by anything with an engine, and Mike often has to talk him out of buying yet another motorbike for his collection.

With their complementary personalities and shared love of picking, Frank and Mike make the perfect team. Still, since they're both out to cash in on their finds, some healthy competition always comes into play.

Danielle Colby

While the guys are out picking, Danielle holds down the fort at Antique Archaeology - Mike's store and base of operations. She spends her time talking to buyers, packing up shipments and keeping Mike and Frank in line, while they keep her in stitches with their antics and jokes. Mike likes to say she's the glue that holds them all together. A mother of two, Danielle is always working on a new creative project, whether it's painting, designing clothes or selling vintage-inspired gifts online. She feels extremely proud of the "boys" and fortunate to work with such a talented pair.

LIBBY CALLAWAY has contributed to widely regarded magazines and newspapers, including the New York Post, where she was employed as a writer and editor; Glamour, where she was a fashion advice columnist; Conde Nast Traveler; Travel + Leisure; Self; BlackBook; and Nylon. She holds a master's degree in Cultural Reporting & Criticism from New York University. She lives in Nashville.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful.
5To go junking
By wogan

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are pickers and this is their book. If you are not familiar with their TV show, this does not mean they pick crops; but they find the more unusual and rusted `antiques' that are lying in wait in people's homes, basements, attics, barns and junkyards. They get down and dirty and do not mind a bit of, or even a lot of rust and mud.
This is a revelation if you have not seen the show and an education too. If you are already a fan of the show you would probably enjoy reading of their adventures, even if you have seen them. They give tips on how to find treasures in trash.

Sometimes it is hard to tell what part of the country they are in and who exactly they are dealing with, even who is doing the narrating, but it is still interesting. They do jump from region to region within a few paragraphs on many occasions. There is a section of black and white pictures of them on their travels; but what is missing is an illustration of the flyer they leave with their sellers and on bulletin boards of what they want - that would have been enlightening.
This is still fascinating reading, even if it is a repeat of what you have seen; because of all the information on the collectable market today and even how it has changed and possibly where it is going, even the types they do not specialize in. The tips on buying and searching and the give and take of bargaining is of interest to all who have collections or know of someone who does.

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful.
5Great Pick
By Bill K.
I am fan of the show and thought I knew all i needed to know about it. This guide to picking is really much deeper than you get on the show. A great back story on how MIke and Frank got started. Tons of great tips and how to info. A great pick. I can't wait to get out there and try my hand at it.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
3America's Favorite Road Trip
By Sam Sattler
I am willing to bet that a substantial majority of readers of the American Pickers Guide to Picking will be comprised of people who already avidly follow the American Pickers television show on the History Channel. The size and loyalty of that group certainly bodes well for Hyperion, the book's publisher. Those same readers are, however, likely to be disappointed by the book when they figure out that it offers very little new material to devoted fans like them. For instance, about the only new thing that I, as one of those fans, learned from the book is the exact nature of the business relationship between Mike and Frank, an arrangement never made clear in the television series.

As a group, pickers seem to be born with super-exaggerated "collecting genes" that usually become obvious at an early age. We all remember, or might have even been, the kid who amassed a huge collection of comic books, baseball cards, marbles, or dolls and became, by default, the neighborhood expert in his specialty. Not surprisingly, that kid usually grows into an adult collector of equally impressive, but much more expensive, adult toys: antiques, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, advertising signs, and most anything between.

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, friends for more than thirty years now, were two of those kids. As a small boy, Mike scavenged anything he could turn into a buck or use in trade for something better. At the same time, Frank was putting together what sounds like an impressive collection of the beer cans of his childhood era. The boys, who never would have dared dream they could someday make their livings as "pickers," do exactly that today - and have become television stars in the process.

Mike and Frank use Mike's Antique Archaeology store (in Iowa) as the home base from which they travel across the country by van in search of those oddball items they can double or triple their money on by reselling to serious collectors. American Pickers Guide to Picking is filled with tips that include everything from how to recognize promising road stops, to how to deal with the eccentrics who have spent a lifetime accumulating outbuildings filled with piles of "farm fresh" goodies they often have to be talked into finally letting go.

Longtime fans of the show will be most intrigued with the personal philosophies offered by Mike, Frank, and their Girl Friday, Danielle Colby. Danielle, the heart and soul of the Antique Archaeology store, mans the home front and is instrumental in doing the research that makes it possible for Mike and Frank to stay on the road as long as they do. These three are the dream team of picking and they make it all seem like so much fun that the rest of us long to join them in the profession. Writer Libby Callaway has worked with them to produce an interesting book that will appeal both to their television fans and to those who might seriously be considering a move into the field of American picking. Just be aware that American Pickers Guide to Picking is not so much an actual guide to picking as it is a tribute to what is perhaps the finest "reality" show on American television.

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