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American Pickers Guide to Picking Hardcover – September 13, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 64 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Libby Callaway has contributed to some of the country's most widely regarded magazines and newspapers, including the New York Post, where she was employed as a writer and editor from 1997 through 2004. She also has written for Conde Nast Traveler, Style.com, Travel + Leisure, the New York Times' T Magazine, Budget Travel, Self, BlackBook, Nylon and Glamour, where she was a fashion advice columnist in 2006 and 2007. She's appeared as a fashion expert on national TV networks including CNN, NBC, Fox, E! and The Style Network and has worked as a media consultant for Nashville's Frist Center for the Visual Arts and Whole Foods' Whole Body division. She lives in Nashville.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401324487
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401324483
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,148 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
I don't have time to write a long review so I will sum it up. Two stars instead of one because I like the topic, not the book. Hopefully this saves you time (pick a different book).

1. Way too much rehash from the show, example after example of stuff I already knew from watching.
2. It's seems Frank and Mike were hardly involved in the creation of this book, perhaps the author just watched a few season and started banging out this production. I just feel there was very little depth, both on Mike and Frank and on picking.
3. Not written from a consistent voice
4. Mistakes. Such as the author stating Knucklehead is brand of motorcycle (It's not) and in one statement suggesting making sure there were no cracks in the tubing on a bicycle before buying it as this will affect ride quality of the wheels (I think the frame was the topic and misconstrued by the author who thought the tip was about the inner-tube. Inner-tubes are easily changed, frames are an entirely different matter). I saw numerous mistakes like this throughout the book, drove me nuts.

Just my thoughts, I got it from the library thank God because this is a short, poorly edited, rehash of the show that if it was not for the show would have never been published, its just not very good.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
You will not learn anything new from this book unless you have never watched the show. Mike and Frank should read "License to pawn" if they want to read a good book about a TV series. I cant believe the two of them would let anyone put a book together for them. I want to know who you guys are, not what you do.... I already know that. I enjoy your show when it includes the three of you and I would love to read a book written by you three and maybe edited by a pro. Im not being a jerk about your book. Read the Pawn book and see for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover
I recently read Killer Stuff and Tons of Money which is a fantastic journey into understanding flea markets, the products and the people behind them. It wet my appetite for another good book on the subject. Sadly, American Pickers is not such a book. It is short on character development, deep insights and product history. What makes one motorcycle worth more than another? Why do collectors want them? This book suffers from lack of context and backstory. The insights such as: look closely, be persistent and respect your peers are not all that valuable. If the authors know how to make money sorting through piles of junk, they certainly are not giving away the secret in this book.
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