Yes, one person's trash is another's treasure. And yes, it's irresistible fun peeking into other people's accumulations of junk. Not one to resist, Bruce Littlefield rented a truck, filled a sack with one-dollar bills, and traveled the country to gather valuable information and artifacts from those who no longer want what they have.
The book that resulted from that odyssey is Garage Sale America (Collins Design, $19.95).
His new coffee table is a 1904 crate purchased for $5. It's ideal for the silver-topped glasses and pitcher he found in Florida. If you want high-end glass, Tiffany lamps, and sterling silver, he counsels, Florida's ritzy coastal areas are the spots to shop. They're filled with downsizers whose trinkets need new homes.
In the book, Littlefield introduces us to folks such as the Zaborski brothers of Kingston, N.Y. They buy entire garage-sale lots, often suctioning up tremendous valuables along with life's detritus. Unfortunately, the brothers don't speak to each other, possibly the result of a tiff over toy trains.
Littlefield tells how to organize a garage sale, how to shop at one, and when to buy something you absolutely do not need. His tips on decorating, collectibles and garage-sale geography are great for those who want to broaden their reach.