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Winter 2020 Reading Group Indie Next List
“Have you ever wondered what happens to all those items you’ve donated? You might be shocked to know that only a fraction ever makes it to thrift store shelves; instead, the majority goes to the landfill or is exported to other countries to be reused or recycled in ways you’ve never imagined. Secondhand is a fascinating, informative look into the afterlife of discarded items and the ecological impact created by our obsessive consumerism.”
— Adrian Newell, Warwick's, La Jolla, CA
When you drop a box of unwanted items off at the local thrift store, where do they go? Probably across the country--or even halfway across the world--to people and places eager to reuse what you don't want. In Secondhand, Adam Minter delves into the vast, multibillion-dollar industry that resells used stuff around the world. He follows the trail of unwanted objects from the closets, garages, and storage units of Middle America to epic used-goods markets in Canada, Mexico, Japan, Ghana, India, Malaysia, and beyond. Secondhand takes us through the often painful and heartbreaking process of cleaning out a lifetime's worth of possessions and shows that used stuff still has a place in a world that values the new and shiny--it entertains us, makes fortunes, fulfills needs, and transforms the way we live and work.