We are a nation of stuff collectors, and our collective mountain of stuff problem is growing.

In his new book, “Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale,” Adam Minter takes a look at the global issues and businesses created by our love of cheap “things.”

The exception, Minter notes are companies/brands such as Speed Queen and Patagonia, who are focused on delivering long-lasting quality. Recently, Minter was on National Public Radio’s syndicated call-in show “On Point,” and discussing his new book as well as what he learned about the focus that Speed Queen and Alliance Laundry Systems has placed on building truly commercial products that last 25 years during his visit to the plant a year ago. You can listen to Minter’s interview here.

Minter, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, who also authored “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade”, continues his book tour in the coming days with stops in:

  • St. Paul, Minn,, Nov. 20, details here.
  • San Francisco, Nov. 21, details here.

More dates will be announced soon.

To learn where to buy the book, click here.

About Secondhand: Downsizing. Decluttering. A parent’s death. Sooner or later, all of us are faced with things we no longer need or want. But when we drop our old clothes and other items off at a local donation center, where do they go? Sometimes across the country—or even halfway across the world—to people and places who find value in what we leave behind.

In Secondhand, Adam Minter, journalist and author of Junkyard Planet, takes us on an unexpected adventure into the often-hidden, multibillion-dollar industry of reuse: thrift stores in the American Southwest to vintage shops in Tokyo, flea markets in Southeast Asia to used-goods enterprises in Ghana, and more. Along the way, Minter meets the fascinating people who handle—and profit from—our rising tide of discarded stuff, and asks a pressing question: In a world that craves shiny and new, is there room for it all?

Secondhand offers hopeful answers and hard truths. A history of the stuff we’ve used and a contemplation of why we keep buying more, it also reveals the marketing practices, design failures, and racial prejudices that push used items into landfills instead of new homes. Secondhand shows us that it doesn’t have to be this way, and what really needs to change to build a sustainable future free of excess stuff.