I have to say that I do not look at Craigslist on a regular basis. This isn't, however, out of any avoidance of the topic of classified ads as it is that the ads will draw me in for hours if I don't simply stay away from the site altogether. Newspaper classifieds don't have quite the same draw for me, but then I never got in the habit of reading a newspaper anyway.
This book was certainly an enjoyable way for me to spend a few hours reading. Loosely separated into various topics (the same way you'd find the classifieds in your newspaper sorted), and drawn from every time period from the first classified ads in the American Colonies to Craigslist at the year of publication, this book is a tour not only of Americans' wants, needs and desires but also of the minutae of years past. By reading between the lines of classifieds, the smallest of details considered common knowledge in previous years, and forgotten today, can become apparent - what a traveller typically carried in their purse, what a slave was usually dressed in, what was considered worthy barter for a bicycle, what was desireable in men and women.
The most fascinating chapter in this book for me was the one on missing slaves. Just as you'd post a notice for runaway livestock or pets, queries about lost slaves were commonplace in years past - with the major difference being that slaves faced jail while they awaited return to their master, and severe punishment. What I found most interesting was the level of detail about slaves that their masters were aware of. Slave-owners noticed things about their slaves that I thought people only knew about their spouses and children. All the better to ensure they got their rightful property back, I suppose.