Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday November 10
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 9am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday November 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Classics & Modern Literature
Home & Crafts
Signed Books
Music & Dance
Children's Room


4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto
NE corner of the Cubberley Community Center
(650) 213-8755

More information on the sales
Donate your old books

Marty's (Main) Room
In our Main Room, prices are way below what used book stores charge. Hardcover books start at $1.00 and softcover books start at only 50 cents.


Please note that due to crowding during the first two hours of the Book Sale, no strollers, rolling carts, etc. can be brought into the Main Room. This is for the safety of shoppers and volunteers alike. By 12:30 or so, the crowd thins out and shoppers are welcome to bring these items into the sale.

Children's Book Sale
The Children's Room is located in the portable formerly occupied by the Jewish Community Center next to the soccer field. It is entirely filled with children's books and toys. You'll find picture books, school age fiction and non-fiction, award winners, non-English titles, CDs and DVDs, and books for parents and teachers, most for 50 cents or $1. Strollers are welcome in the Children's Room at any time.

Bargain Books in H-2
The Bargain Room has moved to Rooms H-2 and H-3 of the Cubberley main campus, between Marty's Room and Middlefield Road. On Saturday, paperbacks are 50 cents, hardcovers are $1, and children's books are just 25 cents each. The room also contains many LP records and 78s at $1 each. On Sunday, the room opens at 11 am and all prices are half off. Or, save even more on Sunday by buying grocery bags from us for $5 each and stuffing them with any items in the room. Buy 4 bags and get the 5th one FREE!

Library Closings for Christmas and New Year
All libraries will be closed Monday and Tuesday, December 24 and 25, for the Christmas holiday. Normal hours will resume on Wednesday December 26.

All libraries will also be closed Monday and Tuesday, December 31 and January 1, for the New Year holiday. Normal hours will resume on Wednesday January 2.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
Non-Profit Book Giveaway
Non-profit organizations and schools are able to select books from among the thousands of books available in the Bargain Room on the Sunday evening following the sale from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. If you are associated with a non-profit organization or school that would like to receive books from us for free or for information on eligibility, hours, and the types of materials available, please contact Norma Burchard in advance by e-mail at or at (650) 494-1082. Several dozen organizations benefit from the monthly giveaways, including local hospitals, homeless programs, senior centers, schools, and jails, as well as libraries in rural areas and on reservations, and literacy projects in many other countries.

We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our book sale. Please email us at or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.

Members-Early Sale Saturday December 8

The annual Members-Early sale is scheduled for Saturday December 8. If you're a member of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, you'll be able to get in early to the Main Room! At this once-a-year event, Life Members are allowed to enter the sale at 9am and can purchase up to 50 books. Members at all other levels can enter the sale at 10am and purchase the normal 12 books at a time. Enjoy a less crowded main book room and get first crack at our wonderful collection of materials. Books are always a welcome Holiday treat!

Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the Members-Early sale. Tickets given out are for the 9am and 10am lines at the Main Room, since most people who come early are Members of the Friends. Each Member will get just one ticket, although Members at and above the $25 levels may bring in their families, consisting of one or two adults and children, while Life Members may bring in their spouses. No tickets will be given out for the 11am line.

You may renew your membership, or join FOPAL, that day. Renew, or join now! Our membership rates are scheduled to increase on January 1, 2013.

Preview Our Shelves

Click here to see some of the shelves at this weekend's sale Check out some of the thousands of books that will be on sale this weekend using our shelf preview pictures.

New Bargain Room H2 & H3!

This month look for the FOPAL Bargain Room at its new location in rooms H2 and H3. With support from the FOPAL Board and the City of Palo Alto and with help from Coulter Construction Inc., DR3 Recycling / St. Vincent de Paul and Polaris Building Maintenance Inc., plus our amazing FOPAL volunteers, we have moved! As mentioned in November's newsletter, this new space offers us: on-site storage, internet access for book research and best of all...a bathroom just down the hall for our dedicated volunteers. What I failed to mention is how fresh and bright this new space is for all our customers and our wonderfully low priced books. Please take a moment to stop by H2/H3 and I'm sure you'll find terrific books you won't be able to pass up.

For parking use the lots at the Cubberley north entrance near Middlefield Road, or the one in front of the FOPAL Main Room.

Ephemera Exploding

Althea Andersen, our Empress of Ephemera, gets 5 gold stars for all her hard work this month. While moving our Bargain Room this past November we unearthed an enormous amount of large packets of Round-the-World poster sized photos, nautical charts, and vintage Playboy magazines. All these treasures are being offered outside in the Ephemera sale tent. Our regular Ephemera customers already know about all the great deals you can find in this sale area. Now you know too that most items in Ephemera are only 25 cents! The Ephemera Sale begins at 8am. If you are here then you can help push carts out the filled to the rim with assortments of tempting goodies.

Classic & Modern Literature

Long time FOPAL volunteer and community activist Scottie Zimmerman writes:

"In Classics I have a handsome set, 5 volumes, 3 titles, by Victor Hugo. There is another, larger set by Washington Irving who wrote in many genres and occasionally used pen names. (E.g., Jonathan Old-style; funny that Yossarian used 'Washington Irving' as a pen name in Catch-22.) Irving was one of the first American writers to be admired in Europe. He wrote fiction, history, biography, and travel narratives of a sort. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Spain for four years. I also have a lot of Folio classics: a nice group by Dickens, another group by Thackeray, and many by less prolific authors. Folio does a beautiful job; many of the books are illustrated, and most come in sturdy slipcases.

In Modern Literature I have a large selection of books that are signed by the author. Some are quite famous, others almost famous. Some are nonfiction, not purely 'literature,' but all signed. (See shelf photos for details.) I also have a terrific section of 20th Century British Authors, including Doris Lessing, Penelope Lively, Iris Murdoch, and Muriel Spark. If you haven't read these women, you have a treat in store!"

Home & Crafts

Nancy Welch, textile, jewelry, paper, assemblage artist and FOPAL volunteer has been looking forward to getting the word out regarding her section Home & Crafts. For the December sale, Nancy writes, "The Home & Crafts section has a special shelf devoted entirely to books that will help make your holidays a breeze. These include gifts to make, gift basket and wrapping ideas, seasonal flower arrangements, and ways to simplify entertaining plus books that would make someone on your list very happy. In addition the Home section is overflowing with beautiful books offering interior design ideas for the New Year." Thanks Nancy for the reminder that this is an excellent time to be creating holiday cheer with crafting.

Special Seasonal Selections

One of our newer section managers, Camille Sorrant, having just returned from France, has been working hard to bring out all the seasonal books & CDs we've been collecting these many months. You'll find a large selection for Hanukkah and Christmas. If you are looking for great ideas on how to liven up your holidays look no further. This section is for you.

Holiday cards will be on sale this month at bargain prices in this Seasonal Selection and outside in Ephemera. Look for the festive red and green display as you enter the Main Room on the right. Also, because we have even more Hanukkah and Christmas donations still coming in, look for some of our collection to be put on super sale in the new Bargain Room. Camille took extra time this month to arrange this section as well, come check it out and the new Bargain Room too.

Special Signed Books offering

FOPAL staff and our on-line sale guru, Jerry Stone, dipped into the on-line archives to bring you a super selection of signed books. Jerry writes this about what he's offering for sale in the Main Room. "Look for an eclectic assortment of signed books from the obscure to the famous. There is plenty of variety, from novelists like Steve Martini and Jennifer Weiner to politicians such as Newt Gingrich and George Shultz. Some of the more famous names in the sale are: Andy Rooney, Eugene Cernan, and Isabel Allende. Worth a look and priced from $3.00."

Making Merry in the Music Section

Incoming FOPAL board member and longtime section manager Charlotte Epstein writes, "If you enjoy listening to music, you might enjoy reading some of the books written by others who love music. On our shelves you will find Musicophilia Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks, Why Classical Music Still Matters by Lawrence Kramer, The Inextinguishable Symphony, A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany by Martin Goldsmith and For the Love of Music by Michael Steinberg.

If you are fond of popular music there are books for those who followed The Grateful Dead, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones along with critical looks at rock music, such as Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung: The Work of a Legendary Critic - Rock 'n' Roll as Literature and Literature as Rock 'n' Roll by Lester Bangs.

If you want to know more about earlier popular music we have The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter and All You Need is Love The Story of Popular Music by Tony Palmer which is a history of all forms of 20th century popular music." A big thank you to Charlotte for mentioning these musical book finds. You are right, these books would be great gifts for music lovers.

Children's Room has got BONZ

Some smaller donations are worth mentioning in the monthly newsletter and this is true of the several new BONZ Wooden 3-D Skeleton Puzzle Kits we received. On Amazon these amazing puzzles go for $50 to $75 depending on their size. The Children's Room will be selling these for far less. If you are interested in one of these 3-D puzzles consider being in line at the Children's Room 10am Saturday when they first open.

The Children's Room is located at the south end of the Cubberley Campus in the portable behind the pavilion and in front of the track and field.

Health Books for the Holidays

The dynamic duo of Verne & Ed Rice are FOPAL's Health and Medicine book section managers -- between these two volunteers we are fortunate to have 100+ years of medical experience. Verne often jokes that they feel every year of their age. Verne also had this to say about the Health section selection this month. "We have an amazing display of brand new books from the Stanford Medical Bookstore at our low, low prices. In addition to our usual broad-spectrum collection -- we also received lots of especially handsome books: they'll make fine holiday gifts. Look for stimulating fitness titles, elegant herbals, fine (and healthy) foods, even a medical mystery or two. Also look for books on yoga, meditation, Asian medicine, medical journalism and history. Many of these are so attractive that you won't even need gift wrap. Just tie a ribbon around them and give them caringly. Health is, after all, is the best gift of all!"

FOPAL Happy Holidays to all

I'd like to extend a warm holiday greeting to all our loyal customers and supporters. It's only because of each of you that we are able to make such a huge difference in our community. Here's wishing you all peace and joy this holiday season.

Warmly, Janette

Friends Bookstore in Downtown Library

If you cannot attend the book sale, please drop by the Friends Bookstore located inside the Downtown Library and open during library hours. It is restocked regularly with a unique selection of books for all ages and interests.

FOPAL Volunteers Rock!
Here's a big THANK YOU to the dozens of FOPAL volunteers who make this sale possible. It's in part because of our amazing volunteers that the FOPAL book sales are a great success. While attending the sale offer a "Thank You" to the volunteers you see. If you'd like to become a FOPAL volunteer please email or call 650-494-1266.
FOPAL Book Sale Notices Now on Twitter
You can now follow us on Twitter @fopalbooks. We'll post Sale notices and will reveal the Sunday 50% off section via our Twitter feed.
Bring Your Donations!
Donations are accepted in the Main Room during our normal hours of 2pm - 4pm Monday through Saturday. Use the door on the right side of the building, next to the fire lane. If you need to bring books to us outside of those hours just call (650) 213-8755 and see if anyone is working in the book room and can accept your donation. We also accept donations during the Book Sale hours as well. Book and media donations can also be dropped off at the Mitchell Park and Main Libraries (limit of one bag or box per day, please). Note that the new College Terrace Library does not have the space to store donations so they ask that you please do not drop donations off there. Pickups can be arranged for large donations or if you are physically unable to bring your books to us. Please email or call (650) 213-8755 for more information or to leave a message after hours.
Special Handling for Special Donations
Got an unusual donation? If there are things you'd like to donate to us that are rare, fragile or unusual and require special attention contact or call (650) 213-8755 and leave a message for Jerry Stone.
Think Ecologically! - Bring or Donate Your Own Bags
Due to the increasing reuse of grocery and other bags, we tend to run short at our sales and encourage you to bring your own cloth tote or paper bags to the sale. If you have any extra grocery or department store bags in good condition please bring them for your purchases at the sale. We would also gladly accept any extra bags you wish to donate.
Support Palo Alto's Libraries While You Shop
By shopping at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park a percentage of your purchase price can help the Palo Alto Libraries at no cost to you. At Kepler's, just mention to the cashier that you want to support the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.
This notice comes to you from the non-profit organization Friends of the Palo Alto Library. No trees were felled in the making of this e-mail. While the Better Business Bureau recommends that no more than 35% of a charitable organization's expenses be for management and fundraising expenses, ours were under 1% for our 2007-2008 fiscal year. In other words, over 99% of the money we raised went to help Palo Alto Library users. Visit our web site. Become a member by joining online.

Be sure to receive your own free copy of this e-mail notice so that you'll know about all special upcoming books sales. To sign up, just e-mail us. We carefully protect the privacy of your e-mail address. We will not share your e-mail address with any other organization and we will not use it for any purpose other than to send you these notices. If you do not wish to receive these e-mail notices in the future, please reply with the words "Remove Me" in the subject line.