Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday July 14
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday July 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Nature / Animals
Travel Guides
Children's Room
Medicine and Health
Eyes on Africa


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.

Due to the popularity of our sale and the fact that we can only have 160 customers in the room at any time a numbered ticket system (Main Room only) is in place and numbers are given out beginning at 8am on Saturday. Be sure to be in line in order of your number before the 11am opening. If you miss the time when your number is allowed to enter the Main Room you will forfeit your place in line. NOTE: If you plan on arriving to the sale after 11am you do NOT need to get a number.

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 has moved to 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 K-7
The Bargain Room is located in Rooms K-7 and K-6 of the Cubberley main campus, right next to the tennis courts. 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!

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.

July is picnic month!

"It’s a Beautiful day!" "Not a cloud in the sky!" "A-picnicking we go!" Looking for some picnic ideas or inspiration?

Our Cookbooks area is here to help you maximize your picnic potential -- whether you're planning your very first al fresco meal or you're already a veteran picnicker!

You'll discover food ideas and recipes there for family trips, children's outdoor parties, barbecues, special adult packed meals and snacks for outdoor occasions of every description. You could learn how to plan, what to pack.... You'll find suggestions for anything and everything to do with al fresco dining -- so outdoor eating and drinking will become loads more fun, as you enjoy the freedom of being away from the confines of your home.

Also, our Nature / Animals and Travel Guides areas are filled with books on where to go for that outdoor excitement. We're so lucky in the Bay Area to be blessed with a greenbelt that provides endless varieties of picnic options. Look for books on hiking, biking or visiting the bay area back roads for plenty of suggestions on where to picnic. For more fun you could plan on bringing one of our wonderful fiction books to read on your picnic.

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.

Summertime Reading -- More Fiction please!

It's summertime and the living is...a little bit easier. We all look forward to the warm, lazy afternoons, the lure of the beach towel, or chaise longue, picnic blanket or even the airplane seat. (Who doesn't want to lose herself in a good book then?)

Those are precisely the moments when you need to roundup some of FOPAL’s most delectable reads. With many of our novels priced from fifty cents to two dollars, you could fill your carry on or beach bags with several great books. We have more books than ever in our Classics, Modern Lit and the recent hardbacks areas. There are so many great titles and authors we can’t begin to list them all, but we will mention one: in Historical Fiction we have an extensive collection of books by Patrick O'Brian. You may even see more than one copy of the same title; why not buy both books, so you and your traveling companion can read a book together!

Children’s Room brimming with books!

Over the past several months the volunteers in the Children’s Room were concerned they didn’t have enough donation and their shelves seems a bit empty. So as if all their wishes and wants were heard by every mother within a 10 mile radius and they in unison decreed "Kids, clean your rooms, gather all your gently used books and let’s bring them down to the Friends of the Palo Alto Library to donate." Thankfully our cries were heard and now the Children’s Room is all full up. We have books in every area, Parenting, classic board games, Klutz Books, Teen reads, Sci-fi, Middle-grade Fiction, Early Chapter Books, Nancy Drew and more! Come early for the best selection and selection and enjoy the bounty of books.

Medicine and Health and Miscellanea Medica oh my!

Ed and Verne Rice, our long time section managers, describe below.

Our Medicine and Health sections are right inside the door to Marty's Room, on the North Wall.  The Medicine section features technical books for physicians, medical students, pharmacists and related professionals, on subjects that parallel the department list of any hospital or medical school. From Grey's Anatomy to the remarkable anatomic drawings of famed artist Frank Netter: surgery, pathology, biochemistry, radiology, clinical laboratory, psychiatry, pharmacology, hematology, ophthalmology, and otorhinolaryngology.  You name it, if you can pronounce it.

The Health section examines the same subjects from the standpoint of patients and people who care about maintaining their own well-being. You'll find books on specific diseases and disorders: diabetes, cardiovascular illness, cancer, endocrinology, gynecology, pain control, Alzheimer's, allergies, skin, feet, sleep problems, eating disorders, drugs (good and bad), substance abuse, symptoms (the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to...). Like when to call the doctor; when and how to try home management. Focus on connections between mind and body, fitness and prevention, diet, nutrition, exercise, yoga, aging gracefully, and alternative medicine.  This section is Hypochondriacs' Heaven. There's a shelf of newly arrived, brand new and especially interesting books, many best-sellers, too varied to classify.

And between Medicine and Health, a new Miscellanea Medica collection holds overlapping subjects on the Culture of Medicine:  Medical history, economics, ethics, education, legislation, global health, research, philosophy, memoirs, doctor-patient relationships, fascinating old books, classics in health literature. As well as the best of contemporary health journalism from Oliver Sacks to Atul Gawande and Pulitzer Prize winning author Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Out of EPA Storage - Eyes on Africa

Our special on African books continues this month. In August 2010 a fire at Cubberley Community Center damaged our Main Room, destroying computers and equipment, and causing major damage to the modular building just days before our monthly book sale. Donations didn't stop, though. As a result, hundreds of books went into a warehouse space generously arranged by one of our regular customers. Now we are in the process of clearing out this storage space and bringing these books priced in 2010 to you. One special we found in storage was dozens of books on Africa. Look for our books on Africa in History, Politics, Nature and Travel Narratives and also a number of books were shelved in Modern Literature. Check out these sections for books on Africa as these are previously priced and are just waiting to be purchased.

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.