Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday June 9
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Better Book Bonanza 9am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday June 10
Better Book Bonanza SATURDAY ONLY
All Other Rooms 11am - 4pm


Better Book Bonanza
Mysteries & Thrillers
Children's Room
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Large Format


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.

Warehouse Clear Out - Big Savings on Stored Books

In August 2010 an early morning 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. Many of the books went to History, Politics, Nature or 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.

Better Book Bonanza

It's time again for our quarterly Better Book Bonanza, featuring collectible books, ephemera, and vinyl - as well as tiny, fragile, and just plain curious items. We offer our walk-in customers a great discount on these items before we list them online.

The BBB will be open from 9AM to 4PM on Saturday only, in the same building as the Children's Room. There is a separate line for the BBB, no ticket is required. Remember, no tabs or credit cards at the BBB, but we take cash and checks.

This month we have some great children's books, including a set of Dr. Dolittle first editions, an unusual children's fable by James Joyce, two of Patsey Gray's "pony books", and books by illustrators like Tasha Tudor and Mary Blair.

In our literature section you’ll find several 20th century first editions, including the "The Old Man and the Sea" and "The Sound of Mountain Water". We also have a delightful two-volume set by Mark Twain, "Extracts from Adam's Diary" and "Eve's Diary", as well as the first 67 issues of McSweeney's magazine "Believer".

In our vinyl section we have a great selection of African titles, both traditional and Afro-Pop, and a large collection of French pop. We also have great classic rock titles on French labels and some obscure gospel discs. All that plus a nice collection of jazz and offbeat/eccentric/weird albums.

But that's not all...we have books on black magic, books on polar exploration, WW I Army manuals, many fine books on antiques and collectibles, and the John and Yoko issue of Rolling Stone - something for everyone. And, we've slashed prices on our Jane's Fighting Ships and All the World's Aircraft books!

No BBB inventory this month, and only a few photos. We're putting all our effort into preparing books for the sale.

Better Than a Tie, Give Dad a Book for Father's Day - Sunday June 17th

Dads love mysteries, true crime and thrillers and we've got plenty of nearly new hardbacks. A recent donation by a gentleman brought us many books by authors like Jonathan Kellerman, Robert Parker and John Sanford. You'll find these and more in our Mysteries & Thrillers section as well as a full book case of vintage mysteries if you're looking for something really original. With most priced under $2, you could afford to create a mini collection for your dad this year.

Or, for first-time dads, a book of tips could be the perfect Father's Day gift. As June 17 approaches, here are some ideas: Armin A. Brott's "The New Father", Bill Cosby's "Fatherhood" and William Sears M.D.'s "Becoming a Father - How to Nurture and Enjoy Your Family". All these and more are priced at $1 and under and located in the Children's Room in the Parenting section.

Fantasy and Science Fiction, Analog, Galaxy, and Isaac Asimov Sci-Fi At This Month's Sale

Don't worry - we're just talking about the complete runs of classic fantasy and science fiction magazines recently donated by one of our longtime volunteers. Dating from the 1960s through 1980s, these offer outstanding short stories by award-winning authors. Look for these in the Main Room in a back corner labeled "Sci-fi Special Magazines." Please know we are selling these in yearly sets only - we are not able to sell just one magazine.

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.

Oversized Book Section is Overflowing Again
Several Whole Earth catalogues were donated this month, one nearly new! Consider adding some oversized books from our Large Format section to your collection. Individually, these books add visual interest with their beautiful pictures. And a pile of oversized books draws the eye and makes a real statement. If your shelves aren't high enough or deep enough to accommodate oversized books, stack them on a flat surface, such as a bench or an end table. Our oversized books are in great shape, many look new and priced so well you could purchase several. In this case bigger is better!
Calling All Lovers of Historiography
For those of us that didn't know, historiography is the writing of history based on the critical examination of sources, the selection of particulars from the authentic materials, and the synthesis of particulars into a narrative that will stand the test of critical methods. Suzanne Little, longtime volunteer and section manager for History and Historical Fiction say we have "a large number of interesting books in historiography this month as well as more than the usual number of History collections or sets."
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.
Recycle Your Used Packing Materials At FOPAL
Looking for a place to recycle those packing materials? FOPAL can use them! As our online sales have grown we would be happy to accept your used bubble mailers, small boxes (small size Amazon boxes are great!), bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and those bags of air and we'll reuse them. We cannot use very large boxes or styrofoam blocks.
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.