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 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday November 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Music & Dance
The West
Movies, TV & Entertainment
Biography & Memoirs
Classics & Modern Literature
Nature & Animals


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!

Library Closings for Veterans Day and Thanksgiving
All libraries will be closed Sunday and Monday, November 11 and 12, for the Veterans Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday November 13.

All libraries will also be close at 6PM on Wednesday, November 21, and remain closed through Friday November 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Normal hours will resume on Saturday November 24.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.

If you're looking for a book on Sunday November 11, we will be open.
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 Set for December 8

The FOPAL Board of Directors has set the annual Members-Early sale 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 the December 8 Sale! 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 Christmas treat!

Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the Members-Early sale. Tickets given out are for the 9 am and 10 am 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 11 am 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.

Special Record Sale On Saturday November 10th

This month, in addition to our usual sale at Cubberley, we're holding a special record sale in Mountain View. We are partnering with Audio High to offer hundreds of LPs, 45s, and 78s in all genres from rock to jazz to international to classical to indescribable. You'll find an assortment of old favorites at low prices as well as collectible titles and rarities.

Highlights include:

  • Lots of avant-garde albums by Fred Frith, John Zorn, and others.
  • A large number of international titles, including French, African, Israeli, and Greek records.
  • A nice selection of Frank Zappa and Zappa-related albums.
  • A collection of older classical albums in great condition.
  • A really interesting group of oddball items, such as industrial recordings, sound effects, political recordings, and so on.
  • 78s, including several albums of naughty "party" records.

Prices start at $2.00 for LPs! Collectible titles are priced well below what you'll find online or in specialty shops.

The sale will be held during our normal Saturday Main Room sale hours (11:00 to 4:00) on November 10th at the Audio High showroom, 165 Moffett Blvd, Mountain View, CA 94043 (just across Central Expressway from downtown Mountain View.) Click here for directions.

Bargain room making a move from K7 to H2 / H3

The plans have been in the works for months now and FOPAL is in the midst of signing a new lease to move the beloved Bargain room from K7 to H2 / H3. As I type floor plans are being reviewed and permits being filed. We hope to begin work this week and be up and running for the December Sale. Why the move you ask? 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. We'll be sure keep you updated on our progress and we'll find several ways to help our customers find the new rooms. Look for more information in the December newsletter, fliers posted around the Cubberley Community Center and balloons to guide you to the new H2 / H3 entrance.

Railfan or foamer, are you one? If so we've got books for you!

I'm going to admit it, I love trains. Wikipedia describes train lovers as railfans or foamers. "Excessively enthusiastic railfans are sometimes referred to pejoratively as foamers, especially by American rail workers, in reference to the joking notion that they foam at the mouth in their excitement over train operations." I imagine this must have been the case of one of our recent donors. Only a true railway enthusiast would have been able to collect such a vast number of books and magazines on trains and railroads. Transportation Section Manager and Empress of Ephemera Althea Andersen has dedicated one bay for most of these books but many can also be found in the Large Format section. Also, part of this donation included dozens of train periodicals like Rail Fan, Passenger Train Journal and Locomotive & Railway Preservation. These magazines can be found in our Ephemera sale for a mere 25 cents each. All aboard!

Special Seasonal Selections

One of our newer section managers, Camille Sorrant, has been working hard with long time section manager Althea Andersen to bring out all the seasonal Winter Holidays books and CDs we've been collecting these many months. You'll find a large selection for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas. If you are looking for great ideas on how to liven up your holidays, look no further. You are sure to find something you'll be excited to read, listen to or share with loved ones during this upcoming holiday season. 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 stuff still packed away in storage, look for more of our collection to be put on sale in December.

Music & Dance - FOPAL Has Beatlemania

The phenomenon known as Beatlemania originated in the United Kingdom, birthplace of The Beatles, when the band first realized enormous popularity there in 1963. Section manager and soon to be FOPAL secretary Charlotte Epstein writes this about her area Music & Dance, "The Beatles are back together. You can find them on the shelves in the Music and Dance section along with books on the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones and a selection of magazines featuring Jimi Hendrix. If you have more classical interests, you can find books on the opera or you can be inspired by the writings of Leonard Bernstein. Or if you loved Frank Sinatra look for our small section devoted to this artist. We also feature books about dancing and the lives of dancers." Music and dance lovers, consider checking out this section for some great reads and great values. And for our Beatle aficionados here's an opportunity to add many reasonably priced books your collection without having to head to Liverpool.

Question: The West and Movies/TV/Entertainment sections have what in common?

For FOPAL they are both sections being managed by longtime volunteer Dick Grote. Dick writes this about what's special in his areas:

The West: We received a wonderful donation this month that included a large number of vintage, relatively rare books on the West, some signed by their author. There is a large collection of Palo Alto Historical Society publications as well.

Movies, TV, Entertainment: For the second month running we have a record number of books in this section. We have a very nice collection of film personalities' biographies--so many that we ran out of space in the section and the overflow can be found in several boxes outside in the $1 book sale area.

New subsections added in - Biography & Memoirs / Classics & Modern Literature

When one of our section managers receives a large number of books on a specific topic or from a famous author he or she may choose to create one or more new subsections. This was the case for section managers Ann Justice for Biography & Memoirs and Scottie Zimmerman for Classics & Modern Literature.

Section manager and FOPAL's publicity person Ann Justice has created several new subsections to help you pick your perfect read in Biography & Memoirs. You can now choose from these books based on subsections like, Happy Childhood, Surviving Childhood, Dysfunctional, Adventures, Serious Illness / Injury or Loss of a Loved One, to name several. So, if you are looking for a hard copy of Walter Isaacson's 656-page biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs or, A Man of Honor: The Autobiography of Joseph Bonnano, you are in luck. You'll find both for sale this month in my favorite new subsection Ann has cleverly named...Notable & Notorious!

In Classics & Modern Literature look for the subsection African American literature. Long time FOPAL volunteer and community activist Scottie Zimmerman writes "I've got about 60+ books by African American authors. Some quite famous (Tony Morrison, Alice Walker), some from the Harlem Renaissance (Dorothy West, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston), some from the mid to late 20th century (Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Ishmael Reed--who lives in Oakland, Charles R. Johnson, Zadie Smith)."

Great buys from Nature & Animals section

We always have many generous donations of books that make it to our Nature & Animals section. This section's manager, Irina Cross, wrote this about what she's seen come in recently. "We have lots of books about horses and how to ride them, cats and dogs and how to train them (or let them train you), beautiful books about birds. Want to feel good? Pick up a book of animal stories. Thought provoking books about ecology and climate change which Sandy reminded us is quite real. Going to tropical seas? Check the selection about snorkeling and tropical fish. New subsection of beautiful old (some antique) hand illustrated books on different topics - they really don't make them like this anymore." Also check out this section if you have an interest in book about camping, hiking or rock-climbing.

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.