Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday October 13
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday October 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Political Science
Home & Crafts
Movies, TV & Radio


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.

A Correction
It has been brought to our attention that the Great Books discussion group hosted by Elsie Taboroff meets on the second Wednesday of each month. This supersedes information given in the Summer 2012 edition of our Foreword member newsletter. For more information, please call Elsie Taboroff at 493-8629.

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.

What do the CIA and Halloween have in common?

I know this might be a tough one but here's what I learned, they both have spooks lurking about.

Did you know that the Webster's New World Dictionary defines spook as an undercover agent or spy? That same dictionary indicates the root word is Dutch (1801) spooc or German Spuk meaning ghost or apparition. Now this makes sense, spies or undercover agents are not supposed to found out while doing their mission. They are supposed to be able to get into enemy territory unseen, do their mission, and get out undetected like a ghost or remain undetected for years while sending vital information to their home country while in enemy territory. Super scary to be sure, but not to our long time section manager Suzanne Little. Suzanne writes "Just in time for Halloween, Political Science has a large number of books on spooks, spies, disguise, deceit, and undercover operations by the CIA, FBI, NSA, KGB, and MI6! Come check out our Political Science section and see what we have to offer those of you willing to be scared by the other spooks this Halloween.

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.

FOPAL is feeling a bit CRAFTIER this month- Kaffe Fasset

Regardless of whether you want to make zombie cupcakes from polymer clay, or knit a pumpkin inspired hat, or string the perfect orange and black beaded necklace, FOPAL's October sale has a craft book for you.

Home & Crafts section manager Nancy Welch wrote "I have a wonderful collection of new books this time: knitting, jewelry, quilting; but what I think we should feature is a Kaffe Fasset sub section." Here's more information on Kaffe Fasset and why he merits a sub section. Kaffe Fasset is an American-born artist who is best known for his colorful designs in the decorative arts -- needlepoint, patchwork, knitting, painting and ceramics. "Color is his very medium, whatever the substance he uses." Author of more than 30 books, Fasset concentrates on teaching the color and design stages of craftwork rather than the construction stage. In addition to books, he has hosted craft-related television and radio programs, including his own show, Glorious Color. He is also a fabric designer for Rowan Patchwork and Quilting and the primary knitwear designer for Rowan Yarns.

If textiles aren't your medium and you're interested in expanding your craft book collection for inspiration, come check out the other sub sections in Home & Crafts. Look for a new sub section for jewelry; we've never had this sub section before. Many of these books are new and filled with lots of projects to help you be even craftier in October.

Ephemera Sale has posters and much more

While FOPAL focuses on selling gently used or new books, CDs, DVDs, audio books, records and VHS tapes, we receive donations of many other items. Our sorting volunteers often feel like they are on a treasure hunt as they sort through the hundreds of boxes and bags we receive monthly. Among the books our sorters will find money, letters from a 1965 civil rights volunteer, savings bonds, WWII correspondence letters, African statues, a Beatles memorabilia head band, Indonesian masks, photographs and much more. Most of these donations find their way to our Ephemera section.

Althea Andersen, FOPAL's Empress of Ephemera offers a bounty of gems including: vintage magazines, sheet music, maps, office supplies, pamphlets, stationary, greeting cards and photo frames most priced at 25 cents unless otherwise marked. This month Althea found dozens of posters being donated, several from past museum exhibitions and middle school class rooms. Some are inspirational posters and even some great photographs of animals. You'll find these available in the outside Ephemera Area. A reminder, our monthly sale begins at 8 AM with the Ephemera Sale. If you are here early this Saturday you can help Althea move the ephemera sale carts outside including at least one cart of framed art!

Large Judaica & Judaism donation

A local retiring rabbi donated his entire collection of books. Our section on Judaica & Judaism can be found in the main room next to the Religion section and our Education & Language section. The books donated cover a wide range of subject matter and include titles like: Jewish People, Jewish Thought, When They Came to Take My Father, or Like Bread on the Sedar Plate. Many books were donated new and will sell for $2 to $4 each. With Hanukkah approaching you could find a fitting gift for the season. Just to let you know, FOPAL often receives this type of generous donation and when we do we'll let you know. Please pass the word regarding this donation on to anyone you think may be interested. Thanks!

Read more books on Movies, TV & Radio

I know, I know, there are only so many hours in a day, and I'm suggesting you spend one of them with your nose in a book that has to do with movies, TV or Radio. Well, yes, because if you're not constantly challenging your mind it's going to get slack, dull and inflexible. And what kind of book lover can live with a slack, dull, inflexible brain? Don't answer that; instead consider reading a book on about a famous actor, TV personality or voice on the radio. Our Movies, TV & Radio section is full of books you may have thought of reading and just didn't think it was worth your time or money to purchase it. We've helped with lowering the cost of these books and we are giving you permission to take time to read one from our great selection. After perusing this section FOPAL is offering two books on Gregory Peck, and four books on Greta Garbo, Cary Grant or Grace Kelly. Any of these books feels worthwhile and probably fascinating. Now, don't laugh, the one book that really caught my eye was...Sculpting a Galaxy:Inside Star Wars Model Shop. This large format book was nearly new and only $8. Now aren't you interested to check out this section and possibly read a book from it? Do it!

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 the coming months.

Audio High & FOPAL vinyl sale

After our very successful Quality Vinyl Sale earlier this year, we are again partnering with Audio High in Mountain View in November 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:

  • A nice collection of avant-garde albums by Fred Frith, John Zorn, and others.
  • Lots of French, African, and Greek records
  • A group of Frank Zappa and related albums
  • A number of gospel albums by lesser-known artist
  • Several albums of 78 rpm "party" records

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

The sale will be held at 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.

Don't miss this opportunity to shop for records, benefit the Palo Alto library, and experience the finest high-end audio equipment available.

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.