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

Sunday February 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Room
Home and Craft


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 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 President's Day Holiday
All libraries will be closed Sunday and Monday, February 17 and 18, for the President's Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, February 19.

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.

What's new for FOPAL sale goers in February?

A new numbered ticket policy and procedure for Saturday Main Room Book Sale customers will begin this month. In response to input from our valued customers and discussions during the FOPAL Book Sale Committee, FOPAL will be opting for handing out single use tickets and offering one ticket to each person. We are asking that all Saturday morning sale goers coming as couples or groups to present themselves together to pick their entrance tickets as we will not be offering two tickets to any one individual. Longtime volunteer Verna Graham will be creating single use tickets for each month. These new paper tickets will be numbered, have the month of use on them as well as a different color each month. A big thanks to Verna as she is now creating sale day fliers and numbered tickets as well as cashiering in the Bargain Room, and doing all these tasks every month!

It is FOPAL's hope that our customers will appreciate our efforts to create a fair numbered ticket policy and hand out procedure. If you have any thoughts or concerns please feel free to express them by emailing FOPAL at Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

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.

February is Black History Month

February is Black History month, all the more significant as Barack Obama takes office as the first Chief Executive of African ancestry for a second term.

The Children's Room has a nice selection of books pertaining to black history geared towards younger readers. Here are but a handful of titles you'll find offered for Black History month: If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, by Faith Ringgold, In the Hollow of Your Hand: Slave Lullabies, by Alice McGill, In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers, by Javaka Steptoe, Only Passing Through: The story of Sojourner Truth by Anne Rockwell. Look for these books and many more on the bookshelf with the picture of Martin Luther King displayed on it. And, you could own all four of the above books for a mere seven dollars!

Also in the Children's Room for February

Miriam Landesman from the Children's Room had this to write about what's special for February. "This month in the Children's Book Room: You can buy a dinosaur kit that will make a sturdy wooden dinosaur about three feet tall! The kits were originally $80, but we are selling them for half price. They make great gifts! You can also browse our revamped Parents' Section. You'll find books on topics of interest to parents at any stage--from infertility to pregnancy, to local adventures with children, to how to be a long-distance grandparent. Almost all parenting books are priced at 50 cents and are like new!"

Philosophy for February

After many years of commitment, FOPAL volunteers Andy & Maggie Anderson have retired from managing the Philosophy section. FOPAL would like to extend their immense gratitude to this couple for their 15+ years of community service!

But, before Maggie & Andy step down they've been busy training her successor Nigel Jones. We are thrilled to have Nigel Jones on board as the section manager for Philosophy. Nigel has jumped in whole heartedly to fill some big shoes left by the Andersons. Nigel writes this about the Philosophy section for February "The Philosophy section has a rich selection of books available for the February sale. For those interested in contemporary thinker's choices include Harry Potter, Winnie the Pooh and Bill Moyers, all in excellent condition. In a more traditional vein, we have a wide range of authors, either as philosophers or writing on the topic, represented including Emerson [4], Hegel [2], Jung [3], Nietzsche [3], Plato [9] and Russell [3]. We have an unusual number of books relating to China, including Mao Tse-Tung [Thoughts: Vol. 2,3,4,5.], Mencius, Xunzi and a general History of Chinese Philosophy. On the bottom shelf you will see Hannah Arendt's autobiography, Bruce Duffy's biography of Russell, More and Wittgenstein, and Desmond's biography of Huxley." Thanks Nigel.

Fiction Book Club Reads & Cooking Combined?

From what I hear talking about books is only part of what makes a book club fun. There is also the social aspect of getting together with friends and then there's the food. Whether a dish reflects an author's heritage, the story setting or essential plot points, thematic food is a great way to enhance the book club experience. At the monthly FOPAL Book Sale you can find selections to satisfy both these needs for your next book club meeting. Fiction section manager Marian Knox said this about what's new in the Fiction area. "Attention Fiction readers: A former favorite feature has been reinstated effective this month. Selections from What Book Groups are Reading can now be found on two shelves immediately below Books by Authors who have won the Nobel Prize for Fiction, in the far-right-hand corner of the Main Room."

Also, look for a huge number of books in the Cooking section that will supply you with a wealth of ideas of what to make for your next book club meeting. If you are looking to join a book club FOPAL has one you can attend. You are welcome to join the FOPAL Book Club meeting the 2nd Thursday of each month in Palo Alto at the Lucie Stern Community Center, Fireside Room from 7:30-9 pm. The address is 1305 Middlefield Road. For February they're reading The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, a contemporary English writer. So, because it's good to be well read and well fed...I'm thinking the food pairing for this book could be...Bangers and Mash or Bubble and Squeak with hot tea, ale, gin & cream soda. Yummy!

Ephemera & Home and Craft Valentine Shout Out

A recently new volunteer to FOPAL Marda Buchholz wants to mention "There is a selection of Valentine cards outside in Ephemera area along with many special occasion (birthday, etc.) and blank greeting cards." With our assortment of cards for 25 cents each you'll be able to stock up on cards for every occasion. Consider buying several, that way you always have a card handy when you need one last minute. I keep a shoe box filled with greeting cards for just this purpose, I find it very valuable.

Nancy Welch section manager for Home and Craft also wants you to shop in the Home and Craft section for your wedding planning this Valentine's Day, Thursday February 14th. There you'll find great do it yourself gifts, cards and more. Nancy writes "In honor of Valentine's Day, Home and Craft is featuring wedding books, everything from toast and speech giving to memory albums for keeping. If there are weddings in your future this is the place for planning the perfect wedding or to find helpful gifts for those who are planning one."

Mentioning the Music Section

Did you know we have an exceptional selection of books in our Music section? Charlotte Epstein section manager for Music and the new FOPAL Board Secretary wrote this about her section. "We have some new and interesting items in the music section. There is the Handbook of the Collection of Musical Instruments in the United States National Museum published by the US Govt Printing Office in 1927 and Music Explained as Science and Art and Considered in Its Analogical Relations to Religious Mysteries, Ancient Mythology, and the History of the World by Antoine Fabre d'Oliver. These books can be found on the Better Book shelf in the Music Section. On other shelves you can find The Inner Game of Music with performance advice for the amateur musician, Puccini without Excuses to foster your appreciation of opera, or read The Twentieth Century's Greatest Hits and see if you agree with the author on what was great." Thank you Charlotte for keeping us up to date on the music scene for the Main Room, I know you'd also want to mention to look for sheet music in this area too.

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.
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.