Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday July 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Music & Dance
Movies, TV & Radio
Home & Crafts


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!

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 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.
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.

FOPAL Green tote bags are here

As you may have heard the era of the plastic bag is almost over at shops and restaurants throughout Palo Alto, after city officials decided in early March to greatly expand the city's existing ban on the notorious creek polluters. The new ban took effect on July 1 for retail establishments and will take effect November 1 for food-service establishments, charging 10 cents for a paper bag in the first year and possibly increasing it to 25 cents.

Here at the Friends of the Palo Alto Library (FOPAL) we continue to do our part by recycling all plastic bags we receive from those carrying in book donations. And by re-using all paper bags brought in for customer purchases at our popular Sunday Bargain Room Bag Sale. As FOPAL looked ahead we could see a day when we'll have fewer and fewer paper bags to offer our customers.

In response FOPAL created our own reusable bag that is perfect for carrying all your books from our monthly sale. FOPAL is offering to our customers, for a mere $2, the hippest bag in town. Designed by longtime volunteer Ann Justice and the FOPAL Book Sale Committee, this sturdy reusable green bag helps you promote FOPAL, support the Palo Alto Libraries while helping the environment. You can call this the FOPAL win, win, win!

Look to purchase these tote bags at all cashiers tables and at our FOPAL tote bag sale station outside the Main Room. Consider buying several and using them when you're bringing contributions to the next BBQ or social and leave it as a token gift for the host or hostess.

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.

Like the Friends of the Palo Alto Library on Facebook

Remember when you were a kid in school and you passed a note to a girl or boy you had a crush on? And the note said, "Do you like me? Check 'YES,' 'NO' or 'MAYBE'?" And then you watched that person open up the note, read it laugh or giggle and then see the note get crumpled it up and tossed it in the trash!?! ... No? That didn't happen to everyone? Dang!

Luckily, Facebook doesn't have a 'NO' or a 'MAYBE' box -- and they can't crumple up our website and throw it in the trash. But what they do have is a LIKE button! And for FOPAL -- either as our online business (at or as our traditional brick-and-mortar monthly book sale -- getting you to LIKE our site is even better than traditional advertising. Here's why....

It's free (and in this case the priceless kind of free)! Also, chances are very good that the people who like our business page have friends within the same demographic that will also like our book sales.... And, it's exponential in that for every click to like, it will be automatically seen by way more than the original "liker". So, here's my once-a-month request to all FOPAL friends to LIKE our page! Thanks!

Bounty of books in the Bargain Room

Reports this week from our Bargain Room volunteers express the abundance of books in several sections. Former Bargain Room manager Karen Bobonich wrote in an email recently " some sections (psych, perhaps religion, political science, large format (I think) and especially Reference, and paperback Mysteries), we have way more than can fit on the shelves. Even in literature (which has been meager recently), I have started double-shelving; same with religion." In response to the large number of books in the Bargain Room you'll find some section have been shelved in two areas. Please look for signs indicating where more books can be found for our overloaded sections.

With folks having finished their spring cleaning, our donations have been larger than ever. Look for lots of treasure in our ephemera area as well as full book shelves in the both the Main Room and Bargain Room! And, check out the big selection of books in excellent condition in the Children's Room too!

Children's Room filled to the brim with books

"Our children's room is for bursting with books - all types, picture, nonfiction, parenting, and general fiction. We have a very nice set of poetry books for young children." -Pat Worthington

While we sold over $500 worth of collectable children's books last month is our Children's Vintage Book Sale (CVBS) Saturday June 8th, we still have more to offer for sale in July. Look for additional older children's books two places in the Children's Book room, the Antiques & Collectables Corner and the Red Cart Collectables area. The Children's Book Look-up Gang headed by retired children's librarian Nancy Hurxthal and is gathering weekly to do online book value look ups. This group of volunteers is keeping busy reviewing and preparing our growing inventory of children's vintage books for sale at 1/3 of the on-line price.

Donations, donations, donations!

Where do I take donations? Due to Palo Alto Library's temporary branch closures, all donations are now welcome at the Friends of the Palo Alto Library Main Room. Our Main Room is located at the north entrance of the Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Rd. Donation hours are Monday through Saturday 2 to 4pm. Please know this is the most convenient place for us to receive books.... Or email us at or call 650/213-8755. For pick-up service for large donations please call 650/308-4933 and leave a message. Whenever you make a donation, be sure to ask for a copy of our receipt. See below for donation guidelines.

We gladly accept: Fiction and non-fiction books, textbooks and computer books, intact children's items; commercially recorded items: music on tapes or CDs, audio books on CD, movies on VHS, DVD, or Blu-ray; software and manuals; records (45s, 78s, LPs); ephemera (e.g. vintage poster, photos, postcards, travel brochures, etc.); maps (folded or rolled) Puzzles, games and toys, sheet music and art.

Sorry, we cannot take: Popular press magazines or newspapers (except items of exceptional historical value), Reader's Digest condensed books, Encyclopedias; home copied/burned or non-commercially recorded audio or video cassettes, CDs, or tapes. No large boxes (copy paper boxes or banker's box are OK) as they are too heavy for volunteers to lift. And please no soiled, moldy, water damaged or partial books -- a general general guideline is that if you would not give it to a friend, please do not give it to the Friends.

Section Managers "Representing Their Books"

Music & Dance

"Some interesting choices from the music section this month- The Inextinguishable Symphony: A True Story of Music and Love in Nazi Germany by Martin Goldsmith combines history and a demonstration into the power of music to give meaning to life. Making an Archtop Guitar covers all aspects of construction and on to marketing your finished product.

Preservation Hall by William Carter discusses the roots of New Orleans Jazz and illustrates the story with many of his own photographs. Mummenschanz is a lavishly illustrated book celebrating the unique theatrical experience created by three classically trained mimes.

A Hard Day's Write: The Stories behind Every Beatles Song is a book where the title tells you what you need to know. Stephen Sondheim discusses his personal life and remarkable productions as well as providing a collection of his lyrics in Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes.

The 1944 edition of G. I. Songs: Written Composed and/or Collected by the Men in the Service includes illustrations, songs and written music from the troops of WWII.

1000 Record Covers presents a selection of the best 60s to 90s rock album covers." -Charlotte Epstein


"About 2500 years ago, in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the state of what became Athens, a new form of entertainment was created - public theatre. It is implied that prior to this time, no one had ever assumed the resemblance of another person for the purpose of storytelling. An actor named Thespis is the first known actor in written plays. He may thus have had a substantial role in changing the way stories were told and inventing theater as we know it today. Among the authors of theatre from this time were several whose names are still honored: Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Aristotle, Euripides, and Sophocles. You can find good examples of theatre in the Drama section." -Robert Jackson


"As we did in June due to an embarrassment of riches Philosophy has expanded to two bookcases, each with a different focus, but unfortunately not side by side.

Bookcase #1-Aisle 12 as usual-
This bookcase focuses on books by or about specific philosophers although it also has many very interesting books on the general topic. This month's theme is going on safari. When you go on safari in Africa the idea is to make sure you see the Big 5: lions, elephants, Cape buffalos, leopards and rhinoceros. For July the featured Philosophy Big 5 is Aristotle (5), Kant (10), Kierkegaard (10), Nietzsche (14) and Plato (22). As usual we have a section dedicated to Chinese philosophy (18) on the bottom shelf and one on humor (8) on top shelf.

Bookcases #2 -On the main aisle as you come in the door, 3rd bookcase on your right-
This bookcase focuses on books about philosophy. This includes dictionaries, encyclopedia sets, and single volumes from sets, histories of philosophy or specific groups of philosophers or schools of thought. Special note: Small box set of Great Books Foundation, in 8 books.

Bargain Room: for all the books that have been well travelled don't forget to visit the Bargain Room" -Nigel Jones

Psychology & Self Help

"Two local psychologists retired recently and the result was 87 boxes of books on every topic imaginable in the world of psychology, theories and practices. As a result this section is full with all new books for your buying pleasure. With help from two new volunteers this section is ready to go, with 20 more boxes being set aside for the August Sale. Look for all the greats, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Anna Freud as well as some of the best 20th century self-help experts like Louise Hays, Scott Peck, Marianne Williamson, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, Gary Zukav... We have these authors and much more." -Janette Herceg

Home & Crafts

"The end of another school year is the perfect time to organize all those photos and mementoes into beautiful, keep forever albums. The Home and Craft feature of the month shelf is loaded with books on how to make your own books as well as ideas for scrapbooking and multimedia techniques. And summer offers the perfect time to learn a new craft, you won't believe the amazing craft books we have this month. Think about making your own soap or paper. Fun fun fun" -Nancy Welch

Music CDs

"Come check out our new CD Display Cases. Over 1,500 CDs available for sale.\240This includes over 500 Classical CDs; 500 Rock Group CDs; and 100 each of Classic 60's Rock, Easy Listening (a new category), International, Jazz and Movie Soundtracks. There is always a new selection each month." -John Scheibe

Movies, TV, Radio

"Movies/TV/Entertainment: Two specials this month are on film directors and on unusual books about movies. As always a lot of biographies and many books associated with foreign films." -Dick Grote

Also, look for large vinyl movie banners donated recently. These are used by movie houses and not usually for sale to the public. As well as large assortment of paper movie posters located in ephemera.

The West

"The West: A lot of books on San Francisco and the Bay Area. Women of the West have a lot of new titles. We have more than the usual number of books associated with Native Americans." -Dick Grote

History & Politics

"The History and the Politics section shelves are packed with books this month. I'm sure our customers will find numerous books they want to take home." -Suzanne Little

Ephemera / Cards

"In cards this month, many newly donated birthday cards. Especially for 4-year-olds, are available as well as handmade blank cards, all this in addition to the normal assortment of cards." -Marda Buchholz

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.
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. 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.