Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday June 8
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Children's Vintage Book Sale 12pm - 3pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday June 9
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Vintage Book Sale


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 Independence Day Holiday
All libraries will be closed Thursday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Friday, July 5.

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

Children's Vintage Book Sale: Saturday June 8th, 12pm - 3pm

"I do not know where to start", said Alice.
"Oh dear. Well, start at the beginning and when you get to the end...stop."
--Alice in Wonderland

The world of collecting children's books is not a complicated one. If you are reading this you are probably one of those lucky people that have already discovered how books can enrich your life. Collecting vintage children's books is a stimulating and addictive hobby that can give great pleasure and satisfaction to collectors of all ages and tastes. And, let's not forget from the outset that for many collecting these childhood literary treasures is just plain fun.

For well over a year several FOPAL high value book researchers have been having fun too. They've been reviewing and preparing our growing inventory of children's vintage books for this special sale. As well as vintage books, you'll also find a nice selection of 20th century jovial classics, some first editions, some first printings and some with original dust jackets. These books will be priced 30%-50% of the retail sale value.

The Children's Vintage Book Sale (CVBS) will be Saturday June 8th, 12-3pm. Customers are asked to line up outside on the ramp at the front door for the CVBS and at 12pm you'll be let into the Annex VCBS Room. If you are there between 12-1:30pm and have any questions, Gerry Masteller, CVBS organizer, will be available to assist you.

Also, helping manage this special sale is FOPAL Summer Intern Charlotte Cutkosky. Charlotte is a Palo Alto resident; Senior at Mills College with plans to be a librarian. Charlotte has been honing her book value research skills with FOPAL for the past two summers. We are extremely happy to have Charlotte's help again as she brings a vibrant energy and strong work ethic to her position as FOPAL Summer Intern.

We are encouraging Saturday sale goers to stop by to view this collection, it's sure to bring back fond memories. Again, and this is worth repeating, collecting children's books is Fun.

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.


The business section for FOPAL continues to be a leader in number of books being donation monthly. We receive so many great books that the section manager and FOPAL Board President Peter Dehlinger has opted to give this section a new look. With the help of longtime volunteer Frank McConnell, here's what is special for Business. One full bay, closest to Law is going to be used for the newest, nicest stuff and featured books.

The middle bay holds a good stock of nice condition and/or copies of classics and good selling titles, books that don't necessarily go out of style: Banking, Globalization, Careers, Economics, Finance, Personal Investing, "Pop Business", E-Commerce, etc.

The bay closest to Reference look for Business biographies (not recently issued), Management, HR, Systems, etc. things that are trendier, also, old vintage stuff and textbooks.


Tyler Vinciguerra, section manager for Reference, wants you to check out the shelf of genealogy books she's featuring this month. For those that haven't heard of genealogy, it's the pursuit of family history. Why would you want to know this? Well, there tend to be several motivations behind the interest in knowing one's roots; including the desire to carve out a place for one's family in the larger historical picture, a sense of responsibility to preserve the past for future generations, and a sense of self-satisfaction in accurate storytelling. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members. The results are often displayed in charts or written as narratives. Look for books on genealogy, census records as well as the usual dictionaries and thesauruses in Reference this month.


Look for two book cases dedicated to Philosophy this month. Aisle 12, as usual, focuses on books by or about specific philosophers, although it also has many very interesting books on the general topic. This month you will find authors such as Hume (5), and Emerson (6), but also less frequent offerings such as Isaiah Berlin (3), Sissela Bok (both Lying and Secrets) and Plotinus's "The Enneads".

Special note: we have the three-volume hardback set of "The Essays of Michel de Montaigne", Heritage Press; ex libris and in very good condition. And, as a reminder continue to look for a several books dedicated to Chinese philosophy (11) on the bottom shelf and one on humor (8) on top shelf.

Philosophy's extra book case this month holds a special selection of philosophy books and book sets. Look for this book case on the main aisle as you come in the door, 3rd bookcase on your right. Section manager Nigel Jones writes this about this additional philosophy book case. "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. All books can be bought individually."


The spiritual quest takes on an added meaning in June as our in-house specialist is out of town. All three bookcases are filled to bursting with a broad variety of books on the topic but are they on the correct shelf? Probably not! You may be surprised by what you find where and we are sure you will be surprised by the range of high quality books on offer. Also, look for a huge number of Religion books in the Bargain Room!


As you may know FOPAL regularly takes in donated magazines. This month was no exception. Look for a large number of National Geographics, Popular Science, Pacific Horticulture, Playboy, Trailer Life, Popular Science, Wild Earth, The World of Interiors and Home Mechanix, and a smaller number of these periodicals: Knitters, Fiber Arts and Pottery Making. Most of these sell for 25 cents with a few exceptions. If you are looking for the best pick of this ephemera come early (8am Saturday) and help Althea put out the Ephemera carts.

Also look for greeting cards on their well-organized cart. Marda Buchholz writes, "In cards this month we have graduation and father's day cards in addition to our regular assortment of cards."

New Look for Fiction, Historical Fiction and CDs

Furniture donated from the Main Library was moved over to the FOPAL Main Room this past month! When you are here next be sure to check out this display furniture in Fiction, Historical Fiction and CDs sections.

Thank you to Althea Anderson, Marian Knox and John Scheibe for their input and extra work to accommodate these new to FOPAL fixtures. Also, thank you to Nancy Cohen and Tyler Vinciguerra for helping move boxes, books, CDs.... Together we shifted a mini mountain of stuff to allow the new furniture. Additional thanks to Senior Librarian Rose Sebastian for helping facilitate this donation and to Shahzia Khan for managing the move from Main Library to FOPAL.

Section Managers "Representing Their Books"

Historical Fiction

"Historical Fiction has received a very large collection of C.S. Forester's historical adventure sea stories. Most are vintage paperbacks with wonderful covers to entice the reader. We also have smaller collections of Bernard Cornwall and Conn Iggulden's historical adventures. These three authors are all located on our new shelves which give us room to display more books." -Suzanne Little


"The Health section features a large collection of books by OLIVER SACKS, a renowned neurologist who writes for us all. His vivid descriptions of normal and abnormal brain, mind and body functions link pure science with art, music, history and an enormous sense of humanity. Many of his books have been made into hit movies: among them Awakenings (starring Robin Williams), The Music Never Stopped, At First Sight and, perhaps his most popular, The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat. We have several of his less well known, but equally enchanting, titles." -Verne & Ed Rice


"If you have an interest in the history of recorded music, there are two books of interest - The Guinness Book of Recorded Sound, The story of recordings from the wax cylinder to the laser disc and A Voice in Time, The Gramophone of Fred Gaisberg 1873-1952.

Love the piano and piano music? Look for The Lives of the Piano, A Consideration, A History, and A Genealogy of Pianos and Their Friends. Another book Men, Women, and Pianos, A Social History looks at how the piano served as a sign of 19th middle class prosperity as well as a way to teach music to the young.

If you like opera and want to better understand how singers bring drama and emotion to their art, look for Callas at Juilliard, The Master Classes.

The Tabulated Biographical History of Music by Oscar Thompson is an interesting book from the way it is constructed. It consists of 13 plates most of which fold out to show timelines of various periods in musical history. This book from 1936 is an artifact from a time when everything wasn't easily found on the internet.

Why is music even important? Read Daniel Levitin's The World in Six Songs, How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature.

If you want to play more music, look through our sheet music collection." -Charlotte Epstein

Home & Craft

"If there is a bathroom or kitchen remodel in your future, get thee to the feature of the month in the home and craft section for fabulous ideas on what you can accomplish.

"The 3rd international book arts show will be this weekend in E6. This is a chance to see other kinds of books made by artists from around the world." -Nancy Welch

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.
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 Library (limit of one bag or box per day, please). 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.
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