Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday May 12
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Home & Craft
Psychology / Self-help
Comic Books


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 Memorial Day Holiday
All libraries will be closed Sunday and Monday, May 26 and 27, for the Memorial Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, May 28.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
Book Group Chooses Next Year of Reading

The Friends of the Palo Alto Library book group have chosen their reading list for the coming year. The group meets from 7:30 to 9 pm on the second Thursday of every month at the Lucie Stern Community Center Fireside Room at 1305 Middlefield Road.

The first meeting for the year is on May 9 (before the sale!) and the book to be discussed is The Virgin Suicides by J. Eugenides. Second meeting is on June 13 and the book to be discussed is The Family Fang by K. Wilson. Further meetings and titles are given on the book group's site at:

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 Book Room - A bouquet of books for Mother's Day - Sunday May 12th

Our moms are often the first people to teach us how to read, our first "librarians". That's why FOPAL loves moms and we love celebrating all of the wonderful moms in our lives on Mother's Day. Every year, millions of us purchase a bouquet of flowers to honor the mothers in our lives. This year, why not celebrate her with a bouquet of books? Stop by the "Parents Corner' in the Children's Book Room to see a display of books all about Mother and create your own bouquet.

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

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 a special sale. And, in the early summer month of June we will be prepared to offer these books to our loyal customers. The Children's Vintage Book Sale will be Saturday June 8th, 12-3pm. If you are there between 12-1:30pm and have any questions, book expert and FOPAL Board member Gerry Masteller will be available to assist.

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.

Hidden Treasure at FOPAL

During our section manager and sorter training one of the subjects we cover is called Looking at books. "Before pricing, we suggest looking to see, is the book signed, and is the book a first edition? Thumb through the book to judge its condition. You also will be amazed at what you find in books." This was just the case for two unassuming books donated in mid-April. These specially designed books had secret compartments and were found to contain treasures. We imagine the donors were unaware of the contents of the book and we have waiting to hear from someone that can identify the valuables we found. If you donated books last month and are wondering where some of your family heirlooms are? Please let us know. To date we've not received any inquires. We'll continue to hold this donation under lock and key for several months to see if someone comes forward that can identify the books content. If no owner can be found, then we'll look for a buyer for these non-book items. If you can identify in detail this hidden treasure please contact Janette Herceg at 650-494-1266.

Section Managers "Representing Their Books"

Home & Craft-

"The warm weather means you can work in the garage so this is the perfect time to get all your woodworking projects underway and finished for summer. Home and Craft's Feature of the Month is two shelves of books on Woodworking. Many are ex library, so are bargain priced. Don't miss this opportunity." -Nancy Welch


"Catch Sport Fishing, find 'reel' books on tackle, gear, baits and poles; books describing rivers and ponds in the West and around the world. See the wall shelves as you enter the Main Sale Room and on shelves in Sports. Books about fish varieties in Nature & Animals" -Althea Andersen


The Religion section had an influx of recent titles this month, a number of which pertain to the life of Jesus. Scripture and spirituality and other Christianity subjects are included. Look both in the Main room and the Bargain rooms for a wide selection. -Nancy Cohen


When FOPAL moved into the Cubberley Community Center, Bonnie & Bill Chandler found a volunteer opportunity close to home. Since then these two had dedicated themselves to managing the extensive Psychology/Self-help section. Recently Bonnie retired, but Bill (now 93) continues to come in daily to price and shelving books. With training from Bonnie, I've been helping Bill as a co-section manager for the past few months. I now see first-hand what a huge commitment these two took on! We want to extend a big THANK YOU to this couple for their continued support of FOPAL and the Palo Alto Community!

Also, in Psychology/Self-help you'll find an entire new selection of books. While the number is probably getting larger as I type... at last count Psychology/Self-help received 45+ boxes of books, mostly from individual donations but some are ex-library. Look for recent Psychology textbooks as well as oldies but goodies by Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. For self-help we have books by all the popular authors, John Gray, John Bradshaw, Caroline M. Myss and Louise L. Hays just to name a few. -Janette Herceg


Last week two of our "pick up" donation volunteers, Tom Clark and John Burt, helped clear out an old Spanish style home/estate in Los Altos. Tom estimated this home once helped irrigate a large numbers of orchards, by the looks of the 4 store tall water tower on the property. FOPAL was invited to pick up the left-overs from a recent estate sale and we stumbled upon a collection of books that aren't for reading. Books banks, book biscuit tins, book bookends, book boxes, book salt & pepper shaker and book flasks, these "book related" items can all be found in the Ephemera sale area.

Also in Ephemera-

Oodles of Bronze Age and Copper Age comic books were donated last month. These 1970s and 1980s comic books will be priced at 25 cents each or five for a dollar. After a conversation with Lee's Comics these are worth at least double. -Janette Herceg

Also in Ephemera-

This month in Greeting Cards there are still some Mother's Day cards plus Father's Day cards (June) and Graduation cards in addition to the regular assortment of cards for sale. -Marda Buchholz

Health & Medicine-

"Last month's Asian Medicine collection (in the Health section) sold very well, but guess what? We've gotten more great books; it's now bigger than ever. We have exciting volumes, old and new, about tai chi and other "martial arts" (which actually promote calm, balance and well-being, rather than aggression.) Also: Zen, other eastern medical philosophies and herbal medicine, macrobiotics, acupuncture and acupressure, ancient oriental diagnosis and treatment. Learn all you ever wanted to know about Moxibustion, a traditional Chinese remedy often accompanying acupuncture for arthritis, back pain, menstrual cramps and many other ailments." -Verne Rice


What do Plato, Socrates, Wittgenstein and Heidegger have in common? Besides that, well they are all subjects of recently written humorous books. Find them at the right of the top shelf with those other greats, Bilbo Baggins and Homer Simpson.

Books of the month:
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1967, editor - Paul Edwards, Macmillan Company, in 8 volumes. This is the seminal text of the period in the extended 8 volumes as opposed to the later condensed four volumes. Although ex libris, and other than toning due to age, they appear practically unused. Sold as a set and found on the bottom shelf.

Voltaire Philosophical Dictionary, translated by Peter Gay, 1962, first edition; 661 pages in 2 volumes, hardcover in slipcase, as issued; very fine condition

Karl Popper [Routledge Classics]
Conjectures and Refutations
The Growth of Scientific Knowledge

The Chinese section grows each month with 12 books in June. Found in a separate area on the bottom shelf.

Bargain books - don't forget to look for more options in the Bargain Room. -Nigel Jones


"If you enjoy music and history then you might want to look at a few books that combine these subjects. We have The Ninth: Beethoven and the World in 1824 and Schubert's Vienna. For history in the rock world see Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd by Nick Mason, the only continuous member of the band in its more than 40 year history.

"Look at Generation Ecstasy: Into the World of Techno and Rave Culture for a history of the phenomenon spelled out in the title. Read a memoir combining Paris and pianos in The Piano Shop on the Left Bank: Discovering a Forgotten Passion in a Paris Atelier. My selection for the most unusual book this month is Didgeridoo: Ritual Origins and Playing Techniques. In the Better Books section you can find The Grateful Dead and Philosophy: Getting High Minded about Love and Haight and Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician. As usual we also have dance books, books on learning about music, and stories of the operas. See also our selection of sheet music." -Charlotte Epstein

FOPAL- We're at the Downtown Library

"Between our monthly sales, you can always find a wide selection of books at our kiosk at the Downtown Library. As of May 6, the Downtown Library will be open until 8 pm on Monday and Thursday. So downtown hours are now Monday and Thursday from Noon to 8 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm; Sundays closed. Books cost $1 in hardcover, 50 cents in paperback, and shelves are stocked twice a week. You can find all Palo Alto Library hours at" -Marian Knox

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 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.
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.