USED BOOK SALES
Saturday October 12
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm
Sunday October 13
All Rooms 11am - 4pm
FEATURED IN OCTOBER
Fall & Winter Holidays
Home & Crafts
4000 Middlefield Road
NE corner of the Cubberley Community Center
More information on the sales
Donate your old books
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO HELP PALO ALTO LIBRARIES
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
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
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
50 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 Columbus Day Holiday
All libraries will be closed Sunday, October 13 and Monday,
October 14 for the Columbus Day holiday. Normal hours will resume
on Tuesday, October 15.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
True in 2004 and still true in 2013
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL"
-Marty Paddock, 2004.
This is still true in 2013! It's because of this truth that FOPAL
continues encouraging checking the value of uncommon books on the
internet so that they can be given a price which is fair to our
customers and high enough to ensure the Friends are maximizing
their sales revenue.
This is why our book sale customers are likely to see some books
priced higher than $1 for a hardback and 50 cents for a paperback.
A suggested pricing guideline for pricing book using internet
research is one third of the on-line asking prices given the
criteria of publisher, date, edition, signed copy, condition, and
availability. So, if you see a book priced for $10 at a monthly
sale, chances are this book would sell on-line for at least $30.
That being said some books warrant a fifty percent or more fraction
of the on-line prices. These higher value/priced books are still a
great deal to our "collecting and reader" customers.
One of FOPAL's challenges is to recognize those books that might be
even more out-of-ordinary and of unusually high value say...where
the Internet price is over $100.00. Now once these books have been
identified, FOPAL then looks for other markets for them where they
can be sold at prices well above what we might price and sell them
for our monthly sale. FOPAL not only sells at sells books at the
monthly sale but also at the Friends Kiosk (Downtown library) at
auction and on-line.
If you can't attend the September sale, please drop by the Friends
Kiosk located in the Downtown library during library hours. Books
are priced $1 for hardbacks and 50 cents for paperbacks. The Friends
Kiosk is restocked regularly with books for all interests. Or, shop
our on-line book store http://www.amazon.com/shops/grandmabetsybooks.
All proceeds from book sales benefit the Palo Alto Libraries.
Now browsing in that big book sale in the sky
Long-time FOPAL book sale customers and volunteers will be saddened
to learn of the recent death of Richard Herndon, who had five
warehouses full of books. Richard was a book sale customer for as
long as anyone can remember, from the days at Terman and possibly
earlier when the sale was occasionally held in the Main Library
and the Arts Center. It's unlikely that anyone has acquired more
books from our sales than he did.
Dr. Richard Herndon was a real estate investor, owning properties
in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, and possibly elsewhere. He earned a
PhD. in English from Stanford in 1957, but apparently never taught
there. As no official announcements have been published in local
papers, little biographical information about him is available,
presumably as per his wishes.
Richard was true book aficionado, more obsessive and passionate
that most, but was always unpretentious and easy to talk to. He
will be missed.
This notice is not authorized by the family and the information
contained herein is from personal knowledge and public sources.
The ultimate fate of Richard's books, probably numbering over
one million, is uncertain at this time. -John Burt
We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our
book sale. Please email us at
email@example.com or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.
October Sale Notes
Donation volume has been steady, and we want to send out a big thank
you to all who have donated material for our sales. Many sections
still have quite a backlog and we expect to have strong sales all
through the winter months.... Speaking of which, you'll find Fall
and Winter Holiday books, music, and more in the bookcases just
outside the sorting/donation room (opposite Travel). We will
restock this area with new material through December. Framed Art
has a larger than usual selection of painting, prints, and
posters, much of it from a huge estate donation.... Home and
Crafts features Pottery and Paper Dolls this month.... After several
plentiful months, the Music CDs section again has a lot of new
material.... A large donation of Cookbooks came in this month, many
made the shelves but don't forget to check the Bargain Room and Tent
Sale for great cookbooks priced at $1.00 or less. These are just a
few highlights; all of the shelves are full!
Preview Our Shelves
Check out some of the thousands of books that will be on sale this
weekend using our
shelf preview pictures.
Sections on the move for October
To accommodate dynamic nature of our generously donated books, changes
were made to the location of a few sections. Look for New Age next to
Spirituality & Eastern Religion on isle #12. And, you'll now find
Philosophy occupying two bays next to the Fall and Winter
Holiday books. (Just outside the sorting/donation room, opposite
Travel.) Look for an updated floor map created by longtime volunteer
Scottie Zimmerman. Thanks Scottie!
Why the 12 Book Limit? A Saturday Morning Scenario
You get to the Book Sale about 11:30 a.m. and drive around to find a
place to park. Miraculously, someone's just pulling out. You join the
small line of people waiting at the ramp; last night in the pre-sale
newsletter, you spotted a book you've been wanting for years and you
hope it's still there. The line moves quickly; a few people leave the
sale and take their purchases to their cars. They come back and join
the line again. Pretty soon you're in and you head to the History
section, (or Crafts or Sports, or Cooking...)
Oops! There's someone (who we'll call Pat, just to keep the gender
out of it) sitting on the floor with an almost overflowing bag of
books nearby and a few more stacked up, leisurely browsing through
them. Pat's blocked access to the shelf and may be using a hand-held
scanner to look up prices. Some customers leave, disgruntled. Over
the aisle blocker's shoulder you spot the book you're dying to have
-- but wait! Pat reaches out and snatches your book, stashing it in
"Please excuse me," you say, "but I was looking for that book." Pat
ignores you, and then says "I'm just looking to see which of these
I want to buy" and continues to check prices.
Has this ever happened to you? Infuriating, isn't it? And, just
perhaps, some people may recognize themselves (even though they
aren't called Pat).
We at FOPAL want to make our book sales friendly and rewarding for
all who attend; your purchases add up and enable us to contribute
many thousands of dollars annually to the Palo Alto Library. For
many years, we have asked our customers to be considerate of their
fellow shoppers, and to abide by our limit of 12 books per customer,
until the Sale Manager announces that the limit is lifted. This
usually happens less than an hour after the sale opens. We are most
anxious to allow everyone to have equal access to all of the books on
Please help us to do so, and free up our volunteers to help you find
what you're looking for. (It's no fun to have to remind Pat about our
- Please don't sit at all, or stand in front of a single bookcase for
a long time.
- Removing, hoarding or stashing books takes them out of circulation
for other shoppers.
- Our volunteers spend hours arranging books neatly, in their
sections. Please replace books where you found them.
We'll notify you (loudly, so all can hear) when it's okay to have
more than 12 books in your possession. Helpful volunteers will be
very grateful not to have to remind shoppers who aren't willing to
do their part.
Yours for easier and even happier FOPAL shopping experiences!
Section Managers representing their sections
Home & Crafts
"What do Pottery and Paper Dolls have in common? They both begin
with P and they are both the feature of the month in the Home and
Crafts section for October--nothing spooky here." -Nancy Welch
"Look for a special end cap bay of books by celebrity chefs; all are
of gift giving quality. Authors/chefs include... Jamie Oliver,
Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and Ina Garten" -Rose Giamalis
"Over 1,600 CDs for sale including over 500 Rock/Rock Compilations,
over 200 Classical, over 200 Christmas (get them now), over 100 Jazz,
Easy Listening and Movie/Broadway Soundtracks; other sections
include 60s Classic Rock, Rhythm and Blues, Celtic, Country/Western,
New Age and Comedy." -John Scheibe
Philosophers and Philosophy Meet!
The Philosophy section is now in the main aisle in two adjacent
bookcases with each bookcase having a slightly different focus.
Left Bookcase #1- This bookcase focuses on books by or about
specific philosophers. Many of the old favorites are here again
this month such as Aristotle (12), Dewey (8), Plato (17),
Thoreau (10), and for the first time Gramsci (3).
Noteworthy this month: Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith, 2 vols,
Arlington House. Paul Johnson: Socrates. Bruce Duffy: Wittgenstein.
Bertrand Russell: Autobiography, 2 Vols. (1872 - 1944)\240Also, we have
seven books relating to Chinese philosophy, located on the bottom
Right Bookcase- 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.
Noteworthy this month: Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers: Correspondence.
Kwame Anthony Appiah: Cosmopolitanism. Tina Stevens: Bioethic.
Treasury of Philosophy, 2 vols., Dagobet Runes. Paul Ricoeur:
Memory, History, Forgetting.
Bargain Room- for all the philosophy books that have been well
traveled don't forget to visit the Bargain Room. -Nigel Jones
Health and Medicine
"Take a trip around the world with three authors as they travel to
remote area investigating new medicines, health secrets and traditional
diets. Learn about a form of yoga that was kept secret for 5000 years!
Kundalini Yoga is considered one of the most powerful forms of yoga
appropriate for all ages and ability levels.
Learn more about Parkinson's disease and don't forget to check out
our new "food safety" section to read the latest books about on this
controversial subject. -Karen D.
Good news for fans of our Humor section -- we have twice as many
books as shelf space! In other words don't forget to go to the
Bargain Room (H2) and see a whole other collection of comedy of
every kind. Meanwhile in the Main Room some books are in a
certain order and these are surrounded by a general chaos that
seems to reflect the varieties of weird and wonderful books that
have showed up recently.
You will see areas dedicated to specific authors or topics, for
instance, Dave Barry (15), James Thurber (12), Wodehouse (3
including an excellent biography), Keillor (10). Topical areas
include Jewish humor, flatulence, and as a new category, animals
(not only cats and dogs, but squirrels, armadillos and
alligators--a grand total of 33 books!).
Top left shelf: Movie related (Marx Brothers, Harold Lloyd, Woody
Allen) and a wide variety of books by people on or now off TV
(from Tim Allen to Seinfeld to Stewart). On the left a full shelf
from the classic era from author Robert Benchley, up through the
40s, 50s and 60s.
Book of the month has to be The World of Edward Gorey, one of the
greats who took illustration to an art form; it's on top of the top
shelf and will go fast.
Cartoons: You will find high quality hard backs, such as The New
Yorker, on the top right shelf but for October 99% of cartoons will
be over in the Bargain Room, and 99% of them will be only 50 cents!
Finally, left of the bottom left, one more shelf donated by the DVD
folks, the resting place of about a dozen books by Garrison Keillor.
"Don't worry, be happy!" Dr. R. McFerrin. -Nigel Jones
There are some unusual items in the Dance section this month. We have
a small (12) collection of Pocket Edition Scottish Country Dance
booklets and about the same number of larger Scottish Country Dance
booklets published by the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society,
Edinburgh. The larger booklets have the music, description of the
dance, and a diagram of the dance. Each book in both collections is
The book with the most fascinating title this month is
I-VI: Method Structure Intention Discipline Notation Indeterminacy
by John Cage.
Here are some other new books new this month that have less
- The Complete Gilbert & Sullivan Librettos from All Fourteen
Operettas by Gilbert, William & W. S. Gilbert & Deems Taylor &
- Complete Course in Professional Piano Tuning, Repair, and Rebuilding
(Professional/technical series) by Floyd A.Stevens,
- Piano A Photographic History of the World's Most Celebrated
Instrument by David Crombie
- The Rolling Stone Record Review Volume II: The Authoritative Guide to
Contemporary Records by the editors of Rolling Stone
- Leonard Cohen: Hallelujah: A New Biography by Tim Footman
- Guitar Zero: The Science of Becoming Musical at Any Age by Gary Marcus
- Stardust-The Big Band Bible by Richard Grudens and Madeline Grudens
The Children's Room has been bestowed with a huge volume of donations
and will have dozens of books offered in different languages (more
Asian language books than usual) all reasonably priced by the
Children's Room volunteers, as well as shelves filled with teachers
guides and teaching material. And, look below for our new Tween
writer/contributor recommending books available in the Children's
Room for the October sale! Arushi Sahai's first article was a terrific
one and this one is super too! Thanks Arushi for your submission to
the October sales newsletter!
Tween recommendations by Arushi
The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White is just the sort of book
for children who love reading funny animal stories. It's about a
trumpeter swan named Louis, who is born mute. With the help of an
11-year-old boy, Sam Beaver, Louis learns how to read and write. Soon,
he can communicate with humans, but not with swans. After much
searching, Louis's father finds Louis a trumpet, and he can finally
talk to his own family and friends. With his new tools, Louis goes
out into the world to earn a living. E. B. White writes vividly
about being the only swan in a world of humans. Louis's adventures
take him everywhere from Canada to Montana to Boston to Philadelphia,
and more, where he often struggles to find jobs. The path is bumpy in
the beginning for Louis, but he soon finds where he belongs. The
Trumpet of the Swan is a heart-warming narrative about a
beautiful swan's bond with a human, and the many trials he faces in
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry is one of my favorite books in the
entire world--and I've read a lot of books. The reason I love this
book so much is because it's the story of a brave 10-year-old girl
named Annemarie Johansen in Copenhagen, Denmark, during World War
II in the early 1940s. Her friend Ellen Rosen is Jewish, and that's
very dangerous during the Nazi occupation of Europe because Adolf
Hitler, the Chancellor of Germany, wants to take away all the Jewish
people of Europe. This is a great introduction to World War II and
the Holocaust because it is from the point of view of a young Danish
girl who has to face so much fear, uncertainty, and even lies told
to her by her family, while they all are trying to save Ellen's
life. There are very few mentions of anything saddening in this
story, so it's alright for younger readers who are not yet ready
to understand the Holocaust. The protagonist, Annemarie, is glad
that she is just a normal citizen who doesn't have to be called
upon for courage and bravery, like the Danish soldiers. But in
Number the Stars, all that changes one dark and sorrowful night
when a vital part of a dangerous plan is missing, and Annemarie is
the only one who can fix it.
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson is the story of a boy
named Jesse, who loves to run. After losing a footrace at school to
the new, strange, and unexpected girl, Leslie, who doesn't even own a
TV, the two quickly become friends. Soon, Jesse takes Leslie into the
woods. Leslie shows Jesse how to imagine. That's just one of her many
talents, and Jesse and Leslie cross the small creek almost every day.
Together, the 5th graders build an imaginary kingdom they call
Terabithia. Leslie teaches Jesse to let go of his anger and
frustration with his family--just one small example of how Jesse's
whole life is transformed when he meets Leslie. His younger sister,
May Belle, is the only one of Jesse's siblings who doesn't annoy him
too much, but in time, Leslie's friendship shows him how to be a sort
of friend to her as well. Bridge to Terabithia also has a sad side,
though. I must warn you before you read this book that you must be
prepared for some unhappiness, but the overall lesson learned from
this tale of friendship and letting go is rewarding.