Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday September 14
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday September 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Music & Dance


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 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 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.

September Sale Notes

The end of summer is normally a strong month for us in terms of donation volume and this year was no exception.... Thanks to a huge donation of books on Religion look for full shelves again in the Main Room and Bargain Room. There is material on all facets of religion and spirituality.... Our Home & Crafts manager reports a nice selection of books on woodworking, pottery and ceramics this month.... Business and Humor sections have a higher than normal volume of books.... Still more Music CDs to choose from as we continue to work through the backlog.... The Music & Dance section manager has done a terrific write up for you this month, sighting many examples of what's special in this section for September. The Children's Room has also been blessed with a large volume of donations and will have dozens of rare and collectable books offered for September, reasonably priced by the Children's room LOOK-UP gang. And, look for our new Tween writer/contributor recommending books available in the Children's Room for the September sale! Arushi Sahai's first article is a terrific one entitled, Tween recommendations by Arushi, below.

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.

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 All proceeds from book sales benefit the Palo Alto Libraries.

Section Managers representing their sections


Thanks to a very generous donation from a local business, we are able to offer brand new, never read copies of Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman for the low price of $5.00 a copy. These are first edition hardbound editions of the major New York Times best seller from 2011. Kahenman delves deeply into how the brain works by one of the most psychologists in the country offering new perspectives on decision making, intuition, and cognitive biases. Written for the layperson, Thinking Fast and Slow is a great read and will change the way you think about thinking. -Jerry Stone


"We are having too much fun again this month in Humor with books spilling out in all directions.

Top shelves: Where you will find newest most recent books and four books on the Marx Brothers.

Of special note: Two books by Flann O'Brien - At Swim Two Birds (a favorite of James Joyce and Jorge Luis Borges) and Best of Myles (an O'Brien pseudonym).
We have a very broad selection of books this month, all the way from Benchley (5), Keillor (8), Brombeck (6) to White (7).

Bottom Left Shelf: home to Barry (14), Sedaris (6) and Thurber (12).

Cartoons - left of the bottom left shelf...99% of cartoons fill the lower left shelf - with 1% - New Yorker hardbacks on the top right.

Onions- 12 volumes of The Onion can be found over in the Bargain Room (H2) - we ran out of room for them!" -Nigel Jones


Philosophy has expanded to two bookcases, each with a different focus but unfortunately not side by side.

Main Room, 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. Noteworthy this month: Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith (2 volumes), Arlington House Essays, Emerson (in slipcase) Library of Congress.

This month we have the largest selection ever either by or about Thoreau - 13 books in all. Also, we have 10 books relating to Chinese philosophy, located on the bottom right shelf.

Main Room, Bookcase #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, single volumes from sets, histories of philosophy or specific groups of philosophers or schools of thought.

Noteworthy this month: Treasury of Philosophy, 2 vols, Dagobet Runes & Defense of Wonder, Raymond Tallis. First time this year: Books by leading philosophers, Being and Event, Alain, Badiou, and two from Robert Audi.

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

Music & Dance

Some of this month's new selections in the Music and Dance section --

The 500 Greatest Albums of All Times by the Editors of Rolling Stone
From the Beatles Sgt. Peppers to Nirvana's Never mind, Ray Charles The Birth of Soul to the White Stripes Elephant, this book is packed with classics. Behind-the-scenes stories of the making of these albums are included, as well as rare photos of legendary recording studios including Abbey Road and Muscle Shoals.

The Jim Morrison Scrapbook
The Jim Morrison Scrapbook captures the wild life, mysterious death, and enduring work of the Doors' legendary leader.

The Complete Lyrics of Cole Porter (1984)
From "Begin the Beguine" to "It's Delovely" to "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" and "I Get a Kick Out of You", here are the complete lyrics to the much-loved songs of Cole Porter--800 songs meant to be hummed, sung, danced to, and remembered.

Carmen by Davide Pizzigoni.
The artist Davide Pizzigoni has created a stage for the imagination with vivid illustrations that capture the exotic spirit of the Spanish setting for this well-known opera.

Dark Midnight When I Rise: The Story of the Fisk Jubilee Singers
The Fisk Jubilee Singers was a troupe of young ex-slaves and freedmen who ended up changing the face of American music. Despite their venues of small-town churches and train stations, and the hardships of poverty and racism, the Jubilee Singers eventually became a popular vocal group whose admirers included Ulysses S. Grant and Queen Victoria.

Rollin' and Tumblin': The Postwar Blues Guitarists. This is a comprehensive study of the pioneers of electric blues guitar - including the great Chicago, Mississippi Delta, Louisiana, Texas and West Coast bluesmen.

Conversations with Glenn Gould by Jonathan Cott. One of the most idiosyncratic and charismatic musicians of the twentieth century, pianist Glenn Gould (1932-82) slouched at the piano from a sawed-down wooden stool, interpreting Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart at hastened tempos with pristine clarity. Cott spoke with Gould in 1974 for Rolling Stone and published the transcripts in two long articles; after Gould's death, Cott gathered these interviews in Conversations with Glenn Gould, adding an introduction, a selection of photographs, a list of Gould's recorded repertoire, a filmography, and a listing of Gould's programs on radio and TV.

The Concerto by Michael Steinberg
Steinberg discusses over 120 works, ranging from Johann Sebastian Bach in the 1720s to John Adams in 1994. Readers will find here the heart of the standard repertory, among them Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, eighteen of Mozart's piano concertos, all the concertos of Beethoven and Brahms, and major works by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Liszt, Bruch, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Elgar, Sibelius, Strauss, and Rachmaninoff.

Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
From a desperately poor village in northeast China, at age eleven, Li Cunxin was chosen by Madame Mao's cultural delegates to be taken from his rural home and brought to Beijing, where he would study ballet. He eventually defected to the United States where he became one of the great dancers of the world.

Also remember that we have a selection of sheet music for many instruments and a variety of song books. -Charlotte Epstein

Home & Crafts

Home & Crafts has a marvelous selection of Woodworking books (two full shelves worth) and an overflowing shelf of Pottery/Ceramic books. Isn't fall the perfect time to dust off the saws and fire up the kiln? -Nancy Welch

Music CDs

"Check out the CD section. Over 1,500 CDs including Classical, Rock, Rock Compilations, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Classic 60's Rock, TV/Movie/Broadway Soundtracks, International Groups, Easy Listening Favorites, Country/Western/Bluegrass, Folk, New Age and Celtic categories" -John Scheibe


Religion in Bargain Room, once again this month the Bargain Room is very full of all types of religion books. Go get the bargains. -Nancy Cohen

Cards & Bookmarks

This month in cards there is a large collection of packaged blank cards and invitations in addition to the regular single cards for sale. Don't forget to check out the bookmarks as well. -Marda Buchholz


"We have a lot of new books in the Health Section this month. The Asian Medicine and Yoga shelf is bursting at the seams." -Verne Rice

Children's Room new Tween recommendations

Welcome our newest contributor to the FOPAL monthly newsletter, National Charity Leagues member Arushi Sahai. Arushi is a 12 year old attending Girls Middle School; she loves books, volunteering, and has a passion for writing and sharing her favorite titles available for our September Sale. Please take the time to read and then share Arushi's recommendations with your Tweens. If you are interested in a book recommendation during or September Sale look for Arushi volunteering Sunday 11am in the Children's Room. Thanks Arushi and congratulations on your first submission to the FOPAL monthly sale newsletter!

Tween recommendations by Arushi:

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham is about a boy named Theo, who practically spends more time at the courthouse than at home. Well, not really, but he wishes he could. Though only 13, Theodore dreams of being a great trial lawyer or judge when he grows up. He's already on the right track, because he knows so much about law that his classmates ask him for advice on legal affairs. The story gets really suspenseful when Theo finds himself applying his knowledge much sooner than expected.

A citizen of Theo's town of Strattenburg has been charged with committing murder. An unexpected person brings Theo news about an even more unlikely witness, and Theo suddenly finds himself in the middle of the biggest crime his town has seen in years--and in a huge dilemma. A large number of people on both ends of the legal spectrum would be affected if Theo doesn't succeed. While the jury is leaning towards announcing that the cold-blooded murderer is innocent, all of Theo's evidence points in another direction. The most ironic part of Theo's fate is that he must make a sacrifice in order to see justice served. How can Theodore Boone, only a 13-year-old boy, make sure the right person is convicted without having to make an extremely difficult and personal decision?

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery depicts a spunky redheaded orphan who finds herself shipped off to the beautiful and heavenly Prince Edward Island in Canada. Anne Shirley is an imaginative girl who has burst upon Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert instead of the boy they were expecting to help Matthew with the farm work. Despite a rough start to their relationship, Anne slowly becomes part of the Cuthberts, and life without her is unthinkable. Full of spirit, Anne has to learn to control her temper and live with her ugly red hair--only two of Anne's tremendous list of problems.

I know what you're thinking. Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908. Why should I read a book more than 100 years old? Here's the reason: the story is poignant and funny at the same time. For instance, Anne loses the friendship of her best friend in an unfortunate incident, but gains it back in a truly heart-warming manner. Another time, she accidentally jumps on top of a cranky old lady when she is racing her friend to the bed. See what I mean? Anne Shirley has a real knack for trouble, but I guess that's what makes her such a lovable character, whose story has left me laughing my head off plenty of times.

Flush by Carl Hiaasen is a funny book about a boy named Noah, whose dad is in jail for sinking the Coral Queen, a gambling boat. Noah's dad claims that the boat is dumping sewage from the gambling nights into Florida's waters, turning the ocean into a "toilet bowl," as Carl Hiaasen says. All Noah wants to do is clear his dad's name, so he sets out on a near-impossible mission to find evidence of the Coral Queen's illegal dumping act. His younger sister, Abbey, is a known childhood biter, and she assists him in keeping their mother from divorcing their father. In addition to that, the pair meet Lice Peeking, an ex-mate of the Coral Queen, and he shares a few secrets, but for a hard bargain. Shelly, a bartender aboard the Coral Queen, helps them with the craziest and most dangerous plan they could come up with...and it has a pretty big chance of failing.

Noah is super busy proving his dad's claim and trying to keep a few bullies off his back. But he has strange and sinister help with that problem, too. An old guy with a gold coin hanging from a chain around his neck shows up and puts the bullies in their place, but that doesn't last very long. Who is he? And, what's the story with Shelly? All these curious thoughts are running through his head when Noah's team attempts their craziest feat yet. Will they succeed in flushing the evidence right into the ocean for the whole world to see? -Arushi Sahai

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.

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