USED BOOK SALES
Saturday August 9
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Room H1 10am - 4pm SATURDAY ONLY
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm
Sunday August 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm
FEATURED IN AUGUST
4000 Middlefield Road
NE corner of the Cubberley Community Center
Maps and Directions
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 is located in 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 green FOPAL reusable bags
from us for $2/ea (or bring your own grocery-size reusable bag) and
stuffing them with any items in the room for $5/bag. Fill four bags
at $5/bag and fill a fifth bag FREE! (We no longer receive sufficient
used paper grocery bags along with donations for this purpose.)
Library Closings for Labor Day Holiday
All libraries will be closed on Sunday, August 31, and Monday,
September 1, for the Labor Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on
Tuesday, September 2.
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 email@example.com 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 2014
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL"
-Marty Paddock, 2004.
This is still true in 2014! 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 Main Room book sale customers are likely to see some
books priced higher than the Bargain Room prices of $1 for a hardback
and 50 cents for a paperback. A suggested pricing guideline for
pricing book using internet research is one-third to one-half 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 higher
prices, but are still a great deal to our "collecting and reader"
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 $40.00. 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 monthly sale, please drop by the Friends
Kiosk located in the Downtown library during library hours. Books
are priced $2 for hardbacks and $1 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.
A Reminder about the 12-Book Limit
Most people who come to our sales early on Saturday are enthusiastic,
cooperative, and they appreciate the reasons for our 12-book limit,
which is in force only until the Sale Manager announces that the
limit is lifted. This usually happens around noon; earlier when all
who are in line have been admitted, and when the Fire Department's
occupancy limit is no longer a problem.
Shoppers may not bring in more than one bag per customer, or any
oversize bags. Standard grocery-sized bags are okay - and of course
we encourage the use of our highly visible flashy green FOPAL bags,
for sale outside the entry ramp. Please remember that boxes and
large backpacks are a safety hazard, and we cannot allow them when
the book room is crowded.
We will remove shoppers from the sale if the they refuse to limit
the number of books in their possession to 12. A reminder: as
always, customers are welcome to choose 12 books, pay for them,
exit Marty's room and re-enter as many times as they wish, honoring
the waiting line if it is still in existence.
Our goal is to make our book sales as pleasant and rewarding as
possible, for as many customers as possible. We are grateful for
the support of most of our shoppers for shopping according to our
rules. We ask for the commitment of our "business clients" in
considering the rights of all of our customers and observing our
rules. -FOPAL Book Sale Committee
We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our
book sale. Please email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.
Super Special Saturday Sale in Room H1 August 9th, 10am-4pm
Stop by Cubberley Room H1 this Saturday to check out the selection of
Bargain Room books that were too much to fit on the shelves in H2!
FOPAL received a large donation of children's books from a local
elementary school library this summer so...the overflow is being
offered this Saturday only in Room H1. The children's books in Room
H1 will be sold for 25 cents each or five for $1.
It's the help of volunteers that gets this done. FOPAL's Assistant
Treasurer Camille Sorrant and Stanford Sophomore Nathan Butler
(member of the Stanford Wrestling team) have been putting in some
hard work sorting this BIG KIDS BOOK donation for the August sale.
FOPAL customers will reap the rewards of all their hard work
on Saturday. Look for Nathan and more of the Stanford Wresting team
(Josh Marchok & Peter Russo) to be cashiering for this special sale
In addition to these books we'll also be selling a donated collection
of Asimov's Science Fiction magazines from the first issue
in 1977 to somewhere in the 1990s. "Sci-fi in H1: Get your sense of
wonder on; we're blowing out 15 boxes of sci-fi magazines on Saturday!
Analog from 1976 to 1989, Asimov's from 1977 to 1990s,
F&SF throughout the 1980s, some issues missing, some
duplicates, 10 cents each or five for 25 cents!" -Frank McConnell
For those not familiar with Asimov's Science Fiction it is an
American science fiction magazine which publishes science fiction and
fantasy and perpetuates the name of author and biochemist Isaac
Asimov. And for FYI - Analog Science Fiction and Fact is an
American science fiction magazine. As of 2013, it is the longest
running continuously published magazine of that genre. It is in the
library of the International Space Station. Spanning three
incarnations since 1930, this is perhaps the most influential
magazine in the history of the genre. It remains a fixture of the
And a late addition to this room, 10-15 boxes of romance paperbacks.
We are hoping to blow these out for 25 cents each or five for $1
(same price as the children's books in Room H1).
Preview Our Shelves
Check out some of the thousands of books that will be on sale this
weekend using our
shelf preview photos.
Children's Book Room
Up until about June of this year the volunteers in the Children's
Room were concerned they didn't have enough donations and their
shelves seemed a bit empty. So as if all their wishes and wants were
heard by every mother within a 10 mile radius and they in unison
decreed "Kids, clean your rooms, gather all your gently used books
and let's bring them down to the Friends of the Palo Alto Library to
donate." Thankfully our cries were heard and now the Children's Room
is all full up. We have books in every area, parenting, classic board
games, puzzles, Klutz Books, teen reads, sci-fi, middle-grade
fiction, Early Chapter Books, Nancy Drew and more! Come early for the
best selection and enjoy the bounty of books.
Collectible Children Books Offered
FOPAL intern and recent Mills College library science graduate,
Charlotte Cutkosky has been busy listing oodles of FOPAL's stash of
high-value children's books. So, if you're looking for more
collectible children's books check out FOPAL on-line at
New Books or Nearly New Books - Historical Fiction & Politics
A recent donation included several boxes containing a new book,
West of Here, a novel by Jonathan Evison. "Set in the
fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington State's rugged Pacific
coast, West of Here is propelled by a story that both re-creates and
celebrates the American experience--it is storytelling on the
grandest scale. With one segment of the narrative focused on the
town's founders circa 1890, and another showing the lives of their
descendants in 2006, the novel develops as a kind of conversation
between two epochs, one rushing blindly toward the future and the
other struggling to undo the damage of the past."
(As seen at http://www.westofherethebook.com.)
Also, look for first editions of The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on
Reclaiming the American Dream, by Barack Obama. "While a Senate
candidate, Obama delivered the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic
Convention, entitled The Audacity of Hope that propelled him to
national prominence. In the less than twenty minutes it took to
deliver the speech, Obama was catapulted to sudden fame, with many
analysts predicting that he might be well positioned to enter a
future presidential race. In 2006, Obama released The Audacity of
Hope, a book-length account that expanded upon many of the same
themes he originally addressed in the convention speech." - Wikipedia
There's a special display of both of these books in the last set of
bookshelves near the check-out line. Both are being offered
for a mere $2 each.
Althea Andersen, FOPAL's Empress of Ephemera offers a bounty
of gems including: vintage magazines, sheet music, maps, office
supplies, pamphlets, stationary, small electronics, and photo frames,
most priced at 25 cents unless otherwise marked. This month Althea
received dozens of ceramic decorative items including, vases and
sculptures as well as other large ephemera treasures. You'll find
these available in inside in a special Ephemera area located on the
top of the book shelves in our Main Sale Room. A reminder, our
monthly sale begins at 8 AM with the outside Ephemera sale. If you
are here early this Saturday you can help Althea move the ephemera
sale carts outside including at least two carts of framed art!
German Language Books
Can you read German? If yes, then for this month again have we got a
special for you! One "specials" bay has been dedicated to a large
donation of books in German. European Language section
manager Susan Strain mentioned that we have received enough books to
feature this special for July as well as August. Look for these books
in the first bay to your right as you enter the main room, labeled
"Deutsch Sonderteil - German Special".
Postcards - All Together Now
Look for Postcards back in their usual spot across from the
cashiers' table. Most of our postcards are all "like new" with no
written messages and are carefully arranged by longtime volunteer
Rommel Struckus. Rommel is also a retired NASA employee as well as
expert about picture postcards featuring early 20th century travel,
early aviation and steam trains, La Grand Hotels, real photos,
space, and the Cold War-era US Air Force.
Section Managers Representing Their Sections
The Path from War to Peace
"In August we continue our special sale focusing on the topics of
war, peace and terrorism, and how such practices as conflict
resolution, mediation, negotiation, diplomacy and reconciliation,
when combined with forgiveness, human rights and justice can move
nations and individuals from open conflict to mutual respect and
peace. Titles of new additions include: Rebel Hearts, Dilemmas of
Trust, Crying in the Wilderness, and Friends and Enemies."
Gardening for August
"For those of you homeowners who are trying to figure out how to
conserve water in your garden without ending up with a barren
wasteland, the Gardening section has just the books for you! In our
Waterside/CA/Dry subsection (on the far right/middle shelf) we've got
such titles as Xeriscape Gardening, Beyond the Lawn, Ornamental
Grasses, and Growing California Native Plants. We also have many
books on cultivating wildflowers and several books on "hardscaping"
(i.e. using stone and paving). And don't forget, herbs are also
drought-tolerant, and in our Herbs subsection, we have many
fascinating books about growing herbs and designing herb gardens."
SALE in INDIVIDUAL GREETING CARDS This Month
"OUTSIDE the main room on the card cart are individual greeting cards
priced at 5 cards for 50 cents. Also, on the cart are bookmarks,
stationery, packages of ROSH HASHANAH cards and THANK YOU cards.
INSIDE the main room, across from the cashiers and below postcards
are packages of blank greeting cards." -Marda Buchholz
Philosophy for August 2014
"The two Philosophy bookcases are arranged so that the left one is
primarily about specific philosophers, their works, and commentaries
on their works, whereas the right is more to do with philosophical
topics, historical overviews and schools of thought.
All recent arrivals are in the right bookcase on the top 2 shelves.
New arrivals include: Utopias and Utopian Thought by Manuel, Sophie's
World by Gaarder, Prejudices by Nisbet, Semantics by Wettstein, True
Success by Morris, Courage by Servan-Schreiber and, a biography of
Emerson by Allen." -Nigel Jones
History's Shelves Are Packed Again!
"We're having a mini-special on Ireland and have included Historical
Fiction along with History in case you're interested in
reading about Ireland but would like a lighter approach. Look for
this special on the top shelf of Sets. We also have multiple copies
of a very nice new book, Gandhi, the Man, which includes 70
photographs. It is in the Sets subsection as is the most recent
edition of the complete set of The History of Civilization by Will
and Ariel Durant." -Suzanne Little & K.C. Sarr
"England is bursting at the seams! In fact, I've pushed Ireland over
to History this month to make more room for books about England. If
you haven't read Hilary Mantel's last two books, each one a winner
of the Booker Prize, there are multiple copies of each of them. There
is also an unusual selection of sets this month. I can almost
guarantee that if you read the first book in the series you'll be
happy that you don't have to search for the next book as you will
have enjoyed the first book in the series so much. The center section
of Historical Fiction also has several other specials this month
and the 'wall' shelves have many books that we have not had before
or only occasionally." -Suzanne Little
Humor for August
"It looks like August is British Humor Month.\240Recent arrivals
include: three books by Monty Python, 7 books by P. G. Wodehouse,
a compilation from Frank Muir, a J. B. Priestley anthology, a Harry
Secombe memoir and, a Spike Milligan memoir, scripts from Gavin and
Stacey and Fawlty Towers. In cartoons we have several excellent
collections from the New Yorker. As usual we have a diverse selection
of humor, from presidents to pets and from Dave Barry to Robert
Benchley to Andy Rooney to W. C. Fields. Also worthy of note, take a
look at American Comic Anthology 2007. You will find many more
Humor books, in particular a great selection of cartoons, over in
the Bargain Room." -Nigel Jones
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.