Friends of the Palo Alto Library Edjoo and Kate Visit our web site 

Saturday December 13
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 9am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday December 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm

4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto
NE corner of the Cubberley Community Center
(650) 213-8755

Maps and Directions
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.


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 and Openings for December and January
Mitchell Park Library is open!

All libraries will close at 6PM on Wednesday, December 24, and remain closed through Thursday, December 25 for the Christmas Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Friday, December 26.

All libraries will close at 6PM on Wednesday, December 31, and remain closed through Thursday, January 1 for the New Year's Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Friday, January 2.

Current expectations are that the Temporary Main Library will close in early January, and that Rinconada Library will have its Grand Opening in mid-February, with a soft opening prior to the Grand Opening (such as was done for Mitchell Park).

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
To the very generous people who donate books - and more - And to people who are thinking of doing so:

YOU ARE THE LIFELINE OF FOPAL and you have our unending thanks: we wouldn't exist without you! But we have a big favor to ask:
  • If possible, please hold large donations until after our Saturday and Sunday Sale Days.
  • Books brought in a day or two before the sale may not make it onto the shelves that month. (If you wish to see them on display, plan accordingly)
  • We're crowded. Please limit your Sale Day donations to a bag or two of books.
Right before and during the sale, our Sorting Room (where books arrive) is filled as high as it's safe to stack them. We don't have room to sort - let alone store new donations. We make these requests in the interest of efficiency and the safety of our loyal volunteers. We are anxious never to turn away donations and will work to accommodate your travel and schedules.

Regular donation times are Monday through Saturday, 2 to 4 pm. If these hours won't work for you, volunteers are often available at other times to welcome you; please call us at 650-213-8755 to be sure someone will be there.

We can also schedule local pick-ups if you are unable to bring your donation to the Main Book Room (Marty's Room). Call 650-308-4933 and leave a message for our pick-up team.

Your treasures are our treasures AND ALL BENEFIT THE PALO ALTO LIBRARY. AGAIN, OUR WARMEST THANKS TO YOU! -FOPAL Book Sale Committee
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.

Look for FOPAL high-value books on at competitive prices
Book Sales on line at:
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 4pm to 6pm. 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.

Members Early Sale Saturday December 13th

The bi-annual Members-Early Sale is scheduled for this Saturday December 13th! If you're a member of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, you'll be able to get in early to the Main Room at the December 13th sale! Life Members are allowed to enter the sale at 9am and can purchase up to 50 books. Members at all other levels can enter the sale at 10am and purchase the normal 12 books at a time. Enjoy a less crowded main book room and get first crack at our wonderful collection of materials.

And, for members a special treat, artisan roasted coffee will be offered again by long-time volunteer and coffee connoisseur Dean Ujihara. Here's a list of the coffee he will likely roast for this Saturday's sale. As per our usual, Dean will be serving five coffees from Sweet Maria's:

  • Guatemala Acatenango Gesha (Medium intensity / Superb floral aromas, layers of fruit, red honey, juicy body)
  • Java Sunda - Gunung Parigi (Medium Intensity / Dark sugar, fresh green herbs, layered cocoa, bodied)
  • Tanzania Bergfrieden Estate AA (Medium intensity / Complex sugars, juicy body, refreshing acidity)
  • Ethiopia Dry-Process Yirga Cheffe Konga (Bold intensity / Dried fruit and rustic sweetness, with baking spices and powdered cocoa)
  • Decaf Espresso Donkey Blend (Medium / Balance, fruit)

LOOK for (2) two check-in/ ticket lines; (1) one line for renewing members, new members and those members without their membership card, and (1) one line for members with their cards. To speed your way through the ticket line please find and bring your membership card!

Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the Members Early sale. Tickets given out are for the 9 am and 10 am lines at the Main Room, since most people who come early are Members of the Friends. Each Member will get just one ticket, although Members at and above the $30 levels may bring in their families, consisting of one or two adults and children. No tickets will be given out for the 11 am line.

You may renew your membership, or join FOPAL, that day!

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 photos.

Children's Room

The shelves in the Children's Room are again bulging with books for all ages, with an exceptional number of jigsaw puzzles, DVDs, toys, beginning readers and early chapter books. And, for our collectable children's book customer you'll be pleased to see the red carts full! We received a large donation of older children's books in excellent condition. Because of the size of this donation we'll be offering this collection of collectable children's books at the next several sales!

General Fiction

"At publication deadline on Monday, we had 506 books on display in this section. Depending on donations, more books were added through Friday morning. Of the 506, 117 were hardbacks and 389 were trade paperbacks.

So come to the sale on Saturday armed with a list of all your friends, members of your family, and colleagues who love novels-- serious, comic, coming-of-age, bestsellers, prizewinners, some with surprise endings, some that might keep you reading all night, some that you can't wait to recommend to or discuss with a friend. There's almost certain to be at least one book for each person on your list, and possibly one or two for you as well. Enjoy!" -Marian Knox

Science Fiction & Fantasy

"The Science Fiction and Fantasy shelves are packed this month. Look for a special shelf of horror books replacing the usual vampire section, and expect the bloodsuckers to return in January. Charles Sheffield and Christopher Stasheff are unusually well-represented this time. There's also a good selection of George Martin's Game of Ice and Fire books, including a nice boxed set of the first four; it's a good time to catch up on those before the new TV season starts in the spring." -Rich McAllister

December Sales Special

"GET MAD! We have received a very generous donation of 80 Mad magazines from the classic period of the 60s and 70s; they are on sale for $1 each." -Nigel Jones

Health Books for the Holidays

"Karen has prepared a colorful collection of books which can be meaningful and caring Chanukah or Christmas gifts: who among us can say that the Gift of Health might not be the most loving gift of all? The books we've chosen cover the wide range of health subjects you see in our regular monthly displays; many of them are brand new -- but marked at our regular low FOPAL prices. We've also selected books on a wide variety of subjects and from authors we admire, and on many we have noted why we feel they'll make exceptional presents. Gift books are unwrapped, but tied so that titles are readily visible, and Karen has created hand-made tags for them: absolutely beautiful!

If you don't find ready-made gifts for that special person (or people), check out our regular shelves and particularly the overstock of display books located under the window, we have neat (often new) books on a myriad of subjects, just waiting for you to discover them. We hope this will make your pre-holiday activities healthier and less stressful than dealing with crowds and malls...." -Verne Rice

Making Merry in the Music Section

"As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics. This month look for our selection of books on guitars including The Ultimate Guitar Source Book and The Fender Guitar. Other interesting books are Jim Morrison Scrapbook; The Rolling Stones Rip This Joint - The Stories Behind Every Song; Pilgrimage to Dollywood; California Dreamin' - The True Story of the Mamas and the Papas; The Shape of Love - The Story of "Dancing on My Grave" Continues by Gelsey Kirkland; Grand Obsession - A Piano Odyssey and The Complete Lyrics of Lorenz Hart. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music." -Charlotte Epstein

Philosophy of December

"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.

December arrivals in the right bookcase include: A Celebration of Life - Dubos, Elements of Ethics - Johnson, The Enneads - Plotinus, The City of Man - Strauss, This is not a Pipe - Foucault, two books by Derrida - Position and Dissemination and three books related to Wittgenstein - Zettel, Philosophical Investigations and a memoir by Malcolm

Don't forget to visit the Bargain Room for even more Philosophy books." -Nigel Jones

Special Seasonal Selections

One of our longtime section managers, Althea Andersen, having just returned from Florida, has been working hard to bring out all the seasonal books & CDs that we've been collecting these many months. You'll find a large selection for Hanukkah and Christmas. If you are looking for great ideas on how to liven up your holidays look no further. This section is for you.

Look for the festive red and green display as you enter the Main Room on the right. Also, because we have even more Hanukkah and Christmas donations still coming in, look for some of our collection to be put on super sale and outside in Ephemera!

History Sets for the Holidays

"When you are in the History section don't neglect to look at the 'Great Sets' section this month. We have several hard to find sets that we have never had before. They are in pristine condition and would make wonderful gifts. Next to the Holiday specials on the wall as you enter the book room we are having a special on Winston Churchill. Additionally, this month we have many books about Canada and are also featuring them. As usual, we have many other wonderful history books just in time for the gift giving season." -Suzanne Little

Humor December 2014

Is there any doubt that the best possible holiday gift, when you can't figure out what the best possible holiday gift is, is a funny book that only costs 50 cents?

We must have around 300 perfect gift choices on the shelves this December. Best in Show has to be The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker. We only have one copy available but there are five other books from the New Yorker cartoon series, not to mention some other cartoon classics such as Koren.

For the extra special gift to impress someone we have 10 books signed by the authors, including Dave Barry, Alice Trilling and Gethin Jones.

The UK humor section includes 3- Wodehouse, 6- Python related books, 2- Yes Minister, and a first appearance by Derek Nimmo, and crossing the Irish Sea, 3 books by Oscar Wilde. And all for 50 cents, written in pencil and easy to erase. -Nigel Jones

Greeting Cards

This month there are two card carts outside the main room - one with holiday cards (both individual and boxed) and one with individual greeting cards. It's BARGAIN month with all the individual cards on the carts at 5 for 25 cents.

Inside the main room, below the postcards (across from the cashiers) are boxed blank greeting cards - including Thank You cards, priced as marked. -Marda Buchholz

FOPAL- Happy Holidays to All

I'd like to extend a warm holiday greeting to all our loyal customers and supporters. It's only because of each of you that we are able to make such a huge difference in our community. Here's wishing you all peace and joy this holiday season. Warmly, Janette

Friends Bookstore in Mitchell Park Library

If you cannot attend the book sale, please drop by the new Friends Bookstore located inside the Mitchell Park Library and open during library hours. This new FOPAL Bookstore holds approximately 1000 books, DVDs, CDs & boxed cards, all priced $1 to $2. It's restocked regularly with a unique selection of books for all ages and interests. Also, look for FOPAL volunteers to be cashiering at this new bookstore Monday-Friday, 3-5pm!

Transition Palo Alto - Share Faires

Transition is a world-wide grassroots movement to build local resilience and connections close to home. Since 2010, they've been mounting creative and thoughtful responses to the challenges of resource depletion, climate change, and economic instability.

Transition Palo Alto's quarterly Share Faires bring all the benefits of sharing Stories, Skills, and Stuff in one fun event. Come join Transition Palo Alto to share garden produce, arts and crafts supplies, books, toys, and clothes. They have things like music, bike repair, videos, and other demos as well each time. This Holiday Share Faire includes solar ovens, massage, yoga, gardening, succulents, children's storytime, music, story boards, and more.
Come, meet your neighbors, help keep things out of the landfill, and learn something new.

When & where? Sunday, December 14, 1-3pm at the Cubberley Community Center room H6, only a few doors down from the FOPAL Bargain Room H2!

For Sunday December 14, please plan on stopping by H2 & H6 to check out FOPAL Bargain Room books and Transition Share Faire!

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.

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.