Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday July 12
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 9am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday July 13
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Members Early Sale
Children's Room
German Language
The Path from War to Peace


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.)

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.

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" 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 $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 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 or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.

Members Early Sale Saturday July 12th

The now biannual Members Early sale is scheduled for Saturday July 12. 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 this now twice a year event, 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. They all come from Sweet Maria's:

  • Kenya Nyeri Tambaya AA (bold intensity/citrus, tropical fruits, vibrant acidity)
  • Costa Rica Tarrazu Dota Providencia (intensity/complex fruit, baking spice, light body)
  • Sumatra Toba Batak Peaberry (medium-bold intensity/Complex aromas, rustic sweetness, spice and tea)
  • Ethiopia Zonegediyo Kochere Yirga Cheffe (medium-bold intensity/intense aromatics, floral, bright, perfumed, sweet)
  • Sweet Maria's Aviador Dro Decaf Blend (medium untensity/simple syrup, dried fruit, layered chocolat)

Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the Members Early sale. Tickets given out are for the 9am and 10am 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 11am 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.

Section Managers Representing Their Sections

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, beginning readers and early chapter books. For more experienced readers, we have an unusual number and variety of books in popular series, including American Girls, Magic Tree House, Rainbow Fairies, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Candy Apple, Animal Ark, and Lemony Snicket. -Pat Worthington

The Path from War to Peace- One of our July monthly specials is based on a very generous donation from a Stanford professor. The books focus 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.

Of the 300 books received 150 will be in the main sales room located on the right of the central aisle and 150 are available through our online store on Amazon. -Nigel Jones

Books in German- Can you read German? If yes, then for this month have we got a special for you! One special 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 and August. Look for these books in the first bay to your right as you enter the main room, labeled "Deutsch Sonderteil - German Special"

Music for July- As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics. This month look for: Georgian chants - Songs of the Spirit; The Four the One - In Praise of String Quartets; Dancers to Remember - The Photographic Art of Gordon Anthony; Remembering Horowitz; Silence - Lectures and Writings by John Cage; Bach - The Orgelbuchlein (Monuments of Western Music); Trust - Photographs of Jim Marshall; Beatles Forever - How They Changed Our Culture; and Yes Yes Y'all - The Experience Music Project Oral History of Hip-Hop's First Decade. There is also a small selection of books directed to digital and audio recording. -Charlotte Epstein

Health & Medicine- "Lots of brand new books have come into the Health Section this month on a whole wide range of topics, but at our usual low prices. Of particular interest: very up-to-date works, aimed at parents, about Childhood Obesity -- one of the more worrisome health emergencies of our time. And...are you interested in becoming a personal trainer? This month we are featuring a number of books to help you on your way. Titles include, Personal Trainer Manual, Clinical Exercise Specialist Manual, ACE Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant Manual, and Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning". -Verne Rice

July General Fiction- "Check out our special section on 'debut novels.' Some are by authors whose work you may have been following for years; others are by authors whose first novel was published as recently as 2013/2014. The books are in alphabetical order by author. Publication date is noted on the cover". -Marian Knox

Large Format- "Buyers shouldn't pass up the Large Format section on the south wall near the cashiers' table. There's lots of good stuff available here in most non-fiction subject areas - books that are too big to fit in other areas and overflow to the Large Format shelves. These books are in good condition and priced to sell. Check 'em out." -John Burt

Sci-fi in Ephemera- "In Ephemera: issues of F&SF, 1971-1979, some missing, some duplicates, and single issues for 25c/ea. In the Bargain Room: issues of F&SF, 1990-1998, some missing, some duplicates, and single issues for 10c/ea. More to come next month!" -Frank McConnell

Postcards "a plenty"- Look for Postcards in two areas this month. In their usual spot across form the cashiers table and a large selection in our specials area above the LPs. Specifically check out the box of post cards labeled Japanese Postcards; these are all "like new" with no written messages.

Philosophy for July 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.

New arrivals in the left bookcase include Plato's Republic (Barnes and Noble hardback), Nietzsche Reader, 3 by Wittgenstein including his second major work Philosophical Investigations also, 12 books on or about Thoreau.

All recent arrivals in the right bookcase are on the top 2 shelves. New arrivals include Plotkin, Darwin Machines; Balfour, 1912; Burke's Speech, 1899; Barzun; Sandel; Veblen, 1934; Godamer; Foucault; and the Oxford Companion to Philosophy. -Nigel Jones

Humor for July 2014- It looks like Humor for 50 cents is here to stay! The top 2 shelves of both bookcases are where you will find our new arrivals.

In the cartoon section look for 2 by one of the greatest of all cartoonists, Charles Addams and 2 from the New Yorker, The Book of Drawings, and for medical humor, I am not a Quack. Other new arrivals include: America's Dumbest Criminals, Is Sex Necessary by Thurber, The Little Big Book of Laughter by Fried, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin and Monty Python's All the Words.

As usual we also have a diverse collection of humor, from presidents to pets and Dave Barry to Robert Benchley. You will also find many more Humor books, in particular a great selection of cartoons, over in the Bargain Room. -Nigel Jones

New books -Psychology- Several boxes containing a new book arrived in a recent donation, The Outsourced Self by Arlie Russell Hochschild. "There's one mistake I worry readers will make about this book, so let me correct it right away: The Outsourced Self is not a work of journalism. Though it isn't exactly not one, either. I guess you'd call it popular sociology, but I think of it more as an act of mourning. Arlie Russell Hochschild's look at how we meet some of our most personal needs with the aid of paid strangers doesn't try to be exhaustive; goes light on figures and statistics; and, when itemizing the most outrageous advances in the market for love and care, never lapses into that magazine journalist's tone of wry amusement." New York Times, Sunday Book review, Judith Shulevitz. Look for new copies of this book for a mere $2. New copies found on Amazon go for $6.00 including shipping. There is a special display of these books in the last set of bookshelves near the check-out line. -Janette Herceg

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.

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