Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday June 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Military History


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.

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 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 Independence Day Holiday
All libraries will be closed on Friday, July 4 for the Independence Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Saturday, July 5.

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.

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 Set for July 12th

The FOPAL Board of Directors has set a date for a Members Early sale on Saturday July 12th. If you're a member of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, you'll be able to get in to the Main Room early at the July 12th 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.

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. Renew, or join now at!

Better Than a Tie, Give Dad a Book for Father's Day - Sunday June 15th

Dads love mysteries, true crime and thrillers and we've got plenty of nearly new hardbacks. For the June sale you'll find books from all dad's favorite authors: Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, Ian Rankin and Jo Nesbo. Or, if you'd like to introduce dad to an author he's sure to enjoy try picking up a book by Laurie King or from a relatively new comer to the mystery book scene author Mark Gimenez. You'll find these and more in our Mysteries & Thrillers section as well as a full book case of vintage mysteries if you're looking for something really original. With most priced under $2, you could afford to create a mini collection for your dad this year.

Or, if antique cars are your dad's interest, then we've got a super special for you. "See Antique Cars on entrance aisle...half price on Sunday!" -Althea Andersen

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

Framed Art- "The book sale has a wide selection of framed art which is displayed outside, we have art in sizes that will fit almost any wall or space you might have. Our prices are very reasonable so if you just need a frame come see if we have piece with a great frame that you can use with your own work of art. On Sundays all framed art is half price" -Charlotte Epstein

Greeting Cards- "In addition to regular greeting cards this month are Father's Day cards and graduation cards, PLUS bookplates and a replenished selection of stationery." -Marda Buchholz

History & Politics- "This month the History and Politics sections received an extensive collection of books about John F. Kennedy. Many of them are large format books that we have rarely seen before in the book room. There is a special display of these books in the last set of bookshelves near the check-out line. Our other shelves are jam packed with many interesting and unusual books." -Suzanne Little

Historical Fiction- "Historical Fiction is doing something new this month by having three special areas featured. One section has books dealing with African-American experiences. The second special has books dealing with the Jewish experience. The third special is a collection of books of biblical related fiction (both Old and New Testament). You will find these books in the center set of bookshelves of the Historical Fiction area. For those of you interested in sea related stories we have many books this month including a new donation of Dewey Lambdin sea related adventures. These books are located on the tall shelves between the two windows in the Historical Fiction section. Enjoy history with that proverbial 'spoonful of sugar' when you read our Historical Fiction." -Suzanne Little

Music & Dance- "Here are some of the interesting titles in the Music and Dance section this month:
Prime Movers: The Makers of Modern Dance in America, That's Dancing by Tony Thomas, The Role of Music in the Twenty-First Century, Rolling Stones: An unauthorized biography in words, photographs, and music, Musical Milestones: My Tale of Science and Music, Heavy Metal Thunder: The Music Its History Its Heroes, Jazz by Gary Giddins, Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones - 2 copies with factory wrapping, Leonard Cohen Old Ideas Tour Program 2013, A Celebration The Musical Theatre by Alan Lerner, Sondheim & Co by Craig Zadan. -Charlotte Epstein

Sheet Music- Look for a large selection of sheet music being offered in several different sale areas this month, Ephemera, Bargain Room & Main Room. "Some of the better stuff was placed in the sheet music boxes in the Music section. Four boxes are sorted and labeled for Ephemera.... Four boxes are sorted, priced and labeled for the June sale for the featured subjects table and are be displayed on sale day. The remaining box or so was sent to the Bargain Room...mostly songs and choral music predominantly for church services." -Yelena Nazarova

Special in Science Fiction continues- "We have a special collection of Science Fiction Book Club editions from across the six decades the Club has been in existence. This includes great classic authors like Clifford Simak, John Christopher, James Blish, Cyril Kornbluth, Edgar Pangborn, and Wilson Tucker. Many haven't been reprinted in some time, so this is a chance to pick up well-cared for books you won't see other places. Here as well are many SFBC-only omnibus editions -- complete multiple-book series in one or two fat volumes. You can read the whole series for one low FOPAL price!" -Rich McAllister

Science Fiction Magazines in the Bargain Room- "None in Ephemera this month, but there should be some magazines from the 1990s in the Bargain Room this month." -Frank McConnell

Humor for June- "The top two shelves of both bookcases are where you will find our new arrivals. This month look for Dogfight, Trillin, Bill Maudlin's Army, My Crowd, Charles Addams, This Book Will Change Your Life, Something I Said? Michael Feldman, The Nasty Bit, Anthony Bourdain, Distory, The History of Insults and The Wicked Wit of Oscar Wilde. 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

Philosophy for June- 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 on the top two shelves of the right bookcase. New titles include: Utopias and Utopian Thought, Being Human, The Philosophy of Language, Moral Ground, Human Cloning and Human Dignity, Shared Values for a Troubled World, and The Lesser Evil. -Nigel Jones

Military History- Strategy & Tactics single issue magazines/war games are for sale as one of FOPAL's June specials. Strategy & Tactics is the longest running military history magazine, having published over 250 issues in its 41 year history. Strategy & Tactics was originally founded in 1966 by Christopher Wagner. In its original format, it did not include a game in each issue but focused on existing wargames, design material for games, and hobby news and information. At issue #19, Jim Dunnigan acquired the magazine, formed Simulations Publications, Inc. (SPI) and began putting games in the magazine. The decade of the 1970's was dominated by SPI wargames and Strategy & Tactics magazine became the wargame hobby flagship. Look for the selection of Strategy & Tactics magazine displayed on entrance aisle above the LPs.

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.