USED BOOK SALES
Saturday May 10
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm
Sunday May 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm
FEATURED IN MAY
Bargain Room VHS Tapes
Children's Room Freebies
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 Memorial Day Holiday
All libraries will be closed on Sunday, May 25 and Monday, May 26
for the Memorial Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday,
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.
What's Special for May?
Our moms are often the first people to teach us how to read and our
first "librarians". That's why FOPAL loves moms and we love
celebrating all of the wonderful moms in our lives on Mother's Day.
Every year, millions of us purchase a bouquet of flowers to honor
the mothers in our lives. This year, why not celebrate her with a
bouquet of books? Althea Andersen, FOPAL's Ephemera Empress has
created a display of books for moms or about moms located in our
"specials area", the first couple of bookcases located to your
right as you enter the Main Room.
Also, in the "specials area" look for a huge selection of Science
Fiction books. Science Fiction section manager Rich McAllister
jumped at the chance to feature a special collection of Science
Fiction Book Club editions for the May sale. Sci-fi fans are going
to want to check this out.
The Bargain Room and Children's Room are busting with their
terrific donations. Look for an impressive selection of VHS tapes
donated from a personal collection filling the Bargain Room shelves.
These 100+ VHS tapes are in pristine condition and the titles are
The Children's Room received dozens of non-book items this month.
Come check out their selection of games, puzzles, toys etc...
Children's Room volunteers said this month "it feels like we're
also holding a kids garage sale!" And, if that's not enough to
entice you there are freebies: back packs, book bags, bug catchers
Vinyl/LPs: From the San Jose Mercury News, April 2014:
"As CD sales have eroded in recent years in favor of digital downloads
and streaming services, vinyl has emerged as a niche market to contend
with. Sales of vinyl records jumped 32 percent in the U.S. last year,
as new stores opened and more artists opted to make their recording
available on the format." As luck would have it FOPAL's pick-up gang
brought in a generous donation comprising a lifetime collection of
record albums. The FOPAL volunteers cleaned the covers, checked for
scratches and did some on-line research to determine where to best
sell this extensive collection. You'll find the majority of these
LPs in our Bargain Room and a handpicked selection of better and
unusual vinyl in the Main Room in the new LP section
next to the "specials area". And an FYI for all you groovy media
enthusiasts... ALL ABOUT VINYL - Exhibit: "Vinyl: The Sound and
Culture of Records", Saturday through July 27 at Oakland Museum of
Preview Our Shelves
Check out some of the thousands of books that will be on sale this
weekend using our
shelf preview photos.
Section Managers' Mentions for May Sale
Each section's selection of books for each sale is determined by
the type of donations we've received. Here at FOPAL we lovingly call
all our generous donations "inventory." Here's what Section Managers
have to say about what's new in their areas!
Curious Books for May
Curious Books always has many strange, unique and uncategorizable
books. Here are some samples for May. Books I Have Read--An
historical artifact from 1890, someone's unusual book journal; and
three books by Lemony Snicket, written for adults, more or less. And
for the cat lover with a sense of humor, How to Tell if your Cat is
Planning to Kill You, Advanced French for Exceptional Cats,
and How to Understand Women Through Their Cats.
May 50 Cent Humor
The April 50 Cent Sale was such a success we have decided to run it
for one more month- all books in Humor for 50 cents each! The top two
shelves of each bookcase are full of new arrivals, including Tina Fey,
Ellen de Generes, Jack Benny, Bill Maher, Calvin Trilling and Monty
Python. You will also find many more Humor books over in the Bargain
Room. -Nigel Jones
Look for sets of books on aisle 6: Story of the Great War (WWI)
Diplomatic Edition in 8 volumes by Colliers in 1916 and Works of Theodore
Roosevelt in 7 volumes by Colliers in 1889. The Complete Writings of
Oliver Wendell Holmes in 13 volumes by Houghton Mifflin in 1892.
American Statesman in 40 volumes by Houghton Mifflin in 1917.
Works of Robert Louis Stevenson in 8 volumes by Standard Book
Company in 1930. American Nation in 3 volumes by Williams
Publishing in 1889. -Charlotte Epstein
History Book Sets
Check out the History "Sets" section this month. We have a
large number of two volume sets which is very unusual. Maybe someone
didn't like to carry one heavy book and so only purchased sets. Who
knows? It's a bit of a puzzle but an interesting change for the
section with some intriguing topics, emphasis is on U.S. History and
Western Civilization with a smaller section of sets on Asia.
Philosophy for May 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 top 3 shelves of the right bookcase.
On the top shelf you will find books by George Steiner, Bryan Magee,
Hannah Arendt, and first appearances by Denise Shekerjian and
Lecompte du Nouy. We received a large donation of books on Ethics.
These are on the 2nd and 3rd shelves and include books by Peter
Singer, A. I. Melden, Raziel Abelson, and Paul Roubiczek. Also, in
Existentialism, we have a first appearance by Eugene Kaelin.
Special in Science Fiction
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
Sci-fi in Ephemera
In Ephemera: issues of Analog, 1961-1975, some missing,
some duplicates, some wrapped bundles of four for $1, most single
issues for 25c.
In the Bargain Room: issues of Analog, Asimov's, F&SF, 2000-2010,
some missing, some duplicates.
More to come next month! -Frank McConnell
Music for May
Too Many Songs by Tom Lehrer; Silence by John Cage;
Four books by Ned Rorem including Knowing When to Stop;
Writings and Drawings by Bob Dylan; Apollo's Angels -
A History of Ballet; and Deadbase IV. There is half
a shelf of books about pianos and pianists and the opera shelf has
7 biographies of Verdi. There are also significant hardback
biographies of Benjamin Britten, Aaron Copland, Sergei Prokofiev,
Richard Strauss, and Igor Stravinsky. Also, look through the sheet
music section for playable music for almost any instrument as well
as opera scores. -Charlotte Epstein
This month in cards we have MOTHERS DAY, FATHERS DAY, and GRADUATION
cards as well as the regular selection of individual cards. PLUS,
there are two tubs of STATIONERY at very low prices.
Home & Craft
Summer is upon us--time to dust off the wood working tools and
organize the house and garage. Great books on both subjects on the
shelves this month at Home & Craft -Nancy Welch
The Essays/Memoirs shelf in the Gardening section has come up in
the world, literally. Alternatively labeled, Armchair Gardening, the
shelf is now at eye level! You'll never have to bend down again to
peruse the many volumes about the delights and challenges of gardening;
in fact, reading any of these books will never even get dirt under
your fingernails! Among the current selections are such intriguing
titles as: The $64 Tomato, Orchid Fever, and Earthly
Pleasures. My personal favorite this month is The Sound of a
Wild Snail Eating. -Ann Justice
Children's Room- Arushi's recommendations for May
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is a mind-twisting novel children
will mull over for days. It is full of new adventures wherever the
characters venture to seek the truth. In The Westing Game, Sam
Westing's will brings together sixteen heirs to solve the mystery of
his death. Little do these people know that there is much more than
what meets the eye? There is only one answer...who will be the first
to find it and win the Westing fortune?
Crispin, the Cross of Lead by Avi is a highly suspenseful book set
in the Middle Ages in Europe. Crispin is a boy who, after the untimely
death of his mother, runs away. Crispin doesn't exactly know what he's
running from; he just feels unsafe wherever he goes. Fearing for his
life, Crispin finds himself in a big city where danger lurks around
every corner. Suspenseful and adventurous, Crispin, the Cross of
Lead has advanced vocabulary and a complicated plot. It's perfect
for a reader who wants a challenge!
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes is a spectacular historical
fiction story about a fourteen-year-old boy named Johnny. The book
is set in the years just before the American Revolution starts. It
has a captivating plot and is an entertaining way to learn about
hardships of colonial life. Johnny is a talented apprentice to a
silversmith, but after a tragic accident, he must find a new trade.
Johnny meets new people wherever he goes, and he slowly begins to
be caught up in the sparking American Revolution. Johnny risks
everything for the Revolution, but can he deal with the consequences
of his actions?