USED BOOK SALES
Saturday September 13
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm
Sunday September 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm
FEATURED IN SEPTEMBER
Philosophy/Morality & Ethics
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.)
Temporary Mitchell Park Library Is Closing
The Temporary Mitchell Park Library at Cubberley Community Center
will be closing permanently at 6pm on Friday September 26 so that
preparations can begin for a soft opening of the Mitchell Park
Library in early November. The Grand Opening is scheduled for
Saturday December 6.
The City and the Library have a web page about this and about an
event being held on Saturday September 27 to introduce the new
Mitchell Park Library and Community Center. It's more information
than we can put here, so look there:
There is also a list of frequently-asked questions, which is of
general interest, but also of particular interest to Mitchell Park
Library customers and LINK+ customers.
If you have a book that you've been using at the Temporary Mitchell
Park Library and you'd like to continue to use it during the closure,
you should come in and check the book out. The Library is waiving
fines on most media for the duration of the closure, 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 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 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.
Donations are always welcome at the Friends of the Palo Alto Library.
Just bring them to our Main Room, at the Cubberley Community Center
campus. We have regular hours for accepting donations, 2pm to 4pm
Monday through Saturday.
That being said...FOPAL requests you drop off donations before or
after the weekend sale, and NOT during the sale. FOPAL sales are the
second weekend of each month. During the sale the FOPAL donation
center can be extremely crowded with boxes of books being held for
the next sale, making little or no room to accept incoming donations.
Please help us by donating before or after the book sale.
Thank you - Friends of the Palo Alto Library - Book Sale Committee.
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.
For the upcoming September Sale, look for lots of treasures in our
Ephemera area. We believe the increase in donations of ephemera
to FOPAL is as a result of the closing of the Bargain Box on
California Ave. You'll surely want to see all the non-book items in
the outside ephemera sale, especially large size framed art,
sculptures, ceramics and several antique pieces. Also, more of these
larger non-book donations have been priced and held back in FOPAL's
off-site storage area for a super special Thanksgiving Sale,
Saturday November 8th 2014 in Room H-1 (next door to the Bargain
Room). Think "silver and silver plate serving pieces, carved
African statues, hard wood tikis, porcelain collectables...." And, a
collection of unique books high-value guru Jerry Stone has been
saving for just such an opportunity like this one.
Donations were especially strong since the last sale, and as we had a
backlog from August, and five weeks between sales, the Children's
Room shelves are sagging under the weight of all the books. This
means a great selection for buyers; this will be a great sale....
The poetry section is jammed with great books and a special subsection
of poetry is being offered by famed author Shel Silverstein: Where
the Sidewalk Ends, Falling Up and A Light in the Attic.
If antique doll furniture is more to your liking look for two adorable
metal high-chairs, a wooden crib, and a three story sturdy wooden doll
house/Houseworks brand and furniture!
For our children's book vintage book collectors check the "red carts"
for what's been pulled, priced and researched by retired children's
book librarian Nancy Hurxthal and her assistant Tyler Vinciguerra
this month. One worth mentioning is a big blue book, Laurent de
Brunhoff's Babar's Cousin, that Rascal Arthur, a Random House book
Arusha's picks from the Children Room
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney is a comic book about the middle
school experience of a boy who isn't exactly ready for it. This book
shows how he and his best friend, Rowley, deal with their middle
school situation in a hilarious way. The story is brought to life
as the boy, Greg, records words and pictures in his diary. It has
even been made into a movie, and many more books follow this first
one. All of them follow the same theme: growing up before you're
ready. Immensely popular, Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a funny and unique
A Little Princess is one of my favorite books of all time, because
it tells the story of a little girl who braves all sorts of horrible
things just with her imagination. Sara Crewe is the daughter of a
rich man, and they absolutely adore each other. However, Sara is sent
to boarding school in London while her father returns to India. She
is much loved by many of the students at the school, when the most
terrible news arrives. Overnight, Sara is transformed from the
richest girl in the school to a poor scullery maid who sleeps in the
attic. Mistreated and sad, she must find a way to survive on little
bits of her imagination. How can she get through this awful
Preview Our Shelves
Check out some of the thousands of books that will be on sale this
weekend using our
shelf preview photos.
Reports this week from our Bargain Room volunteers express the
abundance of books in several sections. Assistant Bargain Room
manager Frank McConnell reported to me "...in some sections
(Art, psychology, religion, science, science fiction, music &
dance, drama, especially reference (look for SAT books), and
paperback romances. To say the least we have way more than can
fit on the shelves." In response to the large number of books
in the Bargain Room you'll find some section have been shelved
in two areas. Please look for signs indicating where more books
can be found for our overloaded sections.
With folks having finished their summer clean-out, our donations
have been larger than ever. Look for lots of treasure in LP & VHS
areas as well as full book shelves in all the Bargain Rooms! And,
don't forget to check out the big selection of books in excellent
condition in the Bargain Children's Room too!
FOPAL wants to extend a big WELCOME to its newest non-profit partner,
children's bargain book room section managers Abilities United (led
by FOPAL's finest Tyler Vinciguerra). Training sessions were finished
at the end of August thanks to retiring volunteer Camille Sorrant and
as a result FOPAL's Children's Bargain Room operations at the
Cubberley Community Center have been turned over to the Abilities
United (AU) Adult Day Program...Welcome AU Staff & participants! For
more information on AU Adult Day Program/Activities go to
September Signed Book Special
FOPAL's Signed Book special is back! When researching a book
for sale at FOPAL one point mentioned to new volunteer researchers
is to "look in the book". What can be found in a donated book could
be anything from a love note to pictures, to money or (almost as good
as money) an inscription and authors signature. During a recent
research of a book in the psychology sections, The Psychedelic
Experience: a manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead was
found to contain the inscription "to Arthur - with respect Timothy
Leary". What a great find, and worth between 75 and 200 dollars.
From the website Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America's
article entitled Collecting Rare Books and First Editions - Is "Flat
Signed" Better?: I discovered this tidbit to share... "Few if any
collectors today care if Jules Verne or H. G. Wells inscribed a book to
an unknown person. Just the opposite, a long inscription is preferred.
Why is that true? Because of course these authors are now no longer
signing anything, and it is easier to authenticate an inscribed and
signed copy, so the more words from the master's hand, the better.
Who knows, maybe in a hundred years, Ray Bradbury's signature may be
worth something and a book with a long inscription and maybe one of
his drawings - priceless?...My point in telling you all of this is
simply to point out that the more words on your autographed items,
the better!" -Barry R. Levin
Look for the September Signed Book special books in the third bay
to your right as you enter the main room, labeled "Signed Book
Special" -Janette Herceg
September Special - Morality & Ethics
"The September Sales Special focuses on topics of Ethics and Morality
as seen from various perspectives, such as philosophy, politics,
sociology, and science. Titles include Human Cloning, A Companion to
Ethics, Forgiveness, Moral Clarity, Bioethics, Moral Sense and
Revenge." -Nigel Jones
Philosophy for September
"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 three
shelves. Titles of new arrivals include: Out of Chaos, Essays
on Existentialism, Ecumenical Cruise, The Politics of Being,
and The Heroes of the Greeks and a biography of Emerson by
Allen." -Nigel Jones
FOPAL Gives Away Free Books After Each Monthly Sale!
Teachers and Non-Profits - on Sunday Afternoon After Sale
From 4-6 pm on Sunday, at the conclusion of each monthly book sale,
any teacher or individual associated with a nonprofit organization
- with proper ID - can select ANY AMOUNT OF BOOKS AND MEDIA FOR FREE
from our Bargain Room (Cubberley H-2/H-3). See the "Non-Profit
Book Giveaway" section elsewhere in this newsletter, and remember to
bring your own boxes and bags.
Every month the Bargain Room offers many paperbacks and
hardcovers in every possible genre, all sorted and shelved by
subject area/genre, plus CDs, DVDs, LPs, and cassettes. We never
sell everything by the end of the sale, so there will always be
plenty to choose from. The Bargain Room also contains children's
bargain books from preschool to early teens.
Free Giveaway for Everyone Else - on Monday Night After Sale
From 6-8 p.m. on Monday night after each monthly sale, everyone -
you don't have to be nonprofit - may come and take away from the
Bargain Room any amount of books and media. Be sure to
bring enough bags and boxes.
And Freebies for our FOPAL Volunteers Too!
From 6 pm Sunday to 5:59 pm Monday, i.e. between the above two
giveaway times, FOPAL volunteers may select books from the
Bargain Room for free!
"This month we received an unusually large collection of literary
biographies, especially of prominent American authors. This month,
New Arrivals, on the top shelf features half a shelf devoted to
Mark Twain, his work and his life, and the other half devoted to
Ernest Hemingway, his work, his wives, his women, his bulls, his
boats, his friends, his feasts, his wives, his women, you get the
picture? Fascinating details...next month will feature Fitzgerald
and Steinbeck." -Ann Justice
"The History section is once again packed with an excess of
interesting books. Please plan to spend lots of time in our aisle
looking closely at our section as there are numerous books we have
never had before as well as ones which we haven't seen for a long
time. This month many of the books we usually have in our German
area dealing with Hitler's rise to power are in Military History.
Never fear--we still have a full shelf of German history.
"We are very eager to start watching the Ken Burns PBS series on
the Roosevelts that starts Sunday night and hope that you are
planning on seeing it. To mark the occasion we have assembled a
special collection of books on the Roosevelts which you will
find on your right just before reaching the cashiers. Our
collection contains very reasonably priced books on Theodore
(Teddy), Franklin (FDR) and Eleanor." -Suzanne Little and KC Sarr
"This month in Modern Literature (Aisle 14-15) we feature books by
Israeli authors (translated from Hebrew into English, of course).
These are 20th-21st century, highly regarded authors, including
Aharon Appelfeld, Amos Oz, and A. B. Yehoshua. These authors may
not be familiar to us, but American colleges are beginning to offer
course reading lists that include Israeli fiction. These
Hebrew-Israeli narratives start by looking at the meaning of
historical events and the actions that comprise cause and effect."
"Two new shelves this month: Comic novels & Section Manager's
favorites." -Marian Knox
Humor for September
"All new arrivals and signed books are on the top two shelves.
September is still British Humor Month and continues with new
arrivals including three books by Monty Python, five books by
P. G. Wodehouse, a compilation from Frank Muir, a J. B. Priestley
anthology, a Harry Secombe (of The Goon Show) memoir, The
Complete Yes Minister, scripts from Gavin and Stacey, Willie
Rushton, Peter Ustinov and Fawlty Towers. Also, look for
several excellent New Yorker cartoon anthologies, a
Thurber biography and the Encyclopedia of Stupidity."
"To all of our men friends out there - are you feeling a bit
out of shape? Would you like to look and feel better in time to
wow your friends during the holiday season? This month the Health
section is offering over a dozen nearly new books geared specifically
toward male fitness, many still sold at local bookshelves (but at
amazing FOPAL prices). Titles: Banish Your Belly, The Complete
Book of Abs, Peak Conditioning, The Testosterone Advantage...
you get the picture! In addition, please check out our monthly
selection of 'Red Dot' books -- these too are books still in local
stores but at our usual low prices." -Karen D.
"September has brought us a great harvest of brand new books, in
perfect condition, many published very recently. You'll find them
scattered throughout the section." -Verne Rice
Music & Dance
"As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics. This
month look for: No Vivaldi in the Garage - A Requiem for Classical
Music in North America; Mozart in the Jungle - Sex, Drugs and
Classical Music; Leonard Bernstein: American Original; Chopin's
Funeral; Legends, Icons and Rebels - Music that Changed the World;
Rolling with the Stones; Opera, Sex and Other Vital Matters; Music,
the Brain and Ecstasy; Got Bieber Fever; Blackbird Singing - poems
by Paul McCartney; The Art of Practicing - a Guide to Making Music
from the Heart.
"A very special book this month is Klimt: Beethoven - the Frieze
for the Ninth Symphony. Also, come to browse our wide selection
of sheet music." -Charlotte Epstein
Greeting Cards & Boxed Cards
"OUTSIDE the main room on the card cart are individual greeting
cards, bookmarks, and packages of ROSH HASHANAH cards. INSIDE
the main room, across from the cashiers and below postcards are
packages of blank greeting cards." -Marda Buchholz
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.