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

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

Sunday April 12
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Soviet Special
Military History
Psychology & Self-Help
Education & Language
Music & LPs


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 $2.00 and softcover books start at only $1.00.

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 and Openings for April and May
All libraries will be closed on Sunday, May 24 and Monday, May 25 for the Memorial Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, May 26.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
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
Friends Bookstores in Mitchell Park and Downtown

If you cannot attend the book sale, please drop by the Friends Bookstore located inside the Mitchell Park Library and Downtown Library and open during library hours. They are 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.

Specials for April

For April, in the large special bays to your right as you enter the Main Room, you'll find a big collection of books we're calling the Soviet Special. Look for books donated from the Stanford Hoover Institute library collection of Alexander Dallin, a leading scholar in the field of Soviet and East European studies. There is also a large number of books on Military History, which have filled up that section in the Main Room and Bargain Room/H2. Also, in the Bargain Room/H2 you'll find an assortment of books on classical music and opera as well as a sizable donation that arrived as 22 boxes of LP records. An abnormally large amount of Psychology and Self-Help books came in this month; look for these books in the Psychology Professional section for both our April and May Sales. The shelves in the Main Room as well as the allotted space in the Bargain Room are both overflowing with books on self-help, clinical and lay psychology. In Education & Language, the "Calfee collection" was one of our featured subjects last month. We've held over the unsold books from the last sale and added many more that we didn't have room for. Most are featured in the small specials book case next to the head of the check-out line....

Can't make it to the monthly sale? Want to support your local literacy programming? Shop one of FOPAL's community library sale areas: look for a book sale gondola in the Downtown Library and new gondola coming soon to the remodeled Rinconada Library. For a bigger selection visit the FOPAL book store in the Mitchell Park Library, this space receives new books weekly. Remember, all hard back books are always $2 and paperbacks are only $1, and these sale areas are open when the libraries are open! For an even bigger inventory to choose from 24 hours a day...check out FOPAL's on-line/e-commerce operation at With new book listings being posted every week, FOPAL ships books almost every 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.

Military History

Featured this month only..."A Southern View of the Civil War". Look for books by Clifford Dowdey (1904-1979), an American author of fiction and nonfiction dealing with the American South, Virginia and especially the Civil War era. For those interested the subsection on the Vietnam War is especially strong this month. Also, check out a larger than average selection of books about World War II U-boat warfare. -Jim Johnson

Psychology & Self-Help

Spring is the time for GROWTH, so come browse our large selection of books in the Psychology & Self-Help section and explore ways YOU might grow a little with the season. Consider Flourish, by Dr. Seligman -- a game-changing work on optimism, motivation, and character that shows you how to get the most out of life. Or, to get rid of the "weeds" that might be growing in your inner psyche, try Love Yourself and Let the Other Person Have It Your Way, by Lawrence Crane. Read how he learned to let go of negative feelings and find permanent happiness. For those with a more contemplative nature, take a look at Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom, by Rich Hanson. This book offers many exercises you can do to tap the unused potential of the brain and rewire it over time for greater peace and well-being. Most books are only $1 to $3 each, so pick out a selection to enjoy with your summer reading. -Marnie Shuey

Music & Sheet Music

"As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics including classical, rock, jazz, world music, and dance. This month look for: Billy F Gibbons - Rock + Roll Gearhead; Dick Clark's American Bandstand; The Erotic Muse - American Bawdy Songs; Atlanta - Hip Hop and the South; Verdi and/or Wagner - Two Men, Two Worlds, Two Centuries; Faces of Salsa - A Spoken History of the Music; The Tom Lehrer Songbook; The Creative Habit - Learn It and Use It for Life by Twyla Tharp; The Sorcerer of Bayreuth - Richard Wagner, His Work and His World; Women and Popular Music - Sexuality, Identify and Subjectivity. Also, come to browse our wide selection of sheet music." -Charlotte Epstein


"This month History has an extensive collection of books on Scotland which is a rarity for us. We also have a large number of books on Ireland ranging from the Celts to the "troubles". The selection of books in the Canadian section is also much larger than usual. There are some very nice boxed sets as well as single boxed books in our "Sets" section in addition to numerous other sets on various areas of historical interest. Historiography, on the bottom shelf of Sets, has quite a few new, thought provoking books on historical inquiry this month. Of course, you'll find great books on many diverse topics on every shelf of the History section!" -Irina Cross & Suzanne Little

Historical Fiction

"In Historical Fiction this month we have a nice collection of books on Ireland. Many of them are books that we have not had before. Please be sure to check out the books on the center book shelves as you will find newer and/or unusual Historical Fiction books on display there. Duplicate copies of books are also on these center shelves. We have a terrific collection of Historical Romance this month including classics such as Forever Amber and Gone With the Wind. One final note, the Patrick O'Brian (Aubrey/Maturin) novels have new lower prices!" -Suzanne Little

Humor for April

"New arrivals in Humor include the popular favorites Borat, Tina Fey, David Rakoff, Tucker Max, David Sedaris, Paula Poundstone, Adam Corolla, Chelsea Handler, Jon Stewart, a signed copy by Eric Weiner and someone who is both famous and infamous, Hunter S. Thompson. We have a very good biography of Robert Benchley, an excellent coffee table size Great Book of Magic and very strangely we have a sealed copy of the Handbook for the Dead, not to be opened until you are dead so I have no idea what is in it. Don't forget the Bargain Room, which besides even more humor, has our largest collection of cartoons." -Nigel Jones

Philosophy for April

April has been a bumper month for Philosophy, the top 3 shelves and the bottom shelf all contain new arrivals. On the upper shelves you will find The Writings of William James, What Would Socrates Say?, Thinking and Destiny, The History of Knowledge as well as 3 well used but rare books, Synthetic Philosophy, by Herbert Spenser, the 1899 edition. There is also a fascinating small book by Highet, The Unconquerable Mind, 3 books by Hoffer and our largest collection yet related to ethics with 20 books. On the bottom shelf there are 2 sets; the 8-volume 1967 edition (as opposed to more common 4-volume) of the Encyclopedia of Philosophy, although the outside shows some toning and wear internally it is in excellent condition, and in very good condition the 5 volume 1973 edition of the Dictionary of the History of Ideas. We also have the largest collection of Philosophy this month in the Bargain Room, around 100 books! -Nigel Jones

Large Format

"April's book sale includes a large offering of railroad-related books. These can be found in the bottom shelf of the Large Format section, on the wall opposite the cashiers' table. This section also includes an eclectic assortment of non-fiction works priced to sell. These books are a little too large to fit on the shelves in other sections and are worth checking out no matter where your interests lie." -John Burt

General Fiction

"Jane Austen (1775-1817) continues to be one of the best known, most frequently studied and taught, and most influential English novelists of all time. This month, almost two centuries past Jane's death, we are featuring a special section on Ms. Austen, including some of her own work, work by others about her, and work by a number of her followers. For example, we have a copy of 101 Things You Didn't Know about Jane Austen by Patrice Hannon (2007), and a book titled Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen by Mary Wesley (1984). There are also more than two dozen books - most published since 2002 - as follow up stories based on Ms. Austen's characters, as well as a 2013 novel by Jo Baker, Longbourn, about the lives of the folks below stairs in Ms. Austen's time (a la Downton Abbey). All of the books are displayed on shelves immediately to the left of 'What Book Groups are Reading'. ENJOY!" -Marian Knox

Health for April

"The Health section features a large number of brand spanking new books on a wide range of subjects: insomnia, plagues, epidemics, more medical detective stories, biographies of famous physicians, memoirs of more recent ones (which are as exciting, heartwarming -- sometimes funny and exasperating -- as anything Grey's Anatomy and prime time TV have to offer. New books at used book prices = prescription for good reading. Currently starring Atul Gawande Being Mortal and Siddhartha Mukherjee whose Pulitzer Prize-winning Emperor of All Maladies inspired the recent and highly rated PBS special about cancer." -Verne Rice

Nature Section

"It's wildflower season, and to celebrate we are offering a selection of flower guides priced at only one dollar. Look for the green dots! Our New Arrival section has overflowed onto two shelves, lots of great bargains. Looking for vintage nature books with beautiful old illustrations and color plates. Don't miss our Curious Collectable section, including a 1917 Audubon Pocket Bird Collection pamphlet and Butterflies Worth Knowing, by Clarence Weed. Our pet section includes books on raising hamsters, geckos, and fish and over twenty breeds of dogs. Cat fanciers will enjoy Cat Daddy by TV host Jackson Galaxy." -Karen D.

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

Tunnels by Roderick Gordon & Brain Williams

Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows has little in common with his dysfunctional family. But he does share an interest with his otherwise queer father: an obsession for archaeological excavations. The story initiates with the two discovering a disused rail station buried beneath modern London. Intrigued but not content with this fascinating discovery, Will returns soon after and begins his own secret digs. Then Mr. Burrows disappears.

Will decides to investigate and, with the help of his friend Chester, unearths a secret tunnel whose location his father had concealed from him. The tale then takes on a perplexing twist as the duo descends into the unknown, unwittingly stumbling upon an enigmatic underground community. The simple manhunt quickly develops into a desperate dash for survival as Will tries to escape the hands of a brutal cult, and unravels the unspeakable truth behind his own bloodline. Perhaps, some secrets are best kept buried.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

This classic science fiction novel is jam-packed with tension from the very first pages. It commences by presenting an imperiled mankind after two violent encounters with a hostile insectoid alien race known as "buggers". Anticipating a much-dreaded third assault, the International Fleet desperately searches for a brilliant military leader to act as "supreme commander" in defense of Earth.

Their search leads them to Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, brilliant strategist and unprecedented tactician, and a six-year-old child.

Embodying both ruthlessness and compassion, Ender is drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Upon arrival, Ender's prowess and leadership skill quickly earns him respect and attention. He wins victory after victory in simulated mock battles in the Battle Room. But then the loneliness and pressure begin to sink in, and Ender is racked with confusion. Why hasn't the enemy made its move? After, Battle School is merely a simulation of the war he is to fight. Or is it?

Paper Towns by John Green

Quentin Jacobsen has been attracted the unconventional, beautiful, and adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman for as long as he can remember. As they progress into high school, however, the two gradually grow apart. Then one night, Margo shows up outside Quentin's bedroom window and involves him in one of her crazy exploits. After the two pull off an elaborate campaign for revenge, Margo departs, leaving Quentin bewildered but exhilarated of their reconciliation. The next day, Margo drops off the grid and vanishes.

But Quentin soon learns that Margo has concealed her whereabouts in a series of clues. As graduation day draws near, Quentin and his friends work against the clock to unravel Margo's puzzle. But as he delves deeper and deeper into the investigation, the more Quentin is riddled with confusion and reflection. Slowly but surely the realization dawns on him: Margo is not the girl he thought he knew.

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