Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday August 9
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


H1 Overflow
Children's Room
Games & Puzzles


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 for August and September
All Library branches will be closed on Monday September 7 for the Labor Day holiday. Regular hours resume on Tuesday September 8.

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.

H1 Bargain Room Overflow Super Sale, Saturday August 8th, 10am-4pm

Stop by Cubberley room H1 this Saturday to check out the selection of Bargain Room books that were in all too voluminous to fit on the shelves in H2! FOPAL recently received several large donations, the overflow is being offered this Saturday only in H1.

With the help of FOPAL's on-line sales guru Jerry Stone and the Bargain Room team: Karen, Frank, Peter, Edwin, Jim, Stephanie, Evelyn, Tyler & Rick, customers will reap the rewards of all their hard work sorting this BIG BOOK donation for the August Sale. Look for Jerry Stone and several fantastic FOPAL volunteers to be cashiering for this special sale!

Children's Book Room

Right around June each year the volunteers in the Children's Room get worried that they don't have enough donations and their shelves seem a bit empty. Then like clockwork comes July and August and it's as if every parent within a 10 mile decides it's time.... "Kids, clean your rooms, gather all your gently used books, games and toys and let's donate them to the Friends of the Palo Alto Library." For this August's sale the Children's Room is all full up! We have books in every area, Teen reads, Sci-fi, Middle-grade Fiction, Early Chapter Books, Nancy Drew, Parenting, classic board games, puzzles, Klutz Books and much more! Come early for the best selection and enjoy the bounty of books.

If you're looking for more collectable children's books check out the freshly stocked "Red Carts" or, if you can't make the sale look for FOPAL's collectable children's books on-line at

Cooking/Wine Special

Found in one of our large July donations was a tremendous number of cook books and equally as many books on wine and some on beer & hard liquor. You'll find the best of this donation in our Main Room with one "specials bay" (to your right as you enter the main room) dedicated to "Spirits". Here you'll find books on choosing wine, wine from specific regions, making wine, as well as books on beer and hard liquor.... If you want even more books on wine, check out the Bargain Room & the H1 Over-flow Super Sale.

European Languages

"We got a large donation of French and German books, mostly contemporary fiction. But including Petit Dictionnaire Absurde & Impertinent de la Vigne et du Vin and...Die Sofa-Prinzessin." -Susan Strain

Art for August

"This month look for new organization in the Art section. You will find a book about your favorite artist in the Individual Artist section which is alphabetic. If you are planning a trip to include a favorite art museum look for our Art Collection section which has art from many institutions around the world including the Vatican, the Louvre and the Getty as well as some private corporate collections which can be difficult to view. We have many art auction catalogues where you can see works of art that are rarely seen in public. New textile, ceramics and glass section highlight artists that work in the mediums. As always, there is a broad selection of art history as well as books to inspire and education the artist in all of us." -Mary Ahrens


"Take a hike--over to the Nature section this month and browse dozens of categories, including: Animal Stories, Evolution, Natural Disasters, New Arrivals, Local Hiking Guides, Birds Worldwide, and two exciting new sections: Natural/Supernatural and Extreme Adventures. The Horse section is bursting with over twenty "new" titles. We are having a special on the little Golden Guide books we loved as kids--four for one dollar. Perfect for giving your children (grandchildren?) a great start on a nature library of their own.\240 Check out the $1 values on the red Nature cart outside in the tent sale. Most would sell for more inside, but we ran out of room! Remember- "Green Dot" books are by well-known authors, award winners, and/or bestsellers, at our usual FOPAL low prices." -Karen D.


"Who wouldn't enjoy a better life? Come browse and see what inspires YOU. Some of the more popular books new to Self-Help are: Leap of Perception, Peirce; Forgiveness, Vanzant; Influence, Caildini; Body Language, Pease; Writing Down Your Soul, Conner; Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self & Relationship, Whtye; The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control, Mischel; Brainstorm (Teenage Brain), Siegel and Surrender Experiment (an Oprah favorite), Singer. Spark your Creativity with: Creative Habit, Twyla Harp. A More Beautiful Question, Berger and more! Check out some fuller than usual subsections: Dreams; Hypnosis and NLP; Autism/ADHD; Communication; Abuse/Trauma. Prices are way below Amazon prices--most only $2 or $3, so enjoy!" -Marnie Shuey

TV & Entertainment

"The Entertainment section is really full of great books. There particularly is a very large selection of books on film theory and criticism books and several interesting books on African American film topics." -Dick Grote

Philosophy for August

"New arrivals in Philosophy are to be found on the top shelves of the right hand bookcase and in the subject area for specific philosophers. New titles include: Emerson, Collected Writings, and Essays and Journals, Hume, Essays, Hobbes, The Cambridge Companion, Voltaire's Emile, Erikson, Gandhi's Truth, and Besterman's biography of Voltaire. Other books worthy of note include a signed copy of Marti-Ibanez, Tales of Philosophy, a nicely illustrated Praise of Folly by Erasmus, Plato's Symposium in English and Greek, and for the first time an Anthology of African Philosophy, Sabina. Also, we have two box sets, Jowett's Plato and the four-volume box set, Philosophy in the Twentieth Century by Barrett and Aiken.

Don't forget there is a great selection of Philosophy books in the Bargain Room including 12 books by Dewey." -Nigel Jones

Sci-Fi & Fantasy

"Science Fiction and Fantasy: In the Anthologies and Collections section there's a big run of the Year's Best Fantasy and Horror anthologies by Ellen Datlow et al. In Fantasy we have a lot of George R. R. Martin, several volumes from the Song of Ice and Fire, both hardback and softcover; and quite a few Terry Pratchett books. In Science Fiction, among the flood of books new this month is a set of Kim Stanley Robinson's "Three Californias" trilogy.

Comics: Lots of new manga, including both English translations of Japanese titles and original Japanese. On the top shelf, look for a large-format edition of Jack Kirby's adaptation of the film "2001: A Space Odyssey" from 1976, and a coffee-table-book tribute to the British "Commando" comics. Landing in the bottom shelf of the Comics sections this month are a sizeable collection of rule-books and materials for Vampire: the Masquerade and other White Wolf Role-Playing Games, and a selection of classic Archie comics." -Rich McAllister

Humor August 2015

"August must be Monty Python month--we have several large format books from the Pythons including Autobiography, All the Words volumes 1 and 2, and The Meaning of Life. Other new arrivals in the Humor section include books by Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Chris Rock, Jimmy Buffett, Denis Leary, Russell Brand and, unusually, Ashleigh Brilliant. A very interesting book seen for the first time is Mel Watkins' On the Real Side, a detailed history of African American humor. In the British section we have new arrivals by Wodehouse, and Spike Milligan and the collected wit of the Irish genius, Oscar Wilde. Make sure to check out the Bargain Room and look through the large collections of cartoons." -Nigel Jones

Greeting Cards

"Get your ROSH HASHANAH cards at the August sale. There is a large selection on the card cart outside the main room, plus the usual assortment of cards. As always, packaged blank cards are for sale in the main room below the postcard shelves. You can also find packaged blank cards in the Friends sale room at the Mitchell Park Library." -Marda Buchholz

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle

It was a dark and stormy night. Thirteen-year-old Margaret "Meg" Murry sits wide awake in her attic bedroom, pondering over her dismal condition. Her teachers think her stupid, her friends call her a crybaby, and she can't hold back her tears at the thought of her absent scientist father. Utterly depressed and unable to sleep, Meg descends to the kitchen along with her mother and baby brother Charles Wallace, for a midnight snack. They are unexpectedly visited by their new bizarre neighbor, Mrs. Whatsit. In the course of conversation, Mrs. Whatsit brings up the existence of a tesseract, upon which Mrs. Murry nearly faints.

A tesseract, or a wrinkle in time, is a means of travelling via the fifth dimension. And it is the only means of rescuing Meg's father from the captivity of the Black Thing, an evil universal entity. Embarking on a mission that transcends time and space, Meg aims to do just that. Will she succeed?

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Orphaned at a young age, Hugo Cabret lives a life of anonymity within the walls of a busy Parisian train station, adjusting the numerous clocks in the place of his late uncle. Having to survive by thievery, Hugo's life is upset when he is caught stealing by the owner of a small toy booth, putting both his undercover life -- and his most prized secret -- in jeopardy.

Blending elements of illustration with text, film, and photography, Selznick tells a cryptic yet riveting tale involving an intricate notebook, a heart-shaped key, a mechanical figure, and hidden messages that together deliver a subtle message of loss and redemption.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo

This is the tale of Despereaux Tilling, an "abnormal" mouse who takes no interest in eating, but rather is in love with music, fairy tales, and a princess named Pea. It is also, however, the story of Roscuro, a rat who dwells in the murky castle dungeon but covets a world of light. And it is the tale of Miggery Sow, a servant girl who is sold by her father yet fosters an impossible dream. As they embark upon their own journeys, a genuine tale is interwoven as their paths eventually converge: one of hope, loss, forgiveness, and love.

Public Works Department, Environmental Services Division at FOPAL Sale

"Have you started separating food scraps and soiled paper at home for compost collection? Zero Waste Palo Alto will be at the book sale on Saturday 8/8 to answer any questions on the new residential food scraps collection program. Stop by to learn more about the program or visit" -Wendy Hediger, Zero Waste Coordinator, Public Works Dept.

Mitchell Park Library - FOPAL Bookstore - Volunteers needed!

Volunteers are needed to cashier at the new Mitchell Park Library Friends of the Library Book Store, Monday-Friday 3-5pm. (Other days and times are available with MPCL managers' approval.)

Cashiers would be selling books off our rolling gondola and book store as well as acting as FOPAL liaisons to the community and assisting with restocking the shelves.

Create your own mini book store. Become a section manager!

Here's an opportunity to create and manage your own mini book store as a FOPAL Section Manager. By taking your love of books in areas like Psychology/Professional, Biographies & Memoirs, Gardening, Reference or can make a difference. All books are pre-sorted and ready to be researched, priced and displayed by you! Proceeds go directly to the Palo Alto Libraries to fund literacy & enrichment programming. Join the FOPAL team to sell more books and change people's lives.

Member of FOPAL, help us update our email list

FOPAL is eager to update our membership email list, send out email blasts, and keep our members and donors current with news about upcoming Members Early Sales. Please help us update our membership email list. Use our contact form at Select the Membership Department, fill in your name and email address and a subject of "Update my email address".

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.