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

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

Sunday February 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Education & Language
Sports/Hunting & Fishing


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 and Openings for February
Rinconada Library will have its Grand Opening on Saturday, Feburary 14, which is also the date of our February book sale, so plan accordingly. More details are available on the City's web site.

College Terrace and Downtown Libraries will be closed on Saturday, February 14 so staff can assist at Rinconada Library's Grand Opening.

All libraries will be closed on Sunday, February 15, and Monday, February 16, for the President's Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, February 17.
True in 2004 and still true in 2015
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL" -Marty Paddock, 2004.

This is still true in 2015! 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 Store located in the Mitchell Park Library, or the Friends Gondola located in the Downtown and Rinconada libraries during library hours. Books are priced $2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks. The Friends Store and Gondola are restocked regularly with books for all interests. Or, shop our on-line book store at All proceeds from book sales benefit the Palo Alto Libraries.
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.

What's Special for February?

The rainy weather kept the donation volume down a little bit this past weekend, but our donors took advantage of breaks in the weather and came through big-time to bring us great books as usual.... There is a lot happening this holiday weekend and we hope you'll find some time to spend at our sale and or stop by and visit our information table and sale gondola this Saturday 11am-4pm at the grand opening of the Rinconada Library. As we celebrate President's Day and Valentine's Day, we also have the weeks of the Black History Month and, for History lovers, look for Black History Month specials in both the Main Room and the Children's Room. Books on matters of love and relationships can be found in our Psychology/Self-Help section, which is once again brimming with great stuff.... Psychology/Self Help buffs can find books on everything from finding love to healing a broken heart, discovering your true passion and how to pursue it to being happy, creating gratitude lists or the basic practice of mindfulness. We received a very unique donation of books on Education & Language from a local retired professor; look for many of these books in the Main Room for February and to be featured next month as a March Special. There were many items left from last month's featured books on Hunting & Fishing so we've slashed prices to move them out this month. They can be found in the specials bay to the right of the entrance next to our sorting room.

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.

February is Black History Month

The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures.

FOPAL's February Special celebrates Black History Month in the Main Room and Children's Room.

Black History Month in the Main Room

Don't miss the Black History Month Special on the left wall as you enter the sale. We have many excellent books written about the African-American experience. Most of the books are non-fiction but there are some fiction books as well.

This month we also have a significant number of books about Herbert Hoover. For anyone interested in Philadelphia we have an unusual collection of books about it. If you're looking for scholarly books on Africa also check out our Africa section this month. -Suzanne Little & Irina Cross

Black History Month in the Children's Room

The Children's Room has a nice selection of books pertaining to black history geared towards younger readers. Here are but a handful of titles you'll find offered for Black History Month: Witness to History: Slavery in the United States, Freedom Train: the Story of Harriet Tubman, The Life and Words of Martin Luther King Jr., Courage Has No Color: the True Story of the Triple Nickels, America's First Black Paratroopers. Look for these books and many more on the bookshelf with the picture of Martin Luther King displayed on it. And, you could own all four of the above books for a mere $6.50!

February Music

As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics. This month look for: Music and Meaning; A Yoga of Indian Classical Dance; Teen Talk - The Beatles; 128 Beats Per Minute - Diplo's Visual Guide to Music, Culture and Everything in Between; Rockin' Out - Popular Music in the USA; Springsteen - No Surrender; Grateful Dead - The Illustrated Trip; Classical Ballet Technique; The Roaring Silence - John Cage A Life; Cole Porter - A Biography; A Heartbeat and a Guitar - Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears. Also come to browse our wide selection of sheet music. -Charlotte Epstein

Humor for February 2015

February is Cartoon Month! We have received at least 150 cartoon books this month. The 20 or so in the Main Room include Saul Steinberg's The Inspector plus several New Yorker titles; take a look at The Rejection Collection, brilliant cartoons that never made it in the magazine. All the others are in the Bargain Room and many of them are in pristine condition.

New non-cartoon arrivals include Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, Girl Walks into a Bar by Cratch, Barbed Wit by Mahoney, Secrets of a Fashion Therapist and The Snark Handbook. You will also find a first appearance of the Bumper Book of Bumper Sticker Wisdom and our largest ever collection of Jewish humor. -Nigel Jones

Health for February

February's Health Section is full of heart, as usual, but we have a huge number of brand new books covering the body from scalp to toes. A special collection on Homeopathy, Asian Medicine & Acupuncture and -- for heartfelt and beautiful last-minute Valentine's gifts -- an abundant crop of Herbal Medicine books, exquisitely illustrated. Herbalists, natural health advocates and people who love gardens and floral art will be charmed by any of these classic (and often romantic) volumes. -Verne Rice


Looking for fun, healthy (and inexpensive) ways to dazzle your Valentine this weekend? The Bay Area has beaches, redwood forests and mountain trails a short drive away - pick up a couple of guide books and have an adventure! For the more athletic, check out our sections on Rock Climbing in Yosemite and mountain climbing in Nepal. Specials this month include $1 bird field guides (the Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb 13-16) and a new section of beautifully illustrated vintage books -- perfect for collectors, collage artists and bargain hunters. -Ms. Karen

General Fiction

Look for two shelves of novels by authors affiliated with the famous Iowa Writers' Workshop...either as students or teachers or both. These include Bay Area writers Ethan Canin, Ann Packer, and Abraham Verghese. This display is located directly below books by Pulitzer Prize winners. -Marian Knox

Philosophy for February 2015

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 new arrivals are on the top shelves of the left bookcase and include Descartes's Error by Damasio, an excellent OUP edition of Hume's Human Nature by Nidditch, Diderot's Success in Circuit Lies by Carrera, Social Reality by Searle, Elements of Argument by Rottenberg and two books related to Machiavelli, his biography by Viroli and a very good edition of The Prince published by Banned Books.

Don't forget to visit the Bargain Room for even more philosophy books. -Nigel Jones


Come to the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion, literature, Jewish history, the Holocaust, Israel and other related subjects. This month look for Leading the Passover Journey; The Song of Songs - a new translation; The Jewish Study Bible; The Girls of Room 28 - Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt; My Promised Land - The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel; Poetry after Auschwitz; The Lampshade - A Holocaust Detective Story From Buchenwald to New Orleans; stories from Sholom Aleichem; A Treasury of Jewish Folk Lore; and the writings of Elie Wiesel. -Charlotte Epstein

Greeting Cards

Individual greeting cards are now only 25 cents each. Boxed cards are available in the main book room across from the cashiers, just below postcards. If you miss them at the sale, you can now find boxed cards for sale in the FOPAL room at the Mitchell Park Library. -Marda Buchholz

Children's Room New Tween Recommendations

Welcome our newest contributor to the FOPAL monthly newsletter, Palo Alto High School freshman Tristan Wang. Tristan is 15 year old loves books, volunteering, and has a passion for writing and sharing his favorite titles available for our February sale. Please take the time to read and then share Tristan's recommendations with your Tweens. Thanks Tristan and congratulations on your first submission to the FOPAL monthly sale newsletter!

Tween Recommendations by Tristan

The Book Thief, Markus Zusak: To start, this novel is told through a rather unique perspective: the narrator is Death.

Set in Nazi Germany, 1939, the tale's plot revolves around Liesel Meminger, a 12-year-old girl who steals her first book at her brother's funeral. It is her first book thievery, and an act that sparks the beginning of an obsession.

As Liesel begins her new life with a foster family in Molching, Germany, she becomes a full-fledged book thief, saving them from Nazi book-burnings and even pilfering them from the mayor's library. But for Liesel, the Second World War is never far away. As her foster parents shelter a Jew in their basement and Allied bombing raids set the country ablaze, Liesel must learn to live a life of vigilance and secrecy -- and discover the value of books and words.

Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi: In a dystopian future when the polar ice caps have melted, ocean levels have risen and engulfed most of the major cities along America's Gulf Coast. Nailer, a child laborer employed by a small impoverished community, scavenges grounded ships along the coast for a living.

With a tiresome occupation and a dysfunctional family, Nailer seems to have no chance of escaping his fate. That is, until he discovers by sheer luck an elegant clipper beached after a hurricane. Given the opportunity to turn the tables, Nailer faces the most crucial decision of his life: scavenge the ship for its riches and perhaps make a fortune, or aid the ship's beautiful owner, a wealthy girl who just might lead him to a better life.

Airborn, Kenneth Oppel: Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the Aurora, a magnificent luxury airship that conveys wealthy passengers abroad. To Matt, the Aurora is both home and the last tie to his father -- only when soaring through the skies does he truly feel alive.

While crossing the Pacificus, Matt spots and rescues the sole passenger of a battered hot air balloon. Before dying, the balloonist rambles to Matt about the mysterious flying creatures he claims to have discovered. Matt initially dismisses the man's story, until Kate de Vries arrives on the Aurora, determined to prove that such creatures exist. So begins a intrepid quest involving sky pirates, unnerving shipwrecks, and daring escapes, as Matt finds himself caught up in an adventure beyond his imagination.

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.

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.

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