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

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

Sunday May 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Spring Holidays
Music CDs
Military History


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 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.
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.
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 May

Grab a spring escape into FOPAL's Spring Holiday special... Althea Andersen has been collecting holiday books all year long and created a nice spring special located in the first bookshelf in the specials section. This May FOPAL is celebrating spring with books on May Day, Mother Day...and acknowledges our veterans for Memorial Day with a book special on the Vietnam War. Top of the list of new stuff this month was a large collection of books on the Vietnam War. Military History buffs will likely find something of interest. Books are located in the specials section, the bookcases next to the sorting room to your right as you enter the sale.... As you may have heard, April 30th marked the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War.

More Music CDs have been processed from the backlog, mostly popular tiles and artists. Look for them in the racks next to the cashiers, most priced at $2. Two large lots of cookbooks were dropped off this month. There are many like-new recent books. You'll find most in the Cooking aisle but the overflow is located in the Bargain Room/H2.

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.

Biography & Memoirs

"In view of upcoming Mother's and Father's Days, I have assembled a collection of some compelling and outstandingly well-written memoirs featuring memorable, or shall we say, unforgettable, parents. Among many more recent publications, I have included some of my all-time favorites that you really must not miss, if you like memoirs. Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee, describes in exquisite prose growing up poor in a 1920s Cotswold village household presided over by his inimitable mother -- the chapter portraying her, to whom he wholly attributes his gifts of expression and imagination, is worth the book alone. Other worthy classics are: Three Came Home, by Agnes Newton Keith, about her struggle to keep herself and her three year old son alive in a WWII Japanese prison camp; Growing Up by Russell Baker -- the entire story (a Pulitzer Prize winner) is a subtle tribute to his mother's determination to craft a better life for her children; Autobiography by Agatha Christie, a portrait of an enviable Edwardian childhood tended by loving parents; and The Sun in the Morning, MM Kaye's tale of growing up in India during the British Raj with a brilliant father who spoke 16 Indian languages and a popular, daffy, artistic mother, both of whose abilities she clearly inherited and made excellent use of." -Ann Justice

General Fiction

"Have you ever wondered how many lawyers have written novels? Well, John Grisham of course! But not all lawyer-novelists pen mysteries. I searched the book sections in the main room and found novels by 18 lawyers, four of them women. Here are some examples:

Classics: Washington Irving (1783-1859), essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Military History: David Drake (1945- ), Vietnam veteran, graduate of Duke University School of Law. Mysteries: Richard North Patterson (1947- ), San Francisco resident and attorney, graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law. General Fiction: Alafair Burke (1969- ), professor of law (Hofstra), former deputy district attorney (Portland, OR), and graduate of Stanford University Law School; and Meg Waite Clayton (1959- ), resident of Palo Alto and graduate of University of Michigan Law School.

Check out this special display on four shelves immediately to the left of 'What book groups are reading,' where by the way, you will also find 37 novels (some with more than one copy) currently being read and discussed by book groups." -Marian Knox

FOPAL Book Club Reading List for 2015-2016

Join the stimulating discussions at the FOPAL Book Club! The club (which has been meeting for over 15 years) meets the second Thursday of every month in the Fireside Room at the Lucie Stern Center in Palo Alto. We meet from 7:30 PM to around 8:45 PM. We generally have a volunteer leader. We ask all our members to join the Friends of the Palo Alto Library as members (once you have tried out the club), otherwise there is no charge to join the club. We love diversity -- all adults are welcome to come!

Questions? E-mail the current club president, Emily Young, or call 650-856-9571.

Reading list for 2015-2016:

May 7: We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (320pp) - (Sylvia)

June 11: Redeployment by Phil Klay (304pp) - (Nancy)

July 9: Anna Karenina (first two books) by Tolstoy - (Alan)

August 6: Little Failure: A memoir by Gary Shteyngart (304pp) - (Emily)

September 10: They Came like Swallows by William Maxwell (174pp) - (Joan)

October 8: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - (Ellie)

November 12: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson (352pgs) - (Sylvia)

December 10: Rules of Civility by Amor Towles (352pgs) - (Marge)

January 7: There's something I want you to do by Charles Baxter (240pgs) - (Isabel)

February 11: The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper (354pgs) -

March 10: Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (345pgs) - (Laura)

April 7: Selection of books for May 2016-March 2017


"Nature: looking for a great way to spend Mother's Day? Want to avoid crowded restaurants? Grab some sandwiches and one (or two) of our low-priced local guides and take Mom out on a walk to enjoy our native wildflowers and birds. Are you a vintage book lover, collage or book artist? In our new Vintage Nature book section you'll find charming drawings, color plates and etchings, including two sets of 65-year-old Audubon bird prints, over 100 books in 'New Arrivals'!" -Karen D.

Music for May

"As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics including classical, rock, jazz, world music, and dance. Very special this month new (from the box) copies of A Hard Day's Write - the Stories behind every Beatles Song.... These are priced at $10 each. Compare with $16 on Amazon for new copies.

The Grateful Dead are celebrating 50 years from their start in Palo Alto and we have more than half a shelf devoted to this band. Also come to browse our wide selection of sheet music. The outside Ephemera section has a box of blues and guitar magazines at only 25 cents each." -Charlotte Epstein

Business Notes

"This month we have a lot of fascinating volumes regarding innovation (Eric Ries, The Lean Start-up), political economic history (Harry Lever & Joseph Young Wartime Racketeers), growing business (William Easterly, The Elusive Quest for Growth), finance (Alfred Steinherr, Derivatives, The Wild Beast of Finance), and current business bestsellers such as Stephen R. Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, James C. Collins, Good to Great, Robert C. Kiyosaki, Rich Dad Poor Dad and many others. Of course there are also standards such as Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino. All are priced significantly lower than regular retail prices." -Rick Boyles


"Come to the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion, literature, Jewish history, the Holocaust, Israel and other related subjects. Special this month is The Diary of Anne Frank - the Revised Critical Edition in excellent condition. Other new arrivals are Kosher Nation; The Complete Idiot's Guide to Kabbalah; From Shylock to Svengali - Jewish Stereotypes in English Fiction; A Lethal Obsession - Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad; Strange Have - A Jewish Childhood in Wartime Shanghai; Hannah Senesh - Her Life & Diary; The Man in the Box by Thomas Mann; and The Jews of Kaifeng - Chinese Jews on the Banks of the Yellow River." -Charlotte Epstein

Philosophy for May

"New arrivals in philosophy are to be found on the top shelves of the right hand bookcase. This month's titles include: Cosmos and Psyche, Grammatology, Hammer of the Gods, Philosophy, Science and Social Enquiry, The Rediscovery of Mind, Nature and Rationality, Questions That Matter, The Body in Pain, and The Evolution of Medieval Thought. There is also a fascinating small book by Highet, The Unconquerable Mind and 10 books on Chinese Philosophy. On the bottom shelf there is 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." -Nigel Jones

Science Fiction and Fantasy

In Science Fiction and Fantasy, we have a bunch of digest magazines from the 1950s and early 1960s, mainly F&SF and Galaxy, but a few other titles. Vampires, ghosts, and general horror are well represented this month." -Rich McAllister

Health for May

"The Health Section has had another avalanche of books so new and perfect that they could easily be on the shelves of a very high- faluting bookstore. They'll be in a SPECIAL: BRAND NEW section. Last month, Medical Detective books (all true to life and not fiction) sold very well. And, this month we got another great batch! Think: stories worthy of HOUSE and you can keep them right by your reading chair or bedside table for 24/7 enjoyment. Medical memoirs and autobiographies can be just as readable and fascinating: they might make great Mothers' Day gifts -- but other readers will relish them, and learn from them too." -Verne Rice

Humor for May 2015

"New arrivals in Humor include the popular favorites Bachelor Home Companion, Bossypants, The World of Paul Crume, Becoming Richard Pryor, Baby on a Car Roof, The Zen of Zombie, and Trials and Tribulations. Also available are books by Borat, David Sedaris, Paula Poundstone, Adam Corolla, Jon Stewart, and featured in the British and Irish section, P. G. Wodehouse.... Don't forget the Bargain Room, which besides even more Humor, has our largest collection of cartoons." -Nigel Jones

Teen recommendations by Tristan Wang

If I Stay, by Gayle Forman

Choices, it's all about choices. At seventeen years of age, Mia Hall is a gifted cellist with a supportive family and an optimistic future. But all is compromised when a hurtling truck collides with the family car on a snowy highway. Mia, left in a coma, witnesses the aftermath of the crash in an out-of-body experience. Her parents die instantly. Her brother succumbs soon afterwards.

Suspended between life and death, Mia overhears a nurse's statement that the decision of living on or passing away lies solely with Mia herself. Soon Mia finds herself reflecting upon her past experiences and her present condition. For an instance, her achievements, memories and promising outlook seem more than enough to live for. But the devastation of recent events, and the burdens of prior incidents, sink in and threaten to tilt the balance. With delight and anguish behind either door, Mia is faced with the most agonizing decision of her life. Should she go, or should she stay?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky

Yet another intriguing novel with an unconventional set out. Charlie, a depressed inward 15-year-old, chronicles the essence of his freshman year through a series of letters to an anonymous friend. All his life Charlie's been a wallflower: passive, introspective, sitting back and observing as life unfolds around him. Despite his constantly struggling with relationships, however, Charlie manages to befriend senior outcasts Patrick and his stepsister Sam, who support his individuality and invite him to join their crowd of rowdy friends.

So Charlie is drawn into the wild, unfamiliar realm of drugs, romance, emotions, and relationships. But every discovery comes at a cost, and soon Charlie is struggling with emotional setbacks and repressed memories from his troubled past. Charlie's presented with the ultimatum. Will he retreat to the confines of reclusion, or dare he make that leap of faith and participate in his own life?

I Am Number Four, by Pittacus Lore

A decade ago, the Mogadorians, a savage alien race, obliterated the peaceful planet of Lorien and plundered its resources. Of all the inhabitants of Lorien, only nine children escaped. They are the last survivors of the Garde, a breed capable of wielding extraordinary abilities. In the hope of retaking their planet, the Garde fled to Earth, honing their developing powers while concealing themselves amongst humans.

But the Mogadorians followed them.

Each Garde is given a charm of protection -- and a number. Unless they are killed in numerical order, the Garde remains invincible. But their hunters are more informed than they imagined. Number One was soon hunted down. Two and Three followed shortly after. But their deaths have bought the others precious time, and Number Four is on the verge of developing his first abilities. Will the deaths end with him, or will he, too, fall prey to the vicious Mogadorian soldiers?

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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