USED BOOK SALES
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
FEATURED IN MAY
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 $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
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"
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 Amazon.com 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 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.
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.
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
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
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
"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
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)
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'!"
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
"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
"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
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?