Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday November 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


The West (Zane Grey)
Fall & Winter Holidays
Children's Room
Collectible Sets


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 used books, CDs, DVDs, &c

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 November and December
All Library branches will be closing at 6:00 PM on Wednesday November 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will remain closed through Friday 27 November. Regular hours resume on Saturday November 28.

All Library branches will be closing at 6:00 PM on Thursday December 24 for the Christmas holiday, and will remain closed through Friday 25 December. Regular hours resume on Saturday December 26.

All Library branches will be closing at 6:00 PM on Thursday December 31 for New Year's Eve.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar. It will probably have something about New Year's Day before we do.
To the very generous people who donate books - and more - And to people who are thinking of doing so:

YOU ARE THE LIFELINE OF FOPAL and you have our unending thanks: we wouldn't exist without you! But we have a big favor to ask:
  • If possible, please hold large donations until after our Saturday and Sunday Sale Days.
  • Books brought in a day or two before the sale may not make it onto the shelves that month. (If you wish to see them on display, plan accordingly)
  • We're crowded. Please limit your Sale Day donations to a bag or two of books.
Right before and during the sale, our Sorting Room (where books arrive) is filled as high as it's safe to stack them. We don't have room to sort - let alone store new donations. We make these requests in the interest of efficiency and the safety of our loyal volunteers. We are anxious never to turn away donations and will work to accommodate your travel and schedules.

Regular donation times are Monday through Saturday, 2 to 4 pm. If these hours won't work for you, volunteers are often available at other times to welcome you; please call us at 650-213-8755 to be sure someone will be there.

We can also schedule local pick-ups if you are unable to bring your donation to the Main Book Room (Marty's Room). Call 650-308-4933 and leave a message for our pick-up team.

Your treasures are our treasures AND ALL BENEFIT THE PALO ALTO LIBRARY. AGAIN, OUR WARMEST THANKS TO YOU! -FOPAL Book Sale Committee
Friends Bookstores in Mitchell Park, Downtown, and Rinconada

If you cannot attend the book sale, please drop by the Friends Bookstore located inside the Mitchell Park Library, Downtown Library, and Rinconada 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.

Bigger, Blown-up, Bountiful Book Sale

Check out our big specials bays, the bookcases just outside the office (opposite Travel). There you'll find The West section is featuring books by Zane Grey this month. Zane Grey authored more than 90 books, some published posthumously and some based on serials originally published in magazines. Look for Fall and Winter Holiday books, music, and more. We will restock this area with new material through December. There are lots of nice Christmas themed books, music and more.... Photography books are always special at FOPAL but for November we've created a selection in the smaller special bay across from the cashiers line. The Children's Room has more material for Chanukah than can fit on the shelves, thanks to the generous donations it receives year round. Also, noteworthy are many Collectable Sets offered this month both in the Main Room and Bargain Room. A reminder to our set collectors, FOPAL set prices are indicated on the first white page of each volume.

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.

Shop on Sunday

For a more relaxed book sale experience shop our sale Sundays 11am-4pm. In the Main Room chairs can be found in the aisles for your comfort, also there are shorter cashier lines as well as several sections priced half-off! (Half-off on books $15 or under.)

Sunday in the Bargain Room everything is half-off or fill a bag for $5 or...fill 5 bags for $20! Bring the whole family to the Children's Room on Sunday as there are plenty of great books available along with lots of space to sit, read and relax!

Members Early Sale Set for December 12th

The FOPAL Board of Directors has set a date for a Members Early sale on Saturday December 12th. If you're a member of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, you'll be able to get in to the Main Room early at the December 12th sale! Life Members are allowed to enter the sale at 9am and can purchase up to 50 books per membership. Members at all other levels can enter the sale at 10am and purchase the normal 12 books per membership at a time. Enjoy a less crowded main book room and get first crack at our wonderful collection of materials.

Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the Members Early sale. Tickets given out are for the 9am and 10am lines at the Main Room, since most people who come early are members of the Friends. Each Member will get just one ticket, although members at and above the $30 levels may bring in their families, consisting of one or two adults and children. No tickets will be given out for the 11am line.

You may renew your membership, or join FOPAL, that day. Renew, or join now at!

FOPAL Closings for November

In observance of Thanksgiving FOPAL will be closed for donations November 26th & 27th.

New Saturday Bargain Room hours for 2016!

Starting January 9th 2016 the Bargain Room will be open 9:30am-4pm. FOPAL Bargain Room customers will be allowed access at 9:30am instead of 10am to accommodate customers moving books to their cars.... For 2016 Bargain Room buyers will be given an additional 30 minutes to make their purchases and take them with them! The Bargain Room will no longer hold books (bought or not) on Saturdays.

Nature for November

"Did you know that November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month? Great timing, because the Nature section has a large selection of books this month on pet rescue, including: Chosen Forever, Second Chances, Shelter Dogs, and Nobody's Best Friend, to name a few. Already have a furry friend or two? We have dozens of books on feeding, training and caring for pets of all kinds. Moving on, the 'New Arrival' section is overflowing with great winter reads, perfect for a cozy evening on the couch. Other areas you might enjoy: Nature Essays/Memoirs, Animal stories, Our Natural World and Extreme Adventures. Support your local library!" -Karen D.

The West

"The West has a very large collection of books this month. Most notable are a large number of Zane Grey novels in the specials shelf by sale entrance. We also have large collection of Native American books, women in the West, exploration, California and several Arcadia Press books on Bay Area communities." -Dick Grote

Movies & Entertainment

"Movies and Entertainment is packed this month. Film criticism and foreign film books are at historical levels. For those interested in film bios check out the bottom shelf of the section or a yet better deal, the movie cart of bios outside." -Dick Grote

Holiday Cards and More

"This month, find Thanksgiving cards and holiday cards in the main book room or outside in ephemera. Plus the normal offering of individual anniversary, birthday, get well, sympathy, and more cards outside! Mitchell Park and the main book room have been re-stocked with more packaged blank cards for a great selection." -Marda Buchholz

Art, Architecture, Artists & Studio Art

"A new exhibit opened Oct 30th at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and runs through Feb 7th, 2016. Looking East explores the many movements and artists affected by Japanese art, including the great impressionist and post-impressionist painters Vincent van Gogh, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Paul Gauguin and Claude Monet. Juxtaposing masterpieces of Western art and design with rare works by prominent Japanese artists, the exhibition reveals the interplay of new styles and themes inspired by Japan. In 1872, French intellectual Philippe Burty became one of the first writers to use the term "japonisme" to describe the cultural phenomena considered in Looking East. Two great books currently for sale in the Japanese art section are Japonisme: Japanese Influence on French art 1854-1910 and The Great Wave: the Influence of Japanese Woodcuts on French Prints. The month also offers a huge selection of auction catalogues for Chinese Art. Auction catalogues can give you a viewing of art you may never have a chance to see in a museum. -Mary Ahrens

November Music books

"As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics such as classical, rock, jazz, world music, and dance. New this month: Amazing Grace; Opera in the Flesh: Sexuality in Operatic Performance; Harps & Harpists; Mo' Meta Blues; Life in Motion by Misty Copeland; Revolution in the Head; Bloomsbury Ballerina; The Motown Story; Louis Armstrong in His Own Words; Jazz Journeys to Japan; Jimi Hendrix Sessions; The Nutcracker; The Life of Phil Ochs; Baby, Let Me Follow You Down: The Illustrated Story of the Cambridge Folk Years. Also come and browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein


"Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion, Jewish history, the Holocaust, Israel, the Jewish American experience and other related subjects. New this month - Spiritual Radical: Abraham Joshua Heschel in America; Jesus and Yahweh: the Names Divine; The Golem by Elie Wiesel; The Sabbath World; Through the Unknown, Remembered Gate: a Spiritual Journey; Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean; Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History; The House of Rothschild: Money's Prophets 1798-1848; A Soldier's Story: The Life and Times of an Israeli War Hero; Interrogations: the Nazi Elite in Allied Hands 1945. Except for a few books from time to time most of the Jewish or Israeli related literature will be found in the various literature sections rather than in the Judaica section." -Charlotte Epstein

Philosophy for November 2015

"New arrivals in Philosophy are to be found both on the top shelves of the right hand bookcase and within the subject area of specific philosophers in the left hand bookcase. November is clearly Santayana month; we have received a generous donation of 24 of his books, all to be found on the bottom shelf of the left bookcase. Also in this bookcase we have a donation of 12 books by Nietzsche, and very good editions by Aristotle, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Kant. New arrivals to be found in the right hand bookcase include the excellent three-volume box set, Essays of Montaigne, Spinoza Quartet (a novel), Why Does the World Exist?, Courtier to a Heretic, The Fragility of Goodness, The Nature of Mind and The History of Spirit. We are continuing our section of Philosophy as it relates to perception, mind and consciousness and these are to be found on the fourth shelf of the right hand bookcase. Don't forget the Bargain Room where even more Philosophy books are to be found." -Nigel Jones

Humor November 2015

"It's November, the perfect time to start buying gifts for the holidays! Who can resist a little humor to survive the festive season? And we have plenty to choose from. New arrivals in the Humor section include books by Ellen DeGeneres, Wanda Sykes, W. C. Fields, John Lahre, Andy Rooney, P. G. Wodehouse and the ever-brilliant Spike Milligan. We also have some very interesting anthologies, Slapped Together - The Dilbert Anthology, the large format hardback, Pogo volume 2, and from one of the great masters, Gorey, Amphigorey Also. From the New Yorker we have Art 1925-1995 and The 75th Cartoon Selection. And last but not least for the first time is Mel Watkins's On the Real Side, a detailed history of African American humor. Make sure to check out the Bargain Room and look through the large collections of cartoons." -Nigel Jones

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

A Separate Peace by John Knowles

This gripping coming-of-age tale unravels in the summer of 1942. As far as school life was concerned, the spotlight was on Phineas "Finny", an open-hearted, unaffected 16-year-old athlete. The most popular kid on campus, Finny is the object of admiration for most of the kids at Devon, including the narrator, Gene, himself. But admiration engenders jealousy as Gene, a studious hard-worker, finds himself deeply distressed at how Finny's natural charm and charisma grants him immunity to failure and punishment. This deep-seated envy culminates in one single act of violence, with Gene deliberately pushing Finny off a tree, crippling him for life. Seemingly a petty crime in a vast world, the act marks the end of peace at Devon. As the reality of the Second World War begins to encroach and talks of enlistment spread, the school is plunged into a tense chaos as the innocence of adolescence evaporates. But one lurking force haunts Gene above all else: remorse.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

For 16-year-old Miranda, life is occupied by homework, the quarrelling among her best friends, her dad's newly pregnant wife, thoughts of prom and dating, and fights with her mom for restricting the freedoms she deserve. With all of this brewing in her mind, Miranda steps out of the house to witness an asteroid striking the moon. Then the weather broke...for good.

As the moon is knocked closer to Earth, disasters shake the planet worldwide. Massive tidal waves devastate countless cities along the coastlines. Earthquakes destroy entire countries, and volcanoes erupt simultaneously, hurling clouds of ash and blotting out the Sun. Epidemics sweep the population. Starvation and surviving the nuclear winter seems impossible.

As the world collapses around her, Miranda and her family work to survive amidst the destruction, all the while struggling to preserve the one thing they cannot keep: normality.

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

A speculative science fiction novel that questions the very definition and value of life. At center-stage of the plot is Matteo Alacran, a boy not born, but "harvested". He is the clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old ruler of Opium, a small strip of poppy fields between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Engineered in a petri dish and born from a cow's womb, all of Opium, save a few, considers him a monster. As a boy, Matt is already scarred by scorn, mistreatment, and the lucrative business of drug-dealing. Unable to comprehend his existence, and threatened by a power-hungry family and an army of sinister bodyguards, Matt is convinced that his only chance of living free lies in escape. But escape from Opium is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is different in horrific ways he cannot even learn to suspect.

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