Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday October 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Fall Holidays
Military History
Vintage Treasures
New Age
Bargain Room


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 October and November
Rinconada Library will be closed on Friday October 9 for pest inspection.

All Library branches will be closed on Monday October 12 for the Columbus Day holiday. Regular hours resume on Tuesday October 13.

All Library branches will be closed on Wednesday November 11 for the Veterans' Day holiday. Regular hours resume on Thursday November 12.

All Library branches will be closed 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.

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, 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.

What's Special for October 2015?

To say our donation volume has been steady would be an understatement. Here's a big THANK YOU to all who have donated material for our sales! We still have quite a backlog and expect to have strong sales all through the winter months.... Speaking of which, you'll find Fall Holidays books, music, and more in the bookcases just outside the office (opposite Travel). We will restock this area with new material through December. Military History has a strong selection of offering and a special on the Civil War; look for these books in an entire specials bay next to the Philosophy section. Vintage Treasures return to the Main Room look for these great "old books" near Audiobooks and Humor. After a couple of slow months, the New Age section has a lot of new material.... For October the Bargain Room has its shelves all filled up. Look for a special selection of "Eastern Religion" books, a new section of music CDs and all new LPs! A huge donation of paperback fiction came in late in the month; a bit will make to the shelves this month but look for the bulk in the Bargain Room in November. Remember to check the Tent Sale for great books from almost every section priced at $1.00 and, there will be lots more next month too.... These are just a few highlights; all of the shelves are full!

Members Annual Meeting for 2015

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Time: 11:00 AM
Place: Mitchell Park Branch, Midtown Room
Agenda: Election of 2016 Board members and officers; annual financial summary from the Treasurer; other business from the members.

"Please join us at our annual meeting on October 14 at the Mitchell Park library branch. The feature presentation will be a talk by Jenny Jordan, the Library's Youth Services Manager, on the library programs that FOPAL has funded, including the Library's Summer Reading Program. Jenny's talk will be followed by a discussion of how FOPAL and the Palo Alto Library work together to decide on FOPAL grants to the Library. The floor will then be open to you, the embers, to give us your thoughts on what you think FOPAL is doing well, and how its operations might be improved. We look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting." -Peter Dehlinger, President

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.


"History is once again brimming with wonderful books this month in all categories. Our Asia section is especially good with so many interesting books about Japan we could only put part of them out this month. We also have our usual extensive collection of books about China as well as an excellent selection of books on India. Historical Fiction also has more novels than usual set in Japan. If you enjoyed the recent PBS series Poldark we have almost all the books in the series." -Suzanne Little, History & Historical Fiction

Health Section

"Two very recent best-sellers deserve attention. The Golden Holocaust: The Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition is a highly recommended, "powerful indictment of the world's deadliest industry." Pulitzer Prize winning Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm Ravaged Hospital, is "an elaborately researched chronicle of life, death, and the choices in between at a New Orleans hospital immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Both books are in brand-new condition at a fraction of their cover and Amazon-used prices."

On Monday of this week, Governor Brown signed the End of Life Option Act into law. Despite some peoples' and groups' concerns, Californians overwhelmingly supported the rights of all persons facing painful, terminal illnesses to choose how and when to end their lives. On our shelves is a large collection discussing the pros and cons of this measure. Our chronic disease section features new arrivals on Parkinson's Disease and thyroid disorders. Also, come and see a series of beautiful (and encyclopedic) books on many aspects of old and contemporary Chinese Medicine; very expensive books at very low FOPAL prices." -Verne Rice


"Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion, literature, Jewish history, the Holocaust, Israel and other related subjects.

New this month - A Bride for One Night; Hebrewspeak: An Insider's Guide to the Way Jews Think; The Jewish Image in American Film; The Blessing of Broken Heart; Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture; What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany; Maus I and Maus II; The Last Jews In Berlin; God's Gold: The Quest for the Lost Temple Treasure of Jerusalem" -Charlotte Epstein

Philosophy for October 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. We have a rich assortment of new arrivals in October including Retreat from Commitment by Bartley (signed), Connected Knowledge by Cromer, The Columbia History of Western Philosophy, and books on Leibniz, Ricoeur, and Spinoza, including With Reason, his biography by Gullen-Whur. Additional titles include: Strategies of Argument, Living Philosophers, and the three volume set Philosophy in the Twentieth Century, and Jowett's box set, Plato.

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. Two interesting and unusual books are an illustrated copy of Erasmus's In Praise of Folly and Bachelard's Poetics of Space. Don't forget the Bargain Room where even more Philosophy books are to be found." -Nigel Jones

Psychology / Self-help

"We have some great, currently popular books, especially in the spiritual subsection, including: Buddha's Brain, Rick Hansen: Mindfulness for Beginners (+CD), John Kabit-Zinn and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook (+CD), Stahl. Or consider Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul, Giulio Tonon. To help get you on the path to higher creativity, we have six copies of the popular classic, The Artist's Way, by Julia Cameron, only $2 each (it is $6 with shipping on Amazon)! Gather together some friends to meet regularly and play with your creativity together. Take some time for yourself and browse the whole section- there's lots more there." -With Joy, Marnie

Humor October 2015

"In October Humor shrinks down to one bookcase but increases the number of new and recent arrivals. New arrivals from the brilliant New Yorker include The 75th Anniversary Cartoon Collection, The Book of Dogs, and The Book of Wine. Others in large format are, from the Monty Python crew both Autobiography, All the Worlds, volumes 1 and 2, and The Meaning of Life, also Spy: The Funny Years, Life magazine's Laughs Last and a hardback collection of the number one British satirical magazine, Private Eye.

Not to be missed: Mad Magazine, About the 60s, What If? (A collection of scientific questions and humorous answers), and from Ireland's greatest humorist (so said James Joyce), Flann O'Brian, The Third Policeman.

Make sure to check out the Bargain Room which has the largest selection of humor so far this year and look through the large collections of cartoons." -Nigel Jones

Music for October

"As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics such as classical, rock, jazz, world music, and dance. New this month: Chopin's Funeral; Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! The Story of Pop Music from Bill Haley to Beyonce; The Grammar of Rock; The Gospel of Hip Hop; The Triumph of Vulgarity; Doo-Wop: The Forgotten Third of Rock 'N Roll; Heavy Metal Islam; Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper; A Long Strange Trip; Balanchine Technique

Also come and browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

Young Adult Fiction

This new section can be found in the Main Room's fiction corner and contains literature traditionally written for ages ranging from sixteen years to the early twenties. The subject matter and story lines of Young Adult literature are typically consistent with the age and experience of the main character, but Young Adult literature spans the spectrum of fiction genres. Young Adult stories that focus on the specific challenges of youth are sometimes referred to as problem novels or coming-of-age novels. Look for a selection of books from all of the above.

Teen reviews by Tristan Wang

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

"It is the cusp of the Great War, and all the European nations are arming up. The Germans have their Clankers -- steam-powered war machines fashioned from steel and brass. On the other side, the English Darwinists employ Beasties -- vicious, genetically fabricated animals-of-prey.

Amidst the chaos and destruction are our two main characters. Aleksander, the Austrian Prince of Hohenberg, is on the run from his own people. With his throne snatched from him, he flees for his life aboard a mechanical walking tank. Deryn Sharp, a Scottish commoner and aeronaut, is a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. Fondling the urge to fight for her cause, she must protect her secret -- at all costs.

Our unlikely duo is thrown together aboard the Leviathan -- a Darwinist airship and the most formidable war-beast in the skies of Europe. Their worlds far apart, they are ardent enemies with nothing in common -- yet somehow share a tethered fate."

The City of Ember by Jean DuPrau

Following a devastating apocalyptic war, the Builders dedicated themselves to the preservation of the human race. Their solution was the construction of Ember: an underground settlement illuminated solely and entirely by artificial light. Having written instructions for returning to the surface, the Builders sealed the papers in a safe-box, to be revealed and implemented after exactly 200 years, when Ember's power generator will expire. But the instructions were lost, buried, and forgotten.

Years later, 12-year-old Lina Mayfleet has just been assigned the job of messenger at her graduation ceremony. Shortly after, Lina discovers a mysterious box hidden in her closet. Driven by curious determination, Lina and her friend Doon decide to investigate its jumbled contents.... But time is running out for the people of Ember. The generator is dwindling, the food supplies are waning -- and the life-preserving lights have begun to flicker.

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

"Jerry Renault, high school freshman, has yet to recover from his mother's recent death. Confused and depressed, he finds himself at Trinity High School, a brutal environment overrun with bullying and intimidation. Upon arrival, Jerry is already labeled as vulnerable and targeted by the Vigils, a secret society of vicious, power-scheming pranksters.

Shortly after, Jerry is threatened by the Vigils into accepting his first "assignment": he must refuse to sell chocolates for the first ten days of the school's annual fund-raiser. Jerry succumbs to the request at first, but under the overwhelming pressure, his timidity transforms into utter contempt. In a defiant rage, Jerry continues to refuse the chocolates after the ten days, challenging both the influence of the Vigils and Brother Leon, the imperious headmaster.

As the outrageous act progresses into an all-out war, only one question remains: who will prevail?"

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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