Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday April 9
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday April 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Popular Science
Book Sets
Wyman Collection
Political Science
Post Cards


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 April and May
All Library branches will be closed on Monday May 30 for the Memorial Day holiday.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
A Reminder about the 12-Book Limit
Most people who come to our sales early on Saturday are enthusiastic, cooperative, and they appreciate the reasons for our 12-book limit, which is in force only until the Sale Manager announces that the limit is lifted. This usually happens around noon; earlier when all who are in line have been admitted, and when the Fire Department's occupancy limit is no longer a problem.

Shoppers may not bring in more than one bag per customer, or any oversize bags. Standard grocery-sized bags are okay - and of course we encourage the use of our highly visible flashy green FOPAL bags, for sale outside the entry ramp. Please remember that boxes and large backpacks are a safety hazard, and we cannot allow them when the book room is crowded.

We will remove shoppers from the sale if the they refuse to limit the number of books in their possession to 12. A reminder: as always, customers are welcome to choose 12 books, pay for them, exit Marty's room and re-enter as many times as they wish, honoring the waiting line if it is still in existence.

Our goal is to make our book sales as pleasant and rewarding as possible, for as many customers as possible. We are grateful for the support of most of our shoppers for shopping according to our rules. We ask for the commitment of our "business clients" in considering the rights of all of our customers and observing our rules. -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.

April Sale Notes

Book Sets was one of our featured specials last month. Having sold the March sets last month, with an offer before the sale from a FOPAL customer in Downers Grove, Illinois, we've added several more sets for our April Sale. Most are featured in the case outside the sorting room, others you'll find in the appropriate sections. Right next to Book Sets you'll find a new subsection for our growing Science area "Popular Science". Also, look for books in the specials bays from the Political Science section as they received a large donation last month. Look for the Political Science special to last for several months as it feels fitting during this lively time in politics and we've got an assortment of titles to offer. Books from the Tom & Ellen Wyman Collection are highlighted again for April as we continue to process this generous donation. The Wyman Collection can be found in the special bay across from the check-out line and Art area. There is now a new selection of nicer postcards in the Post Card section. These cards have been carefully curated for the deltiologists out there! (Deltiology from the Greek, diminutive of deltos, "writing tablet, letter"; and logia, is the study and collection of postcards.)

FOPAL Gives Share Faire a Shout Out!

Share Faire is usually held on the 2nd Sunday afternoon. Share Faire brings all the benefits of sharing Stories, Skills, and Stuff together in one fun event. Come join Transitions Palo Alto to share garden produce, arts and crafts supplies, books, toys, and clothes. They'll have things like music, bike repair, video storytelling, and other demos as well, with different themes each time.

More information is at

1-3 PM, April 10th: Garden, Food & Seeds, at Cubberley Community Center rooms A6 & A7. Meet your neighbors, help keep things out of the landfill, and learn something new. April Share Faire: will be showing the World Premiere of Herb Moore's new short film in support of Seed Libraries and the new proposed legislation.

Science for April

"The Science section has had a facelift this month. There are a lot of new books and the shelves are labeled to help buyers find their way through the hundreds of science books we have for sale. Also, the "Popular Science" section near the entrance next to Philosophy has reappeared. Here are many interesting books for the general reader (i.e. no equations--there are plenty of equations around the corner). Note the large collection of PSSC science titles in Popular Science which many of us had as supplement science reading in high school in the 60s." -Dick Grote

Tom & Ellen Wyman Collection

For April, we are featuring another selection of fine books from the collection of FOPAL Book Sale founders Tom and Ellen Wyman: subjects include California History, Science, and General Interest. A nice selection of books on art tiles, one of the Wymans' many passions, is included as well. Look for these located in the "Specials case" next to CDs. -Jerry Stone

Entertainment for April

"Entertainment continues to have a wide variety of books on movies, TV, media. There are several interesting books on the history of Hollywood and the film business. To learn more about the rich, famous, and, often, misadjusted check out the large offering of film bios. For those still in withdrawal from the end of Downton Abbey, we have several titles in the series. Remember the books that used to be sold in theater lobbies in connection with the blockbuster on the screen? We have several of these this month." -Dick Grote

Classics & Modern Literature

"Check the special section, to the right as you enter the main room, for beautiful Franklin editions of the classics. Only $5 each!" -Jenny Munro

Nature April 2016

"Looking for fresh-air ways to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and Mother's Day (May 8th)? Come by the Nature section for ideas -- and pick up a book or two for Mom. Read about our featured author, Edwin Way Teale, an American naturalist, photographer and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. Move on to the New Arrival section, for When All Hell Breaks Loose, Cody Lundin; Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, Sheri Fink; Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbart; Animal Madness, Laurel Brainmon. Also featured this month on the bottom shelf, below the dog and cat section a few large format reference books on birds/animals, selected for their unusually well-done illustrations. Pick up one or two (very low priced) for your family library. They will be treasured for years to come." -Karen D.


"The History shelves are bulging with many excellent books this month. Our new or unusually interesting books are placed on the top shelves as always. Due to the large number of books we received this month, you will also find many of these books on all of our shelves--even the very bottom ones! We'd love to have more books "on display" to make your browsing easier but since we have so many good books we are unable to do this.

This month we have received a number of books on the Japanese-American experience in the United States with an emphasis on the internment of the Japanese-Americans during World War II. The relocation and internment is a particularly timely subject in this era of Muslim phobia especially given the current presidential campaign. You will find this special in the "Sets" section of History. Also, in the "Sets" section we have two complete Will and Ariel Durant's eleven-volume The Story of Civilization. Each set comes with a free bonus book The Lessons of History. This is a first for us to get two complete sets in as nice a condition as these are. Each set is priced very reasonably particularly in comparison to on-line prices." -Suzanne Little & Irina Cross


"Lots of brand new books are in the Health section this month, pretty much through all of our shelves. It's World Autism Month (really!) and we've received a bunch of books we haven't seen before. They're in a special Autism Spectrum/Asperger spot on the shelf under the window. One fascinating title: Eating an Artichoke: A Mother's Perspective on Asperger Syndrome. Likewise, some great new food/diet/nutrition titles The Self-Compassion Diet, Setting Boundaries with Food, and several more unusual treatments of the subject of eating. We're also seeing some interesting books on genetics: for example, Blue Genes: A Memoir of Loss and Survival (about the genetic basis of bipolar disorder and suicidality.)" -Verne Rice

Humor in April

"Humor in April has something for everyone, a really diverse set of topics and authors from all over the comedy spectrum. New titles include The English Gentlemen series (3 books for the price of one), How About Never?, Let's Explore Diabetes, Lush Life, The Encyclopedia of Bad Taste, The Pick of Punch, Parables of Peanuts, and the classic cartoon book The New Yorker 75th Anniversary Collection. We also have new arrivals from Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Denis Leary, John Cleese, Flann O'Brien, and four novels by P. G. Wodehouse.

Make sure to check out the Bargain Room and look through the large collection of cartoons and magazines." -Nigel Jones

Music for April

"Visit the Music section for books on a wide variety of musical topics in the genres of classical, rock, jazz, world music, and dance. New this month - Madonna Special Collector's Edition; Blondie by Lester Bangs; Duran Duran World Tour 1987; The Jefferson Airplane and the San Francisco Sound; What's That Sound; Reds, Whites, and Blues: Social Movements, Folk Music, and Race in the United States; Sex Pistols File; Women in Rock; Rockin' in Time; The Jazz Tradition; Depeche Mode A Black Celebration 1986; The Greatest Album Covers of all Time. Also, browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

"Fourteen-year-old Ponyboy Curtis has good grades, a love for books and films, and a mellow nature. And yet his circumstances mark him as an outsider; a hooligan born into a broken home and caught on the wrong side of the classes divide. When a quarrel ignites between Ponyboy's Greaser gang and the rival Socials, he catches the thrills and horrors of an outlaw as he breaks the law, challenges restrictions, and questions the divisions of society."

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

"Pacing through her family woods, Winnie Foster encounters a boy drinking from a local spring, and so stumbles upon the most well-guarded secret of a quaint family that never ages. But as pursuers encroach and explanations are revealed, Winnie soon discovers that eternal life is less a blessing than it might seem. In time, she too will face the choice of accepting immortality. But is it worth it?"

The Haven by Carol Lynch Williams

"Haven Hospital and Halls, a mysterious walled institution established in 2020, incarcerates teenagers known as Terminals. All faculty efforts are aimed to control the Disease the Terminals have: one that displays no symptoms yet claims the victims' limbs, organs, and memories. But as four Terminals: Shiloh, Gideon, Daniel, and Abigail, become obsessed over the possibility of living among the healthy, they secretly delve into the inner workings of the Haven."

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