Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday August 13
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday August 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Art & Architecture
Children's 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 August and September
The Library will be closed on Monday, September 5 for the Labor Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, September 6.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
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.
  • No popular magazines, no National Geographic, no Gourmet, no Sunset.... FOPAL is phasing out accepting any periodicals.
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
Donations in Honor Of
Donation in honor of Lilian Marcus. Many thanks from the Friends of the Palo Alto Library!
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:
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 916-936-4580. 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.

The Children's Room is Ready to Help Your Kids Go Back-to-School

The first weeks of school are a great time to share some awesome children's literature that is perfect for teaching about going back to school. Many of the books will be a springboard for a discussion on back to school topics. Start with books and get your kids thinking! In our Children's Room you can find dozens of books to inspire. Check out the new poetry area filled with great selections like Shel Silverstein's second book, The Giving Tree, and Falling Up, the last book that he published in 1999. Shel invited children to dream and dare to imagine the impossible.

Visiting the Children's Room this sale will help you begin daydreaming of the bounty of books you can afford, filling your child's room with more books that imaginable! With the huge number of books donated over the summer the shelves are full. Look for nearly new books in the reference area to support your child's study like Dictionary for Children or a First Dictionary. For end of summer fun, check out all the Games, the gam shelves are packed!

And, in the Play & Learning section look for dozens of titles. And, for your tweens and teens you'll find the best selection of Beginner Reading, Early Chapter Books and Middle-grade Fiction, as well as popular series, American Girl, Girls of Many Lands, A Series of Unfortunate Events and Alex Rider Adventures. We even have a section for classics like Narnia, Dear America and Little House on the Prairie! Come pick up an entire series and you'll be set to start this new school year.

If you're looking for more collectable children's books check out the freshly stocked "Red Carts" or, if you can't make the sale look for FOPAL's collectable children's books on-line at

Parking Alert

Due to a roof repair, approximately half of the parking across from the Main Room is closed; plenty of parking is available by the playing fields.

Art - Studio & History for August

"The Art section contains studio art; graphic design; art history; individual artists; regional art; collections from museums; and architecture. While most of these topics are self-explanatory, studio art could use some additional clarification as to what type of book you will find there. It is really the how-to of being an artist: how to draw, how to paint, how to learn more about watercolor or oil painting. Also we have books on creativity and design inspiration, as well as, how to manage the business aspects of being an artist. An open invitation awaits you on these shelves to pick up a brush or pencil and express yourself." -Mary Ahrens

Book Sets

Located in aisle 6 the Sets section has both complete sets (sold as a set with a single price) and incomplete sets which are often sold individually as well as volumes from a continuing series.

Complete Sets include: Abraham Lincoln: The War Years, 4 volumes, Carl Sandburg, $10. Smithsonian Scientific Series, 12 volumes, $12. The Smithsonian Series, 12 volumes, $12. The Pocket University, 13 volumes, $20. Hall Caine, 1904, 9 volumes, $20. The Encyclopedia of Science, 8 volume set, $5. Mark Twain, 24 volume set, Author's National Edition, 1899, $30.

Incomplete sets include: 11 volumes in very good condition from the series, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, priced individually. 10 volumes from the 1950's DMG detective series, priced individually. 22 volumes from the series, Harvard Classics, $14 in total, 9 volumes from the series, The French Classical Romances, $2 each. Littell's Living Age, 3 volumes, $5 each and 4 volumes from Dickens' Works, Chapman and Hall, 1887, $3 each. 11 volumes from Ralston University Press, priced individually.

History sets will be found in History in aisle 11 and even more sets are in the Bargain Room. -Nigel Jones


"This month's DVD section features a bumper crop of critically acclaimed movies and television. Choose from over 100 movies rated 90+ by RottenTomatoes, including recent titles like Guardians of the Galaxy. Or binge watch one of over 50 TV box sets, including the first three seasons of Downton Abbey and season one of Orange is the New Black (unopened)." -Dean Ujihara


"We have another month with shelves stuffed with science books. We have expanded the Science and Math section this month, but there are still tons of books in all areas of science. Books are sorted by areas of interest: popular science, math (popular through advanced math), chemistry, biology, geology/geography, physics, electronics, aerospace, space program, practical engineering/science, science biography, history of science, and more popular science. There are seven bays full of science all labeled to help you find what you are looking for. We should also note that because of the volume of science books this month, a large number have been sent to the Bargain Room. Be sure to check out the science section in the Bargain Room because there are a lot of great books there as well.

"As a heads up, next month we will have a science special presenting books we have received from the HP laboratory library. At one time HP Labs was one of the most respected research labs in the country. As the company has gone through some changes, we received a large donation of books from HP Labs. These will be offered as a special in September." -Dick Grote


"This week's New York Times list of Best Sellers in Health shows Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air in the top slot. A much-loved young Stanford neurosurgeon, Kalanithi chronicled the months following his lung cancer diagnosis, and his book has earned international renown. Atul Gawande's Being Mortal takes second place on the Times list. We have brand new copies of both on display. Siddhartha Mukherjee's The Emperor of All Maladies continues to be a much requested book. We haven't yet gotten his newest, The Gene, but it's third on the list and we'll likely have it next month. (Excerpts appear in a recent New Yorker: excellent reading.)

"A few new and interesting titles deserve attention: An Epidemic of Absence, by Moises Velazquez, 2013: Gut microbes possibly related to allergies, autism and immune diseases. Hypno-Birthing, by Marie Mongan, 2015: Hypnosis reduces labor and childbirth pain, often eliminates need for drugs and caesarian surgery. The Patient Will See You Now, by Eric Topol, MD, 2015: Topol believes that patients can safely be more active in health care diagnosis and treatment, etc. rather than doctor being seen as an all-powerful god. Positive role of internet, biomedical technology and smart-phone monitoring. Very readable book." -Verne Rice

Music for August

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 - Battle Notes: Music of the Vietnam War; Born to Drum; The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker; Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl; That Half-Barbaric Twang: The Banjo in American Popular Culture; Temperament: the Idea that Solved Music's Greatest Riddle; The B-Side; Rhythm Oil; Reminiscing with Sissle and Blake; Pet Sounds and Dusty in Memphis from 33 1/3.

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

2016 August Humor

"The book of the month is two books in a slipcase, The Complete Far Side Volumes 1 & 2. Typically, we only sell this online but here is your chance to buy it with no wait and no shipping fees - $20 for a fabulous Far Side set! Other new arrivals included Erika Lopez (3), Rumple (2) and regular favorites Fey, Sedaris, Handler and Wodehouse. In the British section you will find Prince Charles's favorite comedy show, The Goons, with the great Welsh comedian Harry Secombe. In the world of cartoons, we have six New Yorkers including the Complete Cartoon with all its DVDs; one cartoon a day for life! If you have to have everything Star Wars check out the very funny Darth Vader and Son.

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

Nature for August

"August is a very special time of year in the Bay Area - so many outdoor activities to choose from! How about spending the day at one of our local beaches before the frenzy of Fall? The whales are so close to shore they are breaching among surfers...and berries are ripe for picking in coastal farms. The Nature section has a wide selection of low-priced books on coastal trails, flora and fauna - take a few with you on your mini-vacation. Our New Arrival section is bursting with best-selling summer reads: Good Old Dog, Elephant Company, All the Wild That Remains, Next of Kin, Mind of the Raven, Science as a Contact Sport, Plows, Plagues and Petroleum, Sixth Extinction and many more." -Karen D


"Our special this month is pairs. We all know about Tracy and Hepburn, but how many folks know about Holden and Hepburn (Audrey not Kate). Come buy one of the books in the pairs special and you can find out. There are also a lot of books on screenwriting and craft. Entertainment bios are overflowing as usual. Finally, we have a large number of interesting books in the Director's Corner. Come check it all out." -Dick Grote

Philosophy for August 2016

"The Philosophy section in August has a wide variety of new arrivals with some rarely seen titles, many in very good editions. These include: Collected Works of Bernard Lonergan, The Suasive Art of David Hume, The History of Islamic Philosophy, The QPB Dictionary of Ideas, Mountain Gloom and Mountain Glory, The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy, The African Philosophy Reader, as well as biographies of Montaigne and Iqbal.

"Don't forget the Bargain Room: there was not enough shelf space in the Main Room for all the books received and there are some excellent books to be found there as well." -Nigel Jones

Judaica for August

Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion, Jewish history, the Holocaust, Israel, Jewish Women, the Jewish American Experience and other related subjects.

New this month: Jewish Wisdom and The Book of Jewish Values both by Rabbi Telushkin; Great Jewish Quotations; Szyk: The Passover Haggadah; Tales of the Hasidim by Martin Buber; The Book of J; Radical Then, Radical Now by Jonathan Sacks; The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography; The Complete Maus; The Lion's Gate: On the Front Lines of the Six Day War; Israel Through My Lens. Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme. -Charlotte Epstein

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

A book with an ominous title -- and an ominous outset. The grotesque man Jack murders the Dorian family in their sleep -- save the toddler upstairs, who had unwittingly crawled out of the house and into the nearby cemetery. Here, its supernatural "residents" convene and agree to raise him as one of their own. Renamed Nobody, or Bod for short, the boy must brave the horrors of the graveyard, which, as he will discover, is never quite as frightening as the reality of living.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

A murder mystery novel, only not the typical sort. The narrator is Christopher Boone, a 15-year-old child labeled "Special Needs" due to Asperger's Syndrome. He is knowledgeable in mathematics but clueless in deciphering facial expressions. He is obsessed with lists, patterns -- and the truth, which compels him to find the "murderer" of the neighbor's dog, who was stabbed to death with a pitchfork. To do so, Christopher must become a detective -- and sift through the subtleties of human nature in a way he was never compelled to consider before.

The Line by Teri Hall

Upon the conclusion of a grueling war, an invisible, impenetrable barrier encloses a dystopian United States. There are fantastic rumors of the gnarled creatures that now inhabit the other side, in the cursed "Away". Only the widowed Mrs. Moore finds it appealing to live right by the border, as far away from the reaches of the oppressive government as one can get. But when her daughter, Rachel, hears a distress call from across the barrier, she begins to ask dangerous questions. What would happen if you cross the Line? Only one way to find out.

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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