Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday December 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


European Language
Classics/Modern Literature


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 December and January
The Library will be closed on Sunday, December 25 and Monday, December 26 for the Christmas holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, December 27.

The Library will be closed on Sunday, January 1 and Monday, January 2 for the New Years holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, January 3.

The Library will be closed on Monday, January 16 for the Martin Luther King holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, January 17.

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
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.

What's Special for December 2016

This December FOPAL members are benefiting with another Members' Early Sale. All FOPAL paid members can get in earlier than the normal 11am start time. Because of this, the normal Main Room entry procedure is changed. See the section below pertaining to the Members' Early Sale.

Winter is upon us and generous donations keep coming in. This is the perfect time to pick up books to give or collect for cold weather reads. From European Languages, check out a collection of books in Spanish, some paperback, others hardback with gilded covers, and many historical novels. The Classics section this month offers shelves of modern literature and a couple of nice sets too. The Holiday section has been restocked with wide variety festive books both fiction and non-fiction. These two specials bays are on your right as you enter and are full of books on decorating, cooking/baking, Christmas carols, holiday humor, mysteries, inspiration, and romance...also, check out a selection of boxed Hanukkah cards. Look for two red cart specials in the Main Room as well, Antiquarian books are back and Signed books have been restocked for December. The Art section as always is worth a look see this month, with plenty of new stock and many books marked down for December!

What's coming up for 2017 is a January special: Stamps and more! To begin the New Year our January special sale will include a trove of philatelic materials, including stamps and complete sets of First Day Covers (FDCs), many based on issues related to American history.

FOPAL Members Get the First Pick at Members' Early Sale

A super Festive FOPAL Members' Early Sale is scheduled for this Saturday, December 10th. Twice a year, FOPAL holds a Members' Early Sale, at which members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library are admitted early to the Main Room sale. Members enjoy a less crowded main book room and get the first crack at FOPAL's wonderful collection of materials!

Life & Sponsor Members Enter at 9am: At our Members' Early Sale, Life and Sponsor Members (and one spouse or guest) may enter at 9am and can purchase up to 100 books per membership only during that first hour. Each Life Member and Sponsor Member must give the one Purchase Slip per membership to the cashier before 10am in order to purchase up to 100 books. If a Life Member or Sponsor Member exits without purchasing all 100 books, he/she may take the Purchase Slip and reenter to fill out the 100 books as long as they are purchased by 10am.

Other Members Enter at 10am: Members at all other levels can enter the sale at 10am, and purchase 25 books at a time.

General Public Enter at 11am: At 11am, non-members are admitted. The usual limit on purchasing 12 books at a time lasts until there is no longer a line waiting to enter.

Ticket Handout Procedure: Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the Members' Early sale. As is usual, tickets are given out beginning at 8am. Look for two check-in/ticket lines; one line for renewing members, new members and those members without a membership card, and one line for members with their cards. To speed your way through the ticket line please find and bring your membership card! Tickets given out are for the 9am and 10am lines at the Main Room, since most people who come early are Members of FOPAL. Each Member will get just one ticket, although Life and Sponsor Members may bring one guest between 9 and 10am and Family Members may bring in their families, consisting of one other adult and minor children, beginning at 10am. No tickets will be given out for the 11am line.

And, for a special treat long-time volunteers Dean Ujihara (coffee connoisseur), Martha Schmidt & daughter (baking aficionados) will tempt members with artisan roasted/brewed coffee and home baked cookies!

Join FOPAL Now: If you're not already a paid-up member, avoid delay at the sale by joining online now.

Art Section

"FOPAL has many beautiful books that would make fantastic holiday gifts. New books include Poussin- The Early Years in Rome by Konrad Oberhuber and Kahlo by Andrea Ketterman. In addition, the Great Books of French Impressionism by Diane Kelder. The book is an extravagant book filled with wonderful detail and superb photos. Another special book is Leonardo which has beautiful, large prints of Leonardo da Vinci's works. There are some special books on art and architecture on America and the Bay Area. The books include Peninsula - Town & Country Homes 1910-1930 and Nueva York 1613-1945.

There continues to be ongoing price reductions on all art and architecture books. Many of these books are very special and we have started to flag these particular books on dedicated shelves in the Art section. These new shelves would be another area to find fantastic gifts at great prices." -Mary Ahrens & Andrea Lozano

Classic & Modern Literature

"In the Classics section we have two nice sets: a 27-volume set of the works of Joseph Conrad, leather bound, published by Doubleday, Page in 1926. The books are in good condition, and internet prices are mostly around $300. We are offering the complete set for only $100. We also have a 15-volume set of the works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Riverside Press, 1891. For these, we are asking only $45 - $3 per book. Again, internet prices are higher. Come and look at these wonderful deals!" -Jenny Munro

European Languages

"We have a lot of books in Spanish, mostly in paperback, but including many, many books by Jules Verne, in hardback with gilded covers, and many historical novels in hardback. There are also lots of translations of popular authors like Tolkien and Tom Clancy, and a lot of science fiction by Isaac Asimov (...Science books sent to the Bargain Room/H2) and some other classic science fiction in paperback." -Susan Strain

Antiquarian Books for December

"This is the section that focuses on books that are usually pre-1900 and are either noteworthy due to their subject matter or their descriptive bibliographic qualities. Of particular interest is the cover which is often either pictorial, embossed, or patterned, such as floral, geometric, or marbled. Illustration types include line prints or watercolors or photographs. Typeface and design layout are also key factors. Excellent examples this month include Poems of Coleridge, 1884, Poetical Works of Byron, 1877, Romance of the French Abbeys, 1905, The Toiling of Felix, 1913, and the beautiful Burns' Prose Works, 1873. Antiquarian Books are found on the red cart next to Sets." -Nigel Jones

Judaica for December

"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: Searching for Schindler: A memoir; Into The Arms Of Strangers - Stories of the Kindertransport; Nazi Gold - The Real Story of How the World Plundered Jewish Treasures; They Fought Back: The Story of the Jewish Resistance in Nazi Europe; Hunting Eichmann; Jewish Eugenics; Women of the Word: Jewish Women and Jewish Writing; A Collectors' Guide to Judaica; Hooray for Yiddish; A Bintel Brief.

Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme though I do display a few Folklore books." -Charlotte Epstein

Philosophy for December 2016

"New arrivals in the Philosophy section received in December include Watson's The Philosopher's Diet, Pinker's The Stuff of Thought, Dunn's Sir Thomas Browne, McGinn's The Making of Philosophy, Kenny's The Metaphysics of Mind, two books from the series on Humanism by Jones and Haddas and a fine biography of Feyerabend.

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

Curious Books

"There are quite a lot of unusual 'Gift-able' books in Curious Books this month. Titles include: La Figa: Visions of Form and Food, The Naughty Victorian Handbook, The Griffin and Sabine Trilogy, The Forgetting Room and The Venetian Wife--by Nick Banton, Mom Candy, History Decoded: The Greatest Conspiracies of All Times, The Pop-Up Book of M.C. Escher, Saint Misbehavin'--Modern Day Saints You've Never Heard Of, and finally, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant and Theories of Everything: Collected Cartoons (1978-2006) by Roz Chast. -Pat Blumenthal

December Psychology

"We have a good supply of current, new-looking books this month including Divine Audacity, 2015, about being spiritual without being religious and Rest-why you get more done when you work less, 2016. We're fortunate to have five copies of the popular, practical meditation book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zin; a great opportunity to buy them up and start a practice group. Look in our "small books" section for stocking stuffers. If you want to boost your happiness level during this holiday season, we've got books to guide you or to help you deal with the not-so-happy feelings you might have. Stop by Self-Help and browse the great bargains!" -Marnie Shuey

Sets for December

"December brings us two excellent sets of The Diary of Samuel Pepys. The newer set is considered to be the definitive edition by renowned Pepys scholar, Robert Latham, in 11 volumes, 1970, $60. The older classic edition is in 8 volumes, 1904, $25. Other complete sets include, Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians, in 9 volumes, 1960, $30; The Autobiography of Mark Twain, in 3 volumes, $10; Goethe, by Brandes (in German) in 2 volumes, 1915, $10; Delphian Texts, in 8 volumes, 1926, $20, and Stevenson's Works, limited edition set #176, in 10 volumes, 1906, $40." -Nigel Jones

2016 December Humor

"The Humor section is ready to help you with all your holiday gift giving. For gifts that look a lot more expensive than they really are we have six different versions of the New Yorker Cartoons including the Complete New Yorker Cartoons. For something special how about signed copies of books from Josh Kornbluth, Carmen Rutlen, Barsotti or Paula Poundstone? New titles include Best of the Raconteurs, Scapegoat, Horseradish, The Third Policeman, and Humorists. Looking for something Hollywood? We have Laurel and Hardy, the Marx Brothers, Laurel and the Three Stooges. However, without any doubt the book of the month, excellently produced with wonderful illustrations, is 1601, a book by Mark Twain considered to be so risque and ribald that it was not commercially published until 1960.

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

Greeting Cards

"Holiday cards are for sale this month in the Cubberley Main Room and in the Friends' room in the Mitchell Park Library. In Mitchell Park there are also packets of blank cards - including Thank You cards.

Donations Requested: If you have unused commercial greeting cards, especially blank cards, please consider donating them to the Friends. We already have an abundance of charity cards so don't need those (consider donating them to Goodwill). Thanks to all who have donated!" -Marda Buchholz

2016 December music books

"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 - What the Songs Look Like: Contemporary Artists Interpret Talking Heads' Songs; The Shower Songbook; The Cello Suites: J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece; Baryshnikov: In Black and White; Tarantula by Bob Dylan; Is Jazz Dead?: Or Has It Moved to a New Address; The Billboard Book of Number One Hits: Updated and Expanded 5Th Edition; Written in My Soul: Conversations With Rock's Great Songwriters; Taboo Tunes: A History of Banned Bands and Censored Songs. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

Teen Reviews by Tristan Wang

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

Amicable Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is in a load of trouble. The cozy cinderblock that is the family's winter quarters must be evacuated, before the ruinous humans return. But Frisby's youngest child Timothy has pneumonia and is too sick to be moved. A shred of hope to solve this looming dilemma comes after a chance encounter with the miraculously intelligent rats of NIMH.

Hoot by Carl Hiassen

Moving is all too mundane for Roy Eberhardt. A new arrival in a Florida suburb, he is quick to make the acquaintance of a menacing middle-school bully -- as well as two oddball friends. But a riveting experience unfolds as Roy joins an effort to sabotage the construction of a local Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House, which, if allowed to proceed, will exact an unseen yet terrible cost on some natural residents.

No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz

A simple day at the local shopping mall goes eerily wrong. The police arrive and blockade all exits, and the building is quarantined for a biological bomb discovered in the air ducts. As supplies run low and people around them seem to be succumbing to an unseen disease, four unsuspecting teens must cooperate to find solace and escape at a time when adults are behaving badly.

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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