Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday June 12
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Historical Fiction
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 July
All Library branches will be closed on Monday July 4 for the Independence Day holiday.

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 2016
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL" -Marty Paddock, 2004.

This is still true in 2016! 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 books at the monthly sale but also at the Friends Kiosks at Downtown and Rinconada libraries, in an in-library store at Mitchell Park 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.

FOPAL saying a fond farewell to long-time volunteers extraordinaire Althea Andersen & Marcia Goodman!

FOPAL has a legion of volunteers whose hard work throughout the years has made FOPAL the successful Friends group it is today. But few volunteers have become as familiar and steadying a presence at FOPAL as Althea Andersen & Marcia Goodman!

FOPAL customers recognize these two from their consistent whereness each and every month. On sale Saturdays Althea begins her day before 8am managing the Ephemera sale held outside the Main Room. Weather permitting, Althea can be found presiding over many treasures. She has a loyal following of buyers, some of whom shop the Ephemera section outside while they are waiting for entry into the main room on book sale days. Marcia is an early arriver to her morning main room cashiering position each sale Saturdays as well. She also taking time to check out what's going on in the "sorting room", as Marcia is the editor of FOPAL's sorter handbook: What goes where, a guide for sorters, now in its third edition.

Althea Andersen and Marcia Goodman will be volunteering at their final sale this month and both will be moving close to family as they begin new chapters in their lives. Please take a moment to wish these two tremendous volunteers well and thank them for their individual decade plus years of commitment to literacy and community service!

Member's Corner - New Membership Benefits - Members Early Book Sale

The FOPAL Board of Directors has set a date for the bi-annual Members Early sale for Saturday, July 9th. If you're a member of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library, you'll be able to get into the Main Room early at the July 9th sale. As a sign of appreciation for the generosity of all our members, we have increased your benefits!

From now on Life Members & Sponsors are allowed to shop the sale at 9-10am and can purchase up to 100 books. 10-11am all members at all levels can shop the sale and purchase 25 books 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 general public 11am line.

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


Did you know that Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, hypothesized that cocaine could be an antidote for morphine overuse? It was effective with some somatic problems: it cured his indigestion and dulled his aches and pains as well as relieving his depression. And did you know that William Halstead, a pioneer in modern surgery, studied cocaine's use in surgical anesthesia, developed methods to control bleeding and promoted sterile techniques: he invented the surgical glove. He also "repeatedly committed himself to an insane asylum to withdraw from his out-of-control cocaine use." Once in a while, the Health section receives a book so multi-factorially excellent that it can be read as biography, health, medical history, character study, suspense and just an over-all Good Read. An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halstead, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine by Howard Markel is this month's starred find. A truly fascinating new look at addiction, it has been a best-seller since its publication five years ago. Abraham Verghese says "...I could not put it down -- addictive is the word for this terrific book." Actually, this month another starred book arrived, guaranteed to appeal to lovers of literature, art, history and medicine, and to readers tormented by aches, pains and symptoms. The Hypochondriacs by Brian Dillon, is "an intriguing, suavely written blend of medical history and literary criticism, with engrossing glimpses of the 'fit unwell' including Charlotte Bronte, James Boswell, Andy Warhol, Glenn Gould, Charles Darwin and Marcel Proust." Another bestseller! -Verne Rice

Nature for June

"Have you ever been tempted (or perhaps been told) to 'go take a hike'? This month the Nature section is featuring a collection of tales by solo adventurers who did just that, including: Into the Wild, The Long Walk Home, Survive!, Alone On the Ice and Wild. In the New Arrivals section: The World is Blue: How Our Fate and the Oceans are One, What We Leave Behind, Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, and two books by best-selling author Amy Stewart: Flower Confidential: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful and The Earth Moved. Check out the Nature Writers and the Animal Stories sections for the perfect book(s) to take with you wherever you 'adventure' this summer." -Karen D.

June Music

"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 - calendars with the Beatles; Vienna Urtext Guide to Piano Literature; The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want; Street Posters and Ballads; Man in the Music: The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson; Dylan's Visions of Sin; and The Maestro Myth: Great Conductors in Pursuit of Power. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

Historical Fiction

"Historical Fiction has a collection of vintage books this month. Look for them in the special display case near the cashier line. We have a complete collection of Patrick O'Brian sea stories in both hard cover and paperback format. We also have an extensive number of Bernard Cornwall historical adventure novels. Alan Furst is widely recognized as the master of the historical spy novel and this month we have a nice variety of his books. If you are early you might even be able to grab a couple of the very popular Flashman books by George McDonald Fraser." -Suzanne Little

Philosophy for June 2016

"The Philosophy section in June has new arrivals in very good editions, including Emerson's Essays and Journals, two by Derrida, Writing and Differences and Religion, Gould's Existential Philosophy, Berlin's The Crooked Timber of Humanity, Karnos's Falling in Love with Wisdom, and Law's Great Philosophers. Biographies include Monk's Wittgenstein, Adelman's Hirschman, The Worldly Philosopher and Richardson's Emerson, Mind on Fire.

"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 June

"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: Jews on the Frontier; In the Image of God: A Feminist Commentary on the Torah; The Book of Blessings; The Jewish Mind; a signed copy of The Slopes of Lebanon by Amos Oz; My German Question: Growing Up in Nazi Berlin; and two special cookbooks - In Memory's Kitchen: A Legacy from the Women of Terezin and Joan Nathan's The Jewish Holiday Kitchen.

"Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme." -Charlotte Epstein

2016 June Humor

"Humor in June is New Yorker Cartoon month - we have 8 different titles all in excellent condition - including one we rarely get - Baseball Cartoons.

New arrivals from this side of the pond include Groucho's Letters, The Three Stooges, the biography of Lou Costello by his son, Mike, Lou, two books on sex from Cynthia Heimel and Tina Fey's Bossy Pants. From the other side of the pond we have 5 books from Wodehouse, three Python-related books, and if you need some clerihews, Auden\u2019s illustrated Academic Graffiti.
Make sure to check out the Bargain Room for Humor and look through the large collection of cartoons and magazines." -Nigel Jones

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Fourteen-year-old Junior was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. Born on the Spokane Indian Reservation, a community stricken with poverty and alcoholism, and graced with a stutter and lisp, he is bullied by everyone except his best friend. An aspiring cartoonist, Junior sets off to attend an all-white school "where the only other Indian is the school mascot," before the small-town outlook of "the rez" crushes his dreams. Condemned as a traitor to his people, Junior takes life head-on as he employs wit and humor to stay afloat in the crevice between two worlds.

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

A gruesome horror novel. Oskar is a reclusive boy whose mistreatment sets him increasingly inward, harboring morbid interests including an obsession for crime and forensics. That is, until Oskar meets Eli, a young girl, in a fateful encounter that materializes in an intimate friendship. But behind the seemingly naive romance, dark, macabre secrets begin to bubble to the surface as Eli is connected to a string of grueling murders that has ravaged the neighborhood.

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli

The small town of Waymer celebrates an annual Pigeon Day, in which five thousand live pigeons are released from wooden crates to be shot down by observing entrants. As the tradition edicts, ten-year-old boys will receive the honor of becoming wringers, collecting wounded pigeons during the shooting and wringing their necks to end their misery.

Enter Palmer LaRue, a kid who, unlike all his peers, is revolted by the pigeon shoots and consequently dreads the day he turns ten. But when a pigeon shows up outside his window and demands entrance, Palmer is faced with an ultimatum. Should he decline the pigeon to gain the acceptance of his friends? Or should he follow his conscience and open the window -- and take up the dreadful burden of keeping an unspeakable secret from everyone around him?

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.

Be sure to receive your own free copy of this e-mail notice so that you'll know about all special upcoming books sales. To sign up, just e-mail us. We carefully protect the privacy of your e-mail address. We will not share your e-mail address with any other organization and we will not use it for any purpose other than to send you these notices. If you do not wish to receive these e-mail notices in the future, please reply with the words "Remove Me" in the subject line.