Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday March 12
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 11am - 4pm

Sunday March 13
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Signed Books
Military History/Jane's Guides
Entertainment/Movies & TV


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 March
All Library branches will be closed on Sunday March 27 for the Easter holiday.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
Help Create your own Mini Bookstore
Become an Assistant Section Manager!

Here's an opportunity to help create and co-manage your own mini bookstore as a FOPAL Assistant Section Manager. Bring your love of books in areas like Art, Psychology, Sex & Gender, The West, Gardening or Historical Fiction, to name a few sections available. All books are pre-sorted and ready to be priced and displayed! Proceeds go directly to the Palo Alto Libraries to fund literacy & enrichment programming. Join the FOPAL team to sell more books and change people's lives. You can make a difference!

For more FOPAL volunteer opportunities and descriptions check out
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 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.

Spring Forward This Sale Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, which means you'll want to be sure to move your clock forward by one hour on Saturday night. Otherwise, you'll arrive at our Sunday sale an hour late! Incidentally, the correct term is daylight saving time, not daylight savings time. If you had it wrong, don't feel bad. More people Google the incorrect phrase than the correct one!

Tent Sale 11am - 4pm for March

Our popular Outdoor Tent Sale goes inside for March. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers who braved the inclement weather we managed to hold the Outdoor Tent Sale the past two months despite less-than- perfect conditions. All items offered in this area are only $1.00 each and we have a great selection of books, movies, music and games. There are great bargains to be had. Popular items here have been hardback novels, cooking, science, military, reference (get a nice old dictionary for only $1.00!), travel guides. This part of the sale opens at 11am with the red carts inside due to the expected rain.

Nature guides for March

"Nature Section- Spring has sprung all over the Main Room this month! In the Specials section we are featuring guidebooks of our local birds, wildflowers, trees (and more) to help you welcome the first day of Spring, March 20th. This wildflower season should be the best in years thanks to the rain, so grab a local hiking guide, pack a lunch, and enjoy! In the main Nature section we have dozens of new arrivals, many old favorites by Carson, Muir and Thoreau, and a large selection of books on raising pets from Afghan Hounds to Zebra Finches." -Karen D.

Reference Oxford English Dictionary

"This month we are offering a very special item. A complete 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary (Second Edition), easily the world's greatest dictionary, the OED is commonly found in one or two volume editions requiring a magnifier to use. This edition is printed on full size pages and will likely be the last edition ever available in print. Our set is in wonderful condition, complete with dust jackets. Offered online at $1000 brand new, we are selling ours for $500, and remember when you buy books from FOPAL you don't have to pay sales tax or shipping!

"For the scholars out there, we are offering a hard to find complete set of Opus Epistolarum Des. Erasmi Roterodami (Letters of Erasmus) published by Oxford University Press. Price is $100 for the complete set, compare at over $20/per volume online." -Jerry Stone

Military History/Jane's All the World's guides

"Jane's Information Group (often referred to as Jane's) is a British publishing company specializing in military, aerospace and transportation topics...Jane's was founded in 1898 by Fred T. Jane who had begun sketching ships as an enthusiast naval artist while living in Portsmouth. This gradually developed into an encyclopedic knowledge, culminating in the publishing of All the World's Fighting Ships in 1898. The company then gradually branched out into other arenas of military expertise. The books and trade magazines published by the company are often considered the de facto public source of information on warfare and transportation systems." -Wikipedia

For March FOPAL is selling multiple guides on aircrafts and fighting ships. While these are ex-library books they're in great condition, being offered at $10 to $20 each and worth at least double.

Entertainment/TV & Movies

"The Entertainment section is easy to find this month. Just look for the African Queen floating over the section. (Not for sale, however!) We have a large collection of books on film theory and an equally large collection on Hollywood and the history of cinema. Near the floor are nearly two shelves of film biography. Some of the biographies are pretty rare and don't often show up. As usual there are also a lot of books on craft--acting, business, and writing, on TV, film guides, film tie-ins, radio, and general media." -Dick Grote

March Signed Book Special

FOPAL's Signed Book special is back! When researching a book for sale at FOPAL one point mentioned to new volunteer researchers is to look in the book. What can be found in a donated book could be anything from a love note to pictures, to money or (almost as good as money) an inscription and authors signature.

From the website Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America's article entitled Collecting Rare Books and First Editions: Is "Flat Signed" Better? I discovered this tidbit to share... "Few if any collectors today care if Jules Verne or H. G. Wells inscribed a book to an unknown person. Just the opposite, a long inscription is preferred. Why is that true? Because of course these authors are now no longer signing anything, and it is easier to authenticate an inscribed and signed copy, so the more words from the master's hand, the better. Who knows, maybe in a hundred years, Ray Bradbury's signature may be worth something and a book with a long inscription and maybe one of his drawings - priceless?...My point in telling you all of this is simply to point out that the more words on your autographed items, the better!" -Barry R. Levin

Look for the signed book special at the far end of the Home & Craft section, last bay across from Collectable Cookbooks, labeled Signed by Author -Janette Herceg

2016 March Humor

"If you like your Humor in large format this is your month. In XXL we have The Complete New Yorker, The Cartoons of the New Yorker, The Theory of Everything, The Peanuts Treasury, Golf in the Comic Strips, and The Indispensable Calvin & Hobbes. We also have new arrivals from Ellen DeGeneres, Tina Fey, Denis Leary, John Cleese, and four novels by P. G. Wodehouse. In the rarely seen department we have Eugene Epstein's Swiss Trilogy and still available we have two excellent books on the art of cartooning, Cartoons and Cartooning and The Humongous Book of Cartooning.

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

Science Fiction & Fantasy for March

"In Science Fiction and Fantasy this month, we have an unusual number of older paperbacks, most in good shape for their age. Great authors like Harlan Ellison, Bob Shaw, and Robert Sheckley, plus a special display of Ace Science Fiction Specials." -Rich McAllister

March 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 - The Ring: Anatomy of an Opera; Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78rpm Records; Marsalis on Music; The Singer's Manual of English Diction; Give Peace a Chance; Nine Inch Nails; Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America; Workin' Man Blues; The Official Lyric Book Duran Duran; The Etude Music Magazine from 1930s and 40s.

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

Gardening for March

"This month the Gardening section is inundated, deluged, and positively overflowing with books on that timeliest of topics in landscape gardening: creating attractive gardens that require far less water (and less maintenance as well). On the shelf labeled "WATERWISE" you'll find many inspiring, informative, well-photographed guides such as Designing California Native Gardens, Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates, Reimagining the California Lawn, and Book of Ornamental Grasses." -Ann Justice

Philosophy for March 2016

"Of the two Philosophy bookcases the left hand one is for philosophers and this month we have 13 very good hardback volumes from the Britannica Great Book series ranging from Aquinas to Plotinus. New arrivals in Philosophy this month in the right hand bookcase include two books on Emerson, his Essays and Journals, and Richardson's biography, Mind on Fire. We have an excellent two volume set on Nietzsche in German, Nietzsche Werke in Zwei Banden. Other new arrivals include, Cicero on Oratory and Orators, Langer's Mind: An Essay on Human Feelings, Ignatieff's biography of Isaiah Berlin, and by Derrida, Specters of Marx and Archive Fever.

Holding over we still have a very good selection of books by Santayana and Thoreau, and a very interesting novel, The Spinoza Quartet.

Don't forget the Bargain Room which will have a very large selection of Philosophy books at seriously bargain prices." -Nigel Jones

March Religion

"A whole shelf of selections from the Anchor Bible series awaits buyers; Song of Songs, Job, Psalms, John, Ephesians and more. And Dorothy Sayers moved from mysteries to The Mind of the Maker, Nickelsburg's Ancient Judaism and Christian Origins and a box full of the periodical Weavings, aimed to promote spiritual growth and leadership." -Nancy Cohen

Judaica for March

"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: The Szyk Haggadah; Disguised as Clark Kent; From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books; John Lennon and the Jews; Explaining Hitler; Gideon's Spies: the Secret History of the Mossad; Unauthorized Entry; The Redemption of the Unwanted: The Nazi and the Psychiatrist; Self-Portrait of a Hero: the Letters of Jonathan Netanyahu; Palestinian Memories: The Story of a Palestinian Mother and Her People.

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

Historical Fiction

"Historical Fiction has an extensive collection of Bernard Cornwall books this month. Also, don't miss the Sea Stories section especially commentary and analysis of the Captain Hornblower books by C.S. Forester and the Patrick O'Brian Aubry/Maturin books. As usual, we have a large selection of historical fiction for all areas of the world set in different historical eras." -Suzanne Little

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

"1943, Nazi-occupied France- 'Verity' is apprehended by the Gestapo. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission, or meet a violent death. But 'Verity' is a Scottish spy, and she knows better: she'll die either way. Under torture, even a willful spy caves in. Perhaps as a final act of defiance against her captors, however, she weaves her confession by pen to drag out the days. With each new scrap of paper, 'Verity' battles for her life as she confronts her bruises, her failures, and her broken heart. They'll get the truth, all right: it just won't be what they expect."

The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

"After swiping the king's seal, Gen's boasting and bravado leaves him languishing in the king's prison. But the magus, the King's chief advisor and a powerful figure, offers him his freedom -- if he agrees to commit one final, impossible theft. To the magus, Gen is merely a means to an end, a tool to forward his power and kingdom. But Gen, cunning and resourceful, has an agenda of his own."

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

"Following a violent coup incited by her murderous aunt Redd, Princess Alyss and her bodyguard desert a chaotic Wonderland through the Pool of Tears. But amidst the chaos they are separated, and Alyss finds herself lost and stranded in the Victorian London. Thirteen fateful years passed as royal escort Hatter Madigan searched in vain for Alyss. But alas, he has a promising lead. Stumbling across a novel depicting Alyss' tumultuous past, Hatter must track down the aspiring author whom the princess had befriended and, upon doing so, disclosed her ambient tale -- Lewis Carroll."

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