Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday May 14
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday May 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm




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 May
The Children's Library will be closed all day on Friday May 13 for a proactive precautionary inspection by bug-sniffing dogs. This has been done in Mitchell Park and Rinconada branches already, in April after the April newsletter went out. This is one reason why we give you the link to the Library's event calendar below.

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.
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.
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:
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.

May Sale Highlights

Top of the list of new stuff this month was a fabulous donation of books on Music and sheet music. Music history buffs will likely find something of interest. Books are located in the Music section and the overflow of sheet music is in the outside Ephemera sale. Also, in Ephemera more framed art have been processed from a backlog. Nice decorative art pieces, in glass, ceramics as well as natural rock and crystal specimens can be found from an estate donation. The Art section is overflowing this month and has a large quantity of books on studio arts available. Look for a nice selection of great quality "Giftable Art Books" in a bay that's usually used by Home & Craft. These "like new" Art books are priced at half of the comparable price on Amazon. Two giant lots of Cookbooks were dropped off this month. There are much like-new and recent, plus a huge lot of well-used cookbooks in excellent shape in the Bargain Room. Science is stocked full of everything from popular science, science history, space programs, and books on physics, biology, and lots of math. An unusually large selection of books on structural engineering is featured.

In the Bargain Room look for House Rules -- these have to be made to accommodate building codes and fire regulations. Bargain Room House Rules will be posted and passed out to customers Saturday morning.

2016 May 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 - How They Became the Beatles; Double Trouble: Bill Clinton and Elvis Presley in a Land of No Alternatives; Mozart's Grave; Harmonograph: A Visual Guide to the Mathematics of Music; Slonimsky's Book of Musical Anecdotes; Historical Atlas of Music; Riverdance: The Story; Cirque De Soleil Totem eVolution; The Inner World of Jimi Hendrix; Red and Hot: The Fate of Jazz in the Soviet Union, 1917-1980; The Story of Music in Cartoon. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

Health Section

"Last month's Exasperating A's special (Aspergers, Autism and ADHD) was well received by our customers and, surprisingly, prompted donations of lots of books on the same subjects. Look for an expanded selection on our under-the-window display of new, classic and interesting arrivals. We've also gotten a veritable library about marijuana and the 1960s drug culture and, on a less recreational note, a strong collection of books about bones and osteoporosis." -Verne Rice

Cooking for May

"We received a huge donation of beautiful Jamie Oliver cookbooks in excellent condition. If you know of a Jamie Oliver fan, this is the time to buy a cookbook of healthy and imaginative dishes.

"Also we received several large and gorgeously photographed coffee table cookbooks notably by Michael Mina, and a well-known Palo Altan baker, Flo Braker. Our shelves are filled with lovingly used cookbooks at bargain prices. For all the home bakers out there, our desserts and baking section is full of beautiful books. Come and visit this amazing collection this month." -Rose Giamalis

May Science

"Science is packed again this month. There are two full bays of popular science--one next to Philosophy on the entry aisle and the other next to Gardening at the west end of the section. Included in popular science are vintage science books, biographies, many Einstein related, and history of science and technology, history of the space program, and a lot of interesting titles without too many equations. There are multiple bookshelf bays of deeper science and technology: mechanical, civil, electrical engineering, astronomy, cosmology, chemistry, physics, biology, and lots of math from algebra to calculus to many advanced topics. There is a bottom shelf each of Schaum's Outlines, textbooks and technical reference books. New this month is shelves on practical engineering and science and on geology. We have tried to label the various shelves to make finding the book of your choice easier.

"Finally science has a special on structural engineering that comes from the library of Walt Butler (who among other things was a very fine trumpet player). These books can be found in the bookcase in the aisle near the checkout. Walt had a very extensive library on many different aspects of structural engineering. It is rare that we get so many books of this type." -Dick Grote

General Fiction

"Breaking news! There is a new subsection this month, featuring novels by authors who own bookstores. These authors are:

  • Louise Erdrich, winner of the National Book Award, whose store is Birchbark Books in Minneapolis;
  • Garrison Keillor, who owns Common Good Books in St. Paul, just a canoe ride from Minneapolis;
  • Larry McMurtry, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, whose store Booked Up is located in Archer City, Texas;
  • Ann Patchett, co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee.

You will find this display in General Fiction on the bottom shelf -- under Nobel Prize authors and books by authors who have won the National Book Award." -Marian Knox


"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 Song of Songs: A Woman in Love; FDR and the Jews; Great Couples of the Bible; Unchosen: The Hidden Lives of Hasidic Rebels; Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora; On Wings of Eagles: The Secret Operation of the Ethiopian Exodus; Hitler's Secret Bankers: The Myth of Swiss Neutrality During the Holocaust; Survival in Auschwitz; O Jerusalem!; Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service. Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme." -Charlotte Epstein


"Look for the 18 of more than 50 volumes of Luther's Works edited by Jaroslav Pelikan, these are in like new condition. The 18 are being sold as a set for $100 and list online individually between $7 and $195." -Nancy Mahoney Cohen

Philosophy for May 2016

"The Philosophy section in May is again a bumper crop of new arrivals including some very fine editions. As a result, the right hand bookcase which focuses on philosophical and related topics is almost entirely 'New Arrivals'. In the category of philosophical overviews, we have the Oxford Companion to Philosophy, Philosophy, An Introduction through Literature, and Western Philosophy, an Anthology. Biographies include Monk's Wittgenstein, Hirschman, The Worldly Philosopher and Richardson's Emerson, Mind on Fire. Other titles to look for include Philosophers on Freud, The Culture of Make Believe and two by Daniel Dennet, Darwin's Dangerous Idea and Consciousness Explained.

"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

"Curious books, unusual and otherwise un-classifiable books that don't fit in any other section, also lots of blank journals. I rarely have many books on a single subject but this month I have 20+ amusing books for cat lovers. Titles include Zen for Cats, How to Live with a Neurotic Cat Owner, 100 Cats who Changed Civilization, The Cat Lovers Cookbook, French for Cats and Menopaws, plus How to Raise a Jewish Dog. There is also a sub-section on the stages of life with humorous books about relationships, marriage, parenting and aging. Check out the display on the windows across from the cashiers." -Pat Blumenthal

2016 May Humor

"Humor in May is definitely an odd assortment, something for everyone. New titles include Rakoff's Half Empty, two from Wodehouse, Feiffer's America, Python Michael Palin's Hemingway's\240Chair, The Drudge Manifesto, two books on sex from Cynthia Heimel, The English Gentleman Series (3 books for the price of one), the classic cartoon book--The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker and a first time appearance of the biography of Lou Costello by his son, Mike. Make sure to check out the Bargain Room and look through the large collection of cartoons and magazines." -Nigel Jones

Children's Room

The Children's Room is all full up. We have books in every area. Sections with extra full shelves are Gift-worthy books, Humor especially Calvin & Hobbes and Garfield. Math books a plenty to keep kids active during the summer months as well gobs of games for more summer fun. Look for a full shelf of Leap Frog Read & Learn, Read & Write book sets, activity sets, and jumbo puzzles. If pop-up books are to your liking there are several to choose from, including an amazing copy of Jungle Book. Come early for the best selection and selection and enjoy the bounty of books.

Teen reviews by Tristan Wang

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Melinda Sorando is a rising high school freshman. But what seems like a fresh start is actually a nightmare in disguise. Her old friends have ostracized her, and everywhere on the school grounds, she receives angry glares from strangers. And who could blame them, really, seeing that Melinda had busted a senior party the prior summer by calling the cops for no apparent reason at all? But there is a reason. One unspeakable reason that, should she make the impossible choice to face and accept, will shatter her guise of silence and force her to speak the truth.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katharine Paterson

Jesse is a schoolkid burdened by duties on his family farm and the constant agitations of his sisters. Leslie, though privileged by wealth, is often overlooked by her indifferent parents. United by their ostracism, the pair forms an unlikely friendship and constructs an imaginary refuge from the pains of reality. Their kingdom is Terabithia, and within its borders, they are king and queen. But when calamity strikes, it is up to Jesse to weave contentment from his tragedy.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

In the distant future, the world stands on the verge of conflict. On Earth, humans and androids live in an assimilated yet often agitated state of coexistence as a deadly plague ravages the populace. Miles above the surface, the Lunars regard humankind with a murderous anticipation, awaiting the time to strike. No one knows that the final outcome hinges on one girl: one whose circumstances are so unique she is a threat to all.

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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