Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday October 8
Ephemera 8am - 3:30pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday October 9
Ephemera SATURDAY ONLY All Rooms 11am - 4pm


European Languages
Popular Science
Music Books & CDs
Games & Puzzles


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 October and November
The Library will be closed on Monday, October 10 for the Columbus Day holiday. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, October 11.

The Library will close at 6pm on Wednesday, November 23 for the Thanksgiving holiday, and remain closed Thursday and Friday, November 24-25. Normal hours will resume on Saturday, November 26.

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:
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 October 2016

This weekend's sale features an extension of the HP Labs collection and Popular Science specials. Shop these unique books one more month and look for Fall Holidays to take this space for November and December. Look for these specials in the bookcases just outside the sorting/donation room (opposite Travel). A large donation of music books and sheet music came in last month and are just now making it to the Music sections. Look for music books and sheet music sections in the Main Room to especially full for October. Look for the overflow of music books in the Bargain Room (Room H2).

Love languages? Then the European Language section is a "must shop" section for you this October at FOPAL. Here's what a customer wrote: "So, enjoy your book sales. I bought so many wonderful books there and was able to become a very fluent French reader because I could afford the books there...." For this month come and check out the European Language section for many terrific looking books in Czechoslovakian. FOPAL's Political Science section was given a makeover says section manager Jim Johnson. Come grab several good reads from the Political Science offerings this October as the big election is just around the corner!

Members Annual Meeting for 2016

Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016
Time: 10:30am
Place: Rinconada Library, Embarcadero Room
Agenda: Election of 2017 Board members and officers; annual financial summary from the Treasurer; other business from the members.

Please join us at our annual meeting on October 12 at the Rinconada Library branch. The floor will be open to you, the members, to give us your thoughts on what you think FOPAL is doing well, and how its operations might be improved. We look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting.

Shout out for Transition Share Faire with Costume Swap!

Transition Palo Alto is holding a Share Faire event with a Halloween theme and a Costume Swap. This event will be on the Cubberley Community Center campus, Sunday October 9 between 1pm and 3pm, so will be convenient to people attending our Sunday sale. It is open to the public and free, and invites people to share goods, ideas, and community; and to enjoy mini skill share workshops.

More information is available on Transition Palo Alto's Share Faire page.

2016 October 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 Dulcimer Book; A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano; Beethoven's Hair; Verdi at the Golden Gate: Opera and San Francisco in the Gold Rush Years; Giants of Jazz by Studs Terkel; Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now; The Beatles: 10 YEARS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD.

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

October Science

"Once again Science is packed this month. We have a holdover from last month of books donated to FOPAL from HP Laboratories. There is a wide collection of books used by the HP Labs researchers. We also have a few copies of the collected letters of Barney Oliver, the first head of HP Labs. These books can be found in the second bay on the right as you enter the book room.

Also this month, we have an extra bay of popular science. These books can be found right next to the HP Labs special. There are a lot of really interesting books (that generally don't have equations). We also have several books on robotics which can be found near electronics. We received several books related to the space program including many special NASA publications. These, too, can be found near electronics.

\240 Finally, all of our regular sections are filled with books--many new this month. Come look for math, statistics, geology, geography, chemistry, biology, genetics, mechanical and civil engineering, electrical engineering, hobby electronics, science text books, cosmology, astronomy, practical engineering, history of technology, technology biography, Einstein and relativity, and vintage science books. Each of the 9 science bookcases are labeled to help you find the books you are interested in." -Dick Grote

Philosophy for October

"The Philosophy section in October has a broad selection of new arrivals including, Adler's two-volume set, The Idea of Freedom, Hayman's biography of Sartre, McGinn's Minds and Bodies, and the titles, Quantum Mechanics and Whitehead, The Courtier and the Heretic, The Road Since Structure, and Character and Culture.

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

October Judaica

"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: You Never Call! You Never Write!: A History of the Jewish Mother; For the Love of Being Jewish; Great Couples of the Bible; Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame; Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle; And the Sea is Never Full by Elie Wiesel; Home Lands: Portraits of the New Jewish Diaspora; Jerusalem Stone and Spirit: 3000 Years of History and Art. Also this month there is a small selection of books by Abraham Joshua Heschel.

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

2016 October Humor

"New arrivals in October include the two volume set, Cartoon Classics for Medical Economics, and the master himself, The World of Charles Addams.

Also available: The Annotated Wizard of Oz, The Complete Cartoon of the New Yorker with DVDs (one cartoon a day for life!), Principles of Uncertainty, Monty Python Live, Republican Party Reptile, Mother on Fire, Not So Popular Myths, 30 Satires, and If Andy Warhol had a Girlfriend. Other new arrivals included Erika Lopez (3), Mortimer's Rumple's Omnibus, Fey, Sedaris, Handler and Wodehouse (5). In the British section you will find Prince Charles's favorite comedy show, The Goons, with the great Welsh comedian Harry Secombe.

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

Sets for October 2016

"This month we have two featured sets. Last month we sold Guizot's History of France and this month we have Guizot's five volume set, The Popular History of England, 1876, $10. The other is a very good 12 volume set, The Stoddard Library, with very fine illustrations, 1910, $15. We also have Elbert Hubbard's Little Journeys, 15 volume set, Roycrofters, 1916, with raised embossed front cover. The set is dedicated to his wife, who has signed the first volume! $25

Complete Sets include: Stevenson's Works, Edition De Luxe, The Davos Press, 1906, set of 10, 1,000 sets only, set # 176, $40. American Short Story Classics, 5 vol. set, 1905, $10. Smithsonian Scientific Series, 12 volumes set $12. The Pocket University, 13 volume set, $20. Hall Caine, 1904, 9 volume set, $10. The Encyclopedia of Science, 8 volumes set $5. Mark Twain, 24 volume set, Author's National Edition, 1899, $30.

All in aisle 15 and even more Sets are in the Bargain Room. Incomplete sets include: History of the World, Ridpath, 6 of 9 volume set, 1901, $4 each. World's Greatest Literature, Colonial Press, 1901, 15 volumes from a series, $3 each. 11 volumes in very good condition from the series, Studies in the Age of Chaucer, priced individually. Other sets will be found their subject areas such as History in aisle 11 and Fiction in aisle 15 and even more sets are in the Bargain Room." -Nigel Jones

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.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Set in the midst of the Great War, Joey, a half-Thoroughbred farm horse, is sold to the British cavalry and thrust into the brutal fighting on the Western Front. While the tale is unique in having a first-person animal narrator, it only serves to amplify the emotional impact by contrasting the horse's utter incomprehension of human atrocity, with the moving loyalty and courage that others boldly evince. The clash of wills drives the poignant tale along as much as the timeless question: will Joey ever reunite with Albert -- the farmer's son he left behind?

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

The classic children's fairy tale follows young orphan James Henry Trotter, the "saddest and loneliest boy you could find," living with his two wicked aunts after losing his parents to a rhinoceros attack. That is, until a wizened old man, some magic crystals, a giant peach, a jolly band of talking insects, and a riveting and humorous adventure, reverses his misery forever.

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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.