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

Sunday September 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Room
The West


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

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
A Reminder about the 12-Book Limit
Most people who come to our sales early on Saturday are enthusiastic, cooperative, and they appreciate the reasons for our 12-book limit, which is in force only until the Sale Manager announces that the limit is lifted. This usually happens around noon; earlier when all who are in line have been admitted, and when the Fire Department's occupancy limit is no longer a problem.

Shoppers may not bring in more than one bag per customer, or any oversize bags. Standard grocery-sized bags are okay - and of course we encourage the use of our highly visible flashy green FOPAL bags, for sale outside the entry ramp. Please remember that boxes and large backpacks are a safety hazard, and we cannot allow them when the book room is crowded.

We will remove shoppers from the sale if the they refuse to limit the number of books in their possession to 12. A reminder: as always, customers are welcome to choose 12 books, pay for them, exit Marty's room and re-enter as many times as they wish, honoring the waiting line if it is still in existence.

Our goal is to make our book sales as pleasant and rewarding as possible, for as many customers as possible. We are grateful for the support of most of our shoppers for shopping according to our rules. We ask for the commitment of our "business clients" in considering the rights of all of our customers and observing our rules. -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.

September Sale Notes

Donations were especially strong since the last sale, as we had a backlog from August and have already priced books for the October sale! This is especially true for the Science section. Science section managers Dick Grote and Ed Walker have collected and displayed two full bays of books donated from the Hewlett Packard Labs! Look for this special selection to your right as you enter the Main Room. The Children's Room shelves are sagging under the weight of all the books as well! This means a great selection for buyers; this will be a super sizzling sale. For our children's vintage books, collectors check the "red carts" for what's been pulled, priced and researched by FOPAL's vintage children's book section manager Lisa Heyse. Look for the "red carts" to be overflowing for the next sale too!

For the upcoming September Sale, look for lots of treasures in our Ephemera area. Many of these large non-book donations have been priced and had been held back in FOPAL off-site storage for a special September Sale. Think, silver plate serving pieces, porcelain collectables.... Also, this month it's a great time fun to imagine the past, to walk through the ages in one's mind. The more history you read, the more it can fill in the blanks in the understanding and in the mental images of the universe in which we live. Reading history can be fun and satisfying. Another good reason to check out our History section is that you'll be treated to a unique opportunity to explore the vast collection we have in every area!


"We continue to have wall to wall books in Science. We have expanded the electrical engineering and math sections this month, but there are still tons of books in all areas of science. Books are sorted by areas of interest: popular science, math (popular through advanced math), chemistry, biology, geology/geography, physics, electronics, aerospace, space program, practical engineering/science, science biography, history of science, and more popular science. There are seven bays full of science all labeled to help you find what you are looking for.

"We have received a large donation of books from HP Laboratories. HP Labs has been one of the leading technical scientific labs in the country. FOPAL is pleased to present these to our customers this month. Most of the books are related to electrical engineering, but there are several other disciplines as well. Most of the books are in excellent condition with only a few markings from HP. The special section for HP Labs is near the entry to the sale room." -Dick Grote

The West

"If you haven't seen what we have in The West recently, go to aisle 2 in the Main Room. There you'll find lots of great books on California history and geography, including special sections on San Francisco, Palo Alto, and the Bay Area. This month, we are featuring Guide Books to Hiking and Biking Trails in the Bay Area. We also have special sections on Yosemite and the Sierras, California Earthquakes and Fires, the Gold Rush and Mining, and the California Missions. (Note this, parents of 4th graders!)

For the next couple of months, we also have a special section containing books by the great Pulitzer Prize winning non-fiction writer, John McPhee, many of whose books deal with the\240West.\240Some of his books can also be found in our Nature and Animals section against the back wall in the Main Room.

We have plenty of books about the West in general, including new special sections on the Southwest, the Northwest, and The Rockies. Some of our regular sections include books on Women in the West, Vigilantes and Gunslingers, Exploration (as in Lewis and Clark), and Alaska. Note: Our other books about Native Americans have moved to the facing aisle between Anthropology and Military History. We also have a section on Western Fiction (from Wallace Stegner to Larry McMurtry). And you can always find more Western fiction in our Bargain Room (H-2). Be sure to check our top and bottom shelves for oversized books in all these categories. -KC Sarr

Nature Section

"Fall is a wonderful time of year for hiking and birdwatching in the Bay Area. The weather is cooler but still dry, perfect for exploring our beaches, Redwood forests and ridge trails. Fall migration continues, with flycatchers, vireos, warblers, sparrows and finches passing through (or staying). Shorebirds that breed in the Arctic and many of those that breed at more temperate latitudes are also on the move. The Nature section has low-priced guides to all of the above and much more. Some of the titles in our New Arrivals and High Adventure sections this month include: Gem Trails of Northern California, Left For Dead, The Soul of An Octopus and Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation (in case you thought the Nature section was boring!)." -Karen D.

2016 September Humor

"New arrivals in September include The Annotated Wizard of Oz, The Complete Cartoons 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), Rumple (2), 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. If you have to have everything Star Wars check out the very funny Darth Vader and Son or want something different The Book of Trolls. Make sure to check out the Bargain Room for Humor and look through the large collection of books and cartoons." -Nigel Jones


"Our special again this month is pairs. We all know about Tracy and Hepburn, but how many folks know about Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee? Come buy one of the books in the pairs special and you can find out. There are also a lot of books on screenwriting and craft. Entertainment bios are overflowing as usual. Finally, we have a large number of interesting books in the Director's Corner." -Dick Grote

2016 September 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: Wrapped in a Holy Flame; Mourning & Mitzvah; God is a Verb; Joys of Yiddish; The Bible Code; Outwitting History; 50 Ways to be Jewish; books for the upcoming High Holy Days; 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History; Fares of Memory; The Gold Train; and The State of Israel vs Adolf Eichmann. Also for this month there is a small selection of folklore such as Yiddish Folktales and Hasidic Tales of the Holocaust. Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme." -Charlotte Epstein

DVDs for September

"Wanna see something really scary? Check out the horror DVD special. Like zombies? Choose from the good: 28 Days Later, the bad: Zombie Strippers, the old: Night of the Living Dead, or the funny: Shawn of the Dead." -Dean Ujihara

Sets for 2016 September

"Located in aisle 6 the Sets section has both complete sets (sold as a set with a single price) and incomplete sets which are often sold individually as well as volumes from a continuing series. The condition of the older volumes is very variable even within sets and all should be looked at carefully. This month's featured set is: Elbert Hubbard's Little Journeys, 15 vol. set, Roycrofters 1916, with raised embossed front cover. The set is dedicated to his wife, who has signed the first volume! $25. Also we have Elbert Hubbard's Scrapbook, 1923, $5, and Aristotle, 1903, $5.

"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 volume set, $12. The Pocket University, 13 volume set, $20. Hall Caine, 1904, 9 volume set, $10. The Encyclopedia of Science, 8 volume set, $5. Mark Twain's Works, 24 volume set, Author's National Edition, 1899, $30.

"Incomplete sets include: History of France, Guizot, five of a seven volume set, late 1800s? $4 each. History of the World, Ridpath, six of nine 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. 22 volumes from the series, Harvard Classics, $14 in total. Other sets will be found in 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

Philosophy for September 2016

"The Philosophy section in September has a broad selection of books in areas related to topics such as consciousness, mind, bioethics and neuroscience. Overall new arrivals include Voltaire's Bastards by Saul, Process-Rational Philosophy by Mesle, Decisions, Uncertainty, and the Brain by Glimcher, Neurophilosophy by Churchland, Philosophy in the Flesh by Lakoff, Out of our Heads by Noe, Animal Rites by Wolfe (I imagine he gets many comments on this), the classic Principia Ethica by Moore, and two books by Chomsky.

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

Psychology / Self-help

"Here are some samples of popular books this month, all below Amazon prices. The Center Cannot Hold, an engrossing memoir of Saks, a professor of law and psychiatry, both an expert and sufferer of schizophrenia. How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought, how the human mind works. How do irrational urges affect you and what to do about it? Read Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, both books by Dan Ariely. Want a happier, more content life? Try the down-to-earth tools in Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World. And to help you embrace who you are read The Gifts of Imperfection, ten guideposts for living from a place of worthiness. Enjoy browsing." -Marnie Shuey

2016 September 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 Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp; Sounds of Healing; Shostakovich and Stalin; The Genius of Prince - Special Commemorative Edition; Love Goes to Buildings on Fire; The Beatles Story: Story Of Pop Special; Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk; Fever: How Rock 'n' Roll Transformed Gender in America; The Definitive Guitar Handbook; The Lost Beatles Interviews. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The year is 2044.\240 For the destitute masses, including teenage Wade Watts, the only escape from the crumbling world is the virtual safe haven known as the OASIS. Wade is a \u201cgunter\u201d, one of millions of competitive users hunting vainly for OASIS creator John Halliday's "Easter Egg", which will grant the finder his entire fortune as control of the OASIS simulation. But as Wade unexpectedly stumbles upon the first clue, he will have to escape the murderous competitors and mega-corporations beset upon him -- and confront the mire of the real world.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

There isn't much adventure going on for easygoing Ivan, the silverback gorilla resident of the decrepit Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Content within the glass walls of his domain, he spends his waking hours on TV, scribbling and eating crayons, and enjoying the company of his fellow animal residents. But when Ruby, a baby elephant arrives, change comes with her, and Ivan realizes the only way to shield Ruby from harm is to pursue the one thing he never bothered to ask for -- freedom.

Once Upon an Alphabet by Oliver Jeffers

Children's book writer and illustrator Oliver Jeffers gives each letter its due with light humor and abundant wit. A collection of 26 imaginative tales, meticulously arranged in alphabetical order (of course).

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