Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday April 9
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


African American Studies
Education & Language
78 RPM Records


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 April and May
The Library will be closed on Sunday, April 16 for its Spring Closure. Normal hours will resume on Monday, April 17.

The Library will be closed on Monday, May 29 for Memorial Day. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, May 30.

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 2017
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL" -Marty Paddock, 2004.

This is still true in 2017! 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.

Each organization that selects books needs to provide their address and email address, cell phone number, the name of one person who will represent them at the giveaway and their address and telephone or email address. That way we will be able to contact you if we change hours, days of operation or limit numbers of volunteers from each organization selecting books. Please include this information in your request to Norma Burchard.

Each organization is allowed one person to select books in the children's bargain room and two people to select in the main bargain room. Each children's bargain room person may fill two paper supermarket bags for the first 45 minutes. In the main bargain room, the books must be selected individually for the first hour and if the large Ikea bags are used, they need to be taken outside as they are filled. If boxes are used, they need to be of a size that does not require the use of a hand truck to remove them. You may have further questions so feel free to call or email me. See you at the sale! -Norma Burchard


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.

Earth Day is every day - Bring your own bag please!

Earth day is April 22nd, what are your plans? Here at the Friends of the Palo Alto Library we continue to do our part by recycling as much as possible including all plastic bags we receive from those carrying in book donations and by re-using all paper bags brought in for customer purchases. As FOPAL looks ahead we can see a day when we'll have fewer and fewer paper bags to offer our customers. In honor of Earth Day being every day we are asking you to bring your own bag (BYOB) to the sale. Many of our customers already bring their own bags and to you we say thank you very much! Forgot your bag? You can purchase a green FOPAL tote for a mere $2. These durable bags are available in all sales rooms!

The African American Studies special is one of our featured subjects this month. We've received dozens of books from San Jose State spanning several sections including, History, Politics, Anthropology/Sociology, Psychology. Most are featured in the two specials books cases outside the sorting room, and others you'll find in the appropriate sections as well as in the Bargain Room/H2. Nature received several books on mushrooms, and the majority of these are being offered for on-line sale at FOPAL's Amazon sale site. Look for many other tempting titles in Nature this month as described below and enjoy some Eco-therapy this April. The Education & Language section is fully stocked with new inventory with the overflow to be found in the Bargain Room. Also, in the Bargain Room, look for a large selection of 78 RPM Records! The Cooking section is brimming with many nearly new books this month and as a result is occupying a specials bay located at the end of DVDs across from the check-out line.

Donations, Donations, Donations

Please bring us your books, CDs, DVDs, games, puzzles, software, and artwork...EXCEPT during our monthly sales.

As we put this newsletter together, we have at least 200 boxes waiting in the sorting room, another 50 behind the Bargain Room, and we expect the sorting room to become even more crowded before the sale. If you can hold off your donations until Monday or Tuesday, we should be able to receive them then.


"How about some creative, low-cost ways to celebrate Earth Day (April 22) and Mother's Day (May 14)? The Nature Section has just what you need! We have flyers on Bay Area-wide outdoor activities and shelves of carefully selected books to add to your fun. For a great gift for Mom, a terrific array of like-new books: The Reindeer People, Fine Morel Tales, Eating Wildly, The Rarest Bird in the World, etc. Hikers, bird-watchers, rock hunters, and armchair naturalists are sure to find the perfect book among our thousand-plus choices. All proceeds support local libraries." -Karen D.

European Language

"We recently got a lot of Hebrew books. Most appear to be Israeli fiction or memoirs, but we also have translations of everything from Jude Deveraux to Lampedusa." -Susan Strain

Philosophy for April 2017

"We have a broad assortment of new titles for April many of which we have not seen before. These include Philosophy of the Middle Ages, The Short History of Modern Philosophy, Language Proof and Logic, The Metaphysical Club, Antifragile, Looking Away, The Language Instinct, plus two books by Ricoeur and two by Merleau-Ponty. Slightly off topic but an interesting book to read, we have Proust was a Neuroscientist. 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


"The Science section is again packed with a lot of great books. We have several copies of Tufte books on the visualization of data. We also have over 30 volumes of the Scientific American Library of Science. FOPAL has received a large donation from the excellent RayChem library and we will be displaying them over the next several months. This month we have several books on statistics and chemistry. If you are a polymer person, this is your sale. As always we have shelves full of popular science books around the corner on the main aisle next to philosophy and throughout the section. There are several rarer books in science biography and science history this month.

Our usual marked shelves (roughly from the main aisle down towards the corner are): popular science, popular math, advanced math, college math, calculus, geometry/algebra, chemistry, biology/genetics, physics, electronics, hobby electronics, geology, geography, mechanical and civil engineering, aeronautics and the space program, cosmology, practical engineering and science, history of science and technology, biography, Einstein, astronomy, cosmology, and general science writing. Additionally, there will be a $1 cart filled with very nice science/technology textbooks. We always suggest that folks look for science books in the Bargain Room. Because we get so many wonderful donations in our section, we never have room for everything in the main book sale room." -Dick Grote and Ed Walker


Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion, Kabbalah, Jewish history, the Holocaust, memoirs, Israel, Jewish Women, the Jewish American Experience and other related subjects. New this month: The Fourth Commandment; Conversations with the Rebbe; Torah and Dharma; Pioneers in Jewish Medical Ethics; Al Chet: Sins in the Marketplace; GIs Remember; Legacy of Courage; The Texture of Memory; The Lampshade - A Holocaust Detective Story from Buchenwald to New Orleans; A Tale of Love and Darkness - Memoir of Amos Oz. Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme. -Charlotte Epstein


"The Movie/Entertainment section is in the north/west corner of the book room. It is always easy to find because the African Queen is hanging overhead. Again this month we have a nice collection of books. For example, we have a shelf full of books from great TV series: Star Trek, X-files, and Dr. Who. We have a few books on Audrey Hepburn. Finally there are a few bios which we don't often see: Hattie McDaniel, Jeanette McDonald, and Bogie. We also have a nice collection of film studies and movie/Hollywood history books. Finally we have a small collection of "lobby books" sold in theatre lobbies in the 50s and 60s for big productions such as Ben Hur.

"In the section you will find (roughly from left to right in the section): modern culture, film writing, craft and movie business, TV, guides, large format, signed books, foreign film, film commentary and theory, Hollywood and film history, director's corner, choice biographies/memoirs, film tie-ins and scripts, and media and media studies." -Dick Grote

2017 April Music

"Visit the Music section for books on a wide variety of musical topics in the genres of classical, rock, jazz, American music and dance. New this month - Unbound Sound; Picture the Songs - Lithographs from the Sheet Music of Nineteenth-Century America; Great Composers in Historic Photographs; Preservation Hall; The Cello Suites; Wicked - The Grimmerie; Give My Poor Heart Ease; Dylan's Visions of Sin; Young Men with Unlimited Capital; The Ninth - Beethoven and the World in 1824; Through the Wire - the Words and Lyrics of Kanye West. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

2017 April Humor

"In April we have 7 different versions of the New Yorker cartoons including two copies of the Complete New Yorker Cartoons with DVDs, plus many other cartoon books. We have 10 books by Wodehouse including two anthologies. In the world of Monty Python we have, Monty Python's Bio of Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and John Cleese's autobiography, also their esteemed predecessors, The Goons. Making its first appearance we have Wolk's fascinating Reading Comics - How Graphic Novels Work. Also be sure to look for Wallace and Gromit in A Grand Day Out and Ten Thousand Stories in which you open up wonderfully illustrated panels and make up your own story. Make sure to check out the Bargain Room for Humor and look through the large collection of books and cartoons." -Nigel Jones

History & Historical Fiction

"This month History received a very large and wonderful donation of books about African-Americans. We are displaying these books in the Special section to your right as you enter the Main room. The books range from humor to history to sociology to literature. It is an excellent collection with rare books from the 60s and 70s up to very current ones. You will find overflow of these books in less fine condition in the Bargain Room as well. In addition to these books we also received more books about Africa than usual that you will find in the History section. Also in History in Historiography you will find a small but interesting selection of books about Edward Gibbon. Don't miss our set section where we are doing spring cleaning and have substantial reductions on sets that were holdovers from last month. We have some terrific new sets including The Cambridge Modern History, 13 volumes for only $25.00.

"In Historical Fiction we are continuing the African-American theme and have grouped our African-American related books in one area in the center section." -Suzanne Little, Irina Cross & Marian Urman


"Spring is bustin' out all over...and just in time there's a bountiful crop of recently published books on growing vegetables and fruit. This month we have two copies of The Vegetable Gardener's Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem, numerous books on California fruit and vegetable gardening, straw bale gardening, the French intensive method, and growing unusual vegetables, as well as Italian, French, and salad gardening. But as any gardener knows, any patch of cultivated soil also yields weeds, so be sure not to miss Richard Mabey's delightful volume on Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants!" -Ann Justice

Sets for 2017 April

"In April, the most recent set to arrive is Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia, a set of 10 volumes, 1930, with excellent illustrations, $20. As a series from a set we have 17 volumes of Scott's Waverley Novels, circa 1900, $35. 23 volumes from the same series recently sold for $80. As a part set we have the Works of Daniel Webster, volumes I, III, IV, V, and VI, 1853, $10 each. We have around 20 individual titles from around 1900 to 1835. The condition of these books ranges from terrible to good however they need to be seen to be appreciated. Among them there are some excellent covers, often highly embossed and colored, very fine bindings and wonderful illustrations. Examples are The Anglo Saxon Review, 1900, Punch, 1880 and an old, undated Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. More sets will be found in their subject areas such as History in aisle 11 and Fiction in aisle 15 with even more sets are in the Bargain Room. Don't forget, a set only counts as 1 book when you are buying within the 12 book limit." -Nigel Jones

78 Records

"We received a single donation of 27 boxes of records, and in going through them found they were a collection of mostly classical music albums issued between 1930 and 1950. Many on RCA Victor, many on Columbia, some others. Most were complete and with unbroken records. Past shelf photographer Edwin El-Kareh photographed labels from one record in each complete album and we have put them up where bookshelf photos have been in the past, and may yet appear again. Most of these albums are shelved under the classical music LP boxes, some on the floor under the shelves, and some on the bottom shelf under Art books; and albums of popular music have also been shelved on the bottom shelves of Large Format; all in the Bargain Room.

"There are also two "party records" by Dwight Fiske on his private label Fiskana. One didn't have an entry on Discogs so I made one for it. I'll be trying to get these discs into the Novelty Records box in the Bargain Room for the sale.

"Did you know, we also offer records for sale on Discogs?" -Frank McConnell

Teen Reviews by Tristan Wang

The Phantom Tollboth by Norton Juster

For Milo, life is dull and time is plentiful. One day, after returning home from school, Milo finds a strange parcel including a note addressing him by name, a curious map of the "Lands Beyond", and a miniature tollbooth which transports him to a magical land where metaphors are literal. He quickly befriends Tock, a noble "watchdog", visits Dictionopolis, and is given the impossible charge of restoring Rhyme and Reason.

Misfit Island by Tina Gibson

An allegorical tale told through the cadence of quatrains. Signa the swan is swept onto an exotic island with a curious divide. On the one side, wild and deranged animals roam freely; on the other side, an assemblage of committed creatures known as the Misfits admits Signa into their society. But when animals start disappearing, Signa must contribute to the effort of identifying the source of the disturbance before it's too late.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

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

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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