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Saturday August 12
Ephemera 8am - 3:30pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday August 13
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


30 Must Reads
Children's Non-Fiction


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 August and September
The Library will be closed on Monday, September 4 for Labor Day. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, September 5.

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

In November of 2014 FOPAL implemented the following rules to be followed during the period of the 12-book limit rule. These rules still stand and will continue to be enforced. We ask all shoppers to honor the following rules:

  1. EARLY IN THE SALE, each customer may select up to twelve (12) books, sets of books, or other items. They must be purchased and taken outside of the sale room. Customers may then return to the waiting line (if any) and re-enter the sale as often as they like. Note: The FOPAL Sale Manager will announce when this limit is lifted.
  2. Adult shoppers may bring in no more than ONE GROCERY-SIZED BAG or ONE GREEN FOPAL BAG.
  3. For safety's sake, NO boxes, large backpacks, carriages, or strollers will be allowed. Bags and other large items must not block access to shelves - they are a tripping hazard.
  4. Do not take books away from their sections to review them. If you remove a book to look at it, please replace it neatly on the shelf. Covering, hoarding, and/or stashing books are not allowed. Keep your books with you; abandoned books will be re-shelved.
  5. Avoid crowding, pushing, verbal disagreements, and aggressive interactions with other shoppers, staff, or volunteers.
  6. SCANNER/CELL PHONE USAGE- some customers have voiced their concerns about the use of scanners. Although some book sales do not permit their use, FOPAL permits them with the expectation that all customers will act in a manner that is respectful to other patrons, volunteers, and staff. If you are using a dedicated scanner, please be mindful of the area and other customers around you. If you are not using a scanner, please keep in mind that those who do are also customers.

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 in honoring these rules. We ask for the commitment of our "business clients" in considering the rights of all of our customers and observing our rules.

Many thanks to all of 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:
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.

The Children's Room is ready to Help Your Kids Go Back-to-School

Look for FOPAL's 30 Must Reads Special this month located in the bay across from the check-out line next to DVDs. This special is comprised from a tongue-in-cheek article in Time which jumps out to Quora, 30 Books You Need to Read to Earn 'Well-Read' Status:

The first week of school is a great time to share some awesome children's literature that is perfect for teaching about going back to school. Many of the books will be a springboard for a discussion on back to school topics. Start with books and get your kids thinking! In our Children's Room you can find dozens of books to inspire. Check out the new poetry area filled with great selections like Shel Silverstein's second book, The Giving Tree, and Runny Babbit, published in 2005. Shel invited children to dream and dare to imagine the impossible.

Visiting the Children's Room this sale will help you begin daydreaming of the bounty of books you can afford, filling your child's room with more books that imaginable! With the huge number of books donated over the summer the shelves are full. Look for nearly new books in the non-fiction section on the shelves, on the tables, in we have much more than usual and this section is full for the August sale. And, in the Activity Book section look for dozens of books, games, puzzles to give your child the opportunity to read as well as play as they get ready to go back to school.

FOPAL's 30 Must Reads

Look for FOPAL's 30 Must Reads Special this month located in the bay across from the check-out line next to DVDs. This special is comprised from a tongue-in-cheek article in Time which jumps out to Quora, 30 Books You Need to Read to Earn 'Well-Read' Status:

This light hearted collection holds books from genres like... "Western Classics (Ancient & Modern): to give you a good foundation for the who's who of Western literature. Dystopia: the stuff of our worst fears and nightmares. Science Fiction & Fantasy: we can't overlook the geeky cousin of the classics, can we? Great American Novels: these zeitgeist works practically defined a time period of U.S. history. Literary Heavy Hitters: books that make people go 'Whoa, dude!' when you say that you've read them. Popular Fiction: those guilty indulgences that everyone has read (but won't necessarily admit to it). Warning: this is U.S.-centric, feel free to indulge in your country's guilty pleasures. Immigrant Experience (U.S./U.K.): ah, the magical experience of being thrust into a new culture. Non-Western Classics (Ancient): if Westerners get theirs, so should the rest of the world. Non-Western Classics (Modern): the stuff that you should read to feel worldly and well-read. (More applicable if you're from the U.S. or Western Europe.) Satire: throw in a little giggle into your reading list."

August Religion

"Again this month there are many religion books from a large church donation. Next to the sorting room is a whole bay of vintage scriptural studies including Lindsay's History of the Reformation, MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture, ten volumes of The Expositor's Bible, and six volumes of The Annotated Bible. Look for two red carts with vintage Christianity including many volumes of The Westminster Pulpit. The regular religion section is full of old and newer volumes." -Nancy Cohen


"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 Genius of Judaism by Bernard-Henri Levy; Generation Exodus: The Fate of Young Jewish Refugees from Nazi Germany; City of Oranges: An Intimate History of Arabs and Jews in Jaffa; Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California; Houses of Study: A Jewish Woman among Books; How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now; and The Book of Jewish Values: A Day-by-Day Guide to Ethical Living. The Modern Literature section has shelves for Judaica Fiction. Books in Hebrew with no English translation will be found in European Languages." -Charlotte Epstein


This month's batches of business book donations have been better than normal. Look for more books than usual on management, also business histories, biographies. Biographies on Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, as well as interesting management and historical titles are offered. The business section was the recipient of a huge donation from TE Connectivity/Raychem. "TE's Raychem, originally located in Menlo Park, California, was the first company to develop products using the new area of science called 'radiation chemistry'."


"About half of the shelves are the next part of the unique Raychem library donation. Most of the books are about applied chemistry. A larger selection of math, physics, astronomy, quality and manufacturing populate the remaining shelves." -Edwin El-Kareh

August Art

"FOPAL received some wonderful books this last month. There are many international art books on various artists, architecture and genre. The books include wonderful photos, historical details and even popups. Our section has also received extensive art collector books. The list includes the Selby books, Time Warner Special Collectors World of and finally, art review collector magazines. There continues to be a growing section on American art; American illustrators; and international art prints. Don't miss out on great books and prints." -Andrea Lozano

Sheet Music

"Trombone, cello, flute, and opera scores are featured this month. Several packets with complete parts for ensembles have been received from a Stanford based performer. These expensive and hard to get items have been aggressively priced." -Edwin El-Kareh

European Languages

"This month I have a *lot* of fairly recent fiction and thrillers in French. I have more Hebrew books, mostly fiction." -Susan Strain

Asian Languages

"The Asian Languages section has two locations. One is in aisle 13, which displays many Chinese CDs and DVDs of music, movies and dramas. The other location is in aisle 8 hosting books in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Vietnamese.

"这个月我们有很多不错的中文书,如:中国古典名著《醒世恒言》等;张纯如的 《被遗忘的大屠杀》,林语堂的《感悟人生》,还有几本有关林徽因的书; 如果您喜欢收集旧书,我们有一套民国二十三年出版的《儒林外史》。" -Haiyan Chen

Russian Language

"Bargain room and main room shelves have been stocked with new donations that have unexpectedly arrived in larger quantities. Fiction, history, art, crime drama, romances and satire are the dominant genres. A few technical books held back from last month's donation have found spots on the shelves." -Edwin El-Kareh

Sets for August 2017

"August is Elbert Hubbard month; we have the 15-volume set, Little Journeys, 1928, in excellent condition for $45 as well as Slang, Philosophy and Scrapbook. Other new arrivals include the six-volume set The Complete Works of Robert Burns, Gebbie 1905, in very good condition for $90, The Writings of Oscar Wilde, seven volumes from a larger set, number 28 of 250, 1907, illustrated, beautiful embossed cover, mixed condition, $30. We have quite a range of older individual volumes typically pre-1940 novels selected for their content and decorative qualities. 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 one book when you are buying within the 12-book limit." -Nigel Jones

Self Help for August

“We have 3 copies of The Upside of Stress, 2016, by McGonigal! Also featured, is TA Today, Stewart and Joines, that presents an updated explanation of Transaction Analysis, a classic model of looking at ourselves and relationships. There also are a number of books by Esther and Jerry Hicks, including Money and the Law of Attraction; they give great tools for getting through stuck places in your life and manifesting more of what you want. Their books are on the Inspiration shelf along with some colorful books by Sark, like Succulent, Wild Love - 6 powerful habits for feeling more Love! A book I found very helpful is the best seller, Boundaries, Cloud and Townsend. As always, great prices, great selection. Come early and browse!" -Marnie Shuey

Philosophy for August 2017

"In August we have a bumper crop of philosophy with three shelves of new arrivals including Philosophy 101 by Rosen, The Stuff of Thought by Pinker, Consciousness by Zuman, Evil and the Demonic by Oppenheimer, Get a Grip on Philosophy by Turnbull, Postmodernism by Jameson and New Philosophy by De Landan. Don’t forget the Bargain Room: there was not enough shelf space in the Main Room for all the books received and there are excellent books to be found there as well." -Nigel Jones

Historical Fiction

"Do you love history but find it hard to slog through non-fiction history books?  Then perhaps Historical Fiction is the solution for you. This month we have an especially large collection of books about World War II, many that we have not had before. Our selection of books about China is also excellent this month. Do you like adventure or thrillers of an historical bent? We have lots to select from. Our center display section of books has the newest historical fiction books as well as some classics such as The Siege of Krishnapur. This month we also have a nice four volume set of The Raj Quartet as well as a five volume set of The Norsemen Saga in pristine condition. As usual our section on Great Britain is extensive. We are located in the far corner by recent fiction. Check out the section and learn history the most enjoyable way." -Suzanne Little & Marian Urman

Humor for August 2017

"New arrivals in August include seven different varieties of the New Yorker cartoons, the very topical Yuge by Trudeau on you know who, All About Ken Kesey by Ed McClanahan, Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari, and Funny by Judd Apatow. Other authors include Stephen Fry, Howard Stern, Richard Zacks, and Amy and David Sedaris. The oddest books of the month are a whiskey bottle shaped book called A Guy Goes into a Bar and TTYL by Myracle, a sort of play.

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

Classics & Modern Literature

"14 volumes of a set of Rudyard Kipling's works published 1917, on bottom shelf Classics side, selling individually at $2.00 each. Novels by Frank Stockton, (1834-1902) American, reduced from last month, now each $1.00. Novels by Charles Dickens: Published by John Wurtele Lovell, NY. No Date, c1890, sold separately for $1.00 each. An incomplete set of Rudyard Kipling's works: Charles Scribner & Sons, NY, 1913, good condition, sold separately for $2.00." -Laverne Bornschlegel

Teen Reviews by Tristan Wang

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

After the sinking of a cargo ship, sixteen-year-old Piscine "Pi" Patel finds himself adrift in the Pacific, being the only survivor aside from Richard Parker, a full-grown Royal Bengal tiger. With humor and profundity, he recounts his childhood struggles with spirituality and practicality as he charts a determined course to survive the impossible.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

Something sinister is afoot in the world. In the Old Kingdom, the Dead refuse to stay dead. Disaster seems to have befallen the only one who can slay them, the Abhorsen, who sends an urgent word to his daughter, Sabriel, to take his place. Growing up on the wrong side of the Wall that separates the supernatural Old Kingdom from the industrial Ancelstierre, Sabriel must set things right to save both realms.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

With the Nazi occupation underway, young Marie-Laure and her locksmith father flee Paris, taking refuge in her great-uncle’s house within the walled citadel of St. Malo. In a German mining town, talented orphan Werner is recruited by the brutal academy for Hitler Youth, where he is tasked to track the French Resistance. Increasingly aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner finds himself in Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

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