Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday December 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Vintage
Better Books
Framed Art


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.


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 December
The Library will be closed on Monday, December 25 for Christmas Day. It will reopen on Tuesday, December 26.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar. As of this writing, it doesn't have any information on 2018 closings, even New Years Day, so check there for updates.
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.
  • No popular magazines, no National Geographic, no Gourmet, no Sunset.... FOPAL is phasing out accepting any periodicals.
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.

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.

What's Special for December 2017

For December FOPAL members are benefiting from another Members' Early Sale. All FOPAL paid members can get in earlier than the normal 11am start time. Because of this, the normal Main Room entry procedure is changed. See the section below pertaining to the Members' Early Sale.

Winter is upon us and generous donations keep coming in. This is the perfect time to pick up books to give or collect for cold weather reads. From Better Books, check out a collection of books pulled from FOPAL on-line sales inventory now to be offered to our loyal sale customers at lower than our online prices. The Politics section this month offers shelves filled with a donation we’re calling the Lewis Donation. Look for a larger selection from the Lewis donation as a special for the January sale. The Framed Art selection has been restocked with wide variety pieces, many limited editions from numbered series. The outside Ephemera sale is fully stocked with holiday items, small and large electronics as well as many other pamphlets and greeting cards. Check out the Children's Vintage books in the Children's Room on the red carts. This section is newly stocked with books we've been storing for our Children's Room December sale goers. Speaking of the Children's Room, the shelves are again bulging with books for all ages, with an exceptional number of jigsaw puzzles, DVDs, toys!

FOPAL Members Get the First Pick at Members' Early Sale

A super big fun FOPAL Members' Early Sale is scheduled for this Saturday. Twice a year, FOPAL holds a Members' Early Sale, at which members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library are admitted early to the Main Room sale. Members enjoy a less crowded main book room and get the first crack at FOPAL's wonderful collection of materials!

Life & Sponsor Members Enter at 9am: At our Members' Early Sale, Life and Sponsor Members (and one spouse or guest) may enter at 9am and can purchase up to 100 books per membership only during that first hour. Each Life Member and Sponsor Member must give the one Purchase Slip per membership to the cashier before 10am in order to purchase up to 100 books. If a Life Member or Sponsor Member exits without purchasing all 100 books, he/she may take the Purchase Slip and reenter to fill out the 100 books as long as they are purchased by 10am.

Other Members Enter at 10am: Members at all other levels can enter the sale at 10am, and purchase 25 books at a time.

General Public Enter at 11am: At 11am, non-members are admitted. The usual limit on purchasing 12 books at a time lasts until there is no longer a line waiting to enter.

Ticket Handout Procedure: Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the Members' Early sale. As is usual, tickets are given out beginning at 8am. Look for two check-in/ticket lines; one line for renewing members, new members and those members without a membership card, and one line for members with their cards. To speed your way through the ticket line please find and bring your membership card! Tickets given out are for the 9am and 10am lines at the Main Room, since most people who come early are Members of FOPAL. Each Member will get just one ticket, although Life and Sponsor Members may bring one guest between 9 and 10am and Family Members may bring in their families, consisting of one other adult and minor children, beginning at 10am. No tickets will be given out for the 11am line.

Join FOPAL Now: If you're not already a paid-up member, avoid delay at the sale by joining online now.

December 2017 Self Help

Thinking of giving books this Holiday Season? I've created "Popular on Amazon" and "Gift Quality" sections in the left bay. Look also for the section of quality books by Self-Help guru, Wayne Dyer. On the top shelf, across all bays, 2016-2017 books are featured, including: Before You Know It, Coming Alive, The End of Average, Invisible Influence, Blind Spot, Whiplash, A Mind of Your Own, The Science of Positivity, Pre-suasion and It's Never Too Late to Begin Again. For help with your New Year's Resolutions look at the Workbook Section; How to Get out of Your Own Way and Mastery of Your Anxiety and Worry are priced competitively, as are all our books! Peace and Joy to all of you, Marnie


"Look for a nice selection of higher-end science and math books in the Special Sale book case located in the main aisle across from the CD Music section." -Jerry Stone

2017 December 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: Mozart in the Jungle; Classical Cooks: A Gastrohistory of Western Music; Traveling Home: Sacred Harp Singing and American Pluralism; Constructing the Mountain Dulcimer; John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth; Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal; Hymns to the Silence by Van Morrison; Words without Music: A Memoir by Philip Glass; Shagging in the Carolinas.

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

Nature Dec 2017

"Looking for a holiday present, stocking stuffer or a little something for a hostess gift this month? Visit the window display area in the Nature Section for a selection of like-new books anyone would love to own (and you will love the prices). Many are best sellers, all are in wonderful condition. Titles include: Rain, Lab Girl, Darwin in Galapagos, The Genius of Birds, Walking My Dog, Jane, Mycophilia and What's a Dog For? Need ideas for family activities over the holidays? Check out and grab a guidebook--we have sections on Birds, Insects, Local Hikes, California Native Plants, and many more." -Karen D.

Philosophy for December 2017

"In December, we have a Great Courses three-volume set entitled Philosophy and Religion in the West priced at $10 and the three-volume Synthetic Philosophy by Spencer, 1895, also priced at $10. Other titles include Antifragile by Taleb, Religious Experiences by James, Life's Dominion by Dworkin, Collapse of Chaos by Cohen, Critical Thinking by Bierman and a biography of Michael Polanyi by Mitchell.

"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

2017 December Judaica

"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: Genesis: The Beginning of Desire; Living Kaddish: Incredible and Inspiring Stories; We Jews: Who Are We and What Should We Do; It Happened in the Catskills; We Won't See Auschwitz; A Book of Hebrew Letters; Let There Be Laughter; And You Shall Know Us by the Trail of Our Vinyl; Alphabet of Creation.

"The Modern Literature section has shelves for Judaica Fiction. Books in Hebrew with no English translation will be found in European languages." -Charlotte Epstein


"The Movies/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.

"December is often a slow donation month for us, but we have received a great number of new additions to this section. There are a great number of new entertainment biographies--many which we don't see often. There also will be a full cart outside with bios. Additionally we received a nice set of books in the craft and entertainment business shelf and the film history and Hollywood shelf is so full that it is going to become two shelves. A few of these books we have never seen before.  Finally we have several books signed by authors. Featured titles include: The New Biographical Dictionary of Films by David Thompson, Dali and Film, All American Ads, A Galaxy Not So Far Away in honor of the new Star Wars release, and a new biography of Marilyn Monroe, price reduced this month.

"In the section you will find (roughly from left to right as you face the African Queen): Small bookcase: modern culture, film writing, craft and movie business, TV, film guides; Tall bookcase: radio, "films of" books, signed books, large format, foreign film, Hollywood and film history, film commentary and theory, director’s corner, choice biographies/memoirs; Smaller bookcase: Paperbacks, film tie-ins and scripts, and media and media studies." -Dick Grote

Asian Languages

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

"We have many Japanese books this month. 在中文书架上,我们有《芥子园画谱全集》, 《张爱玲传奇》,余秋雨的《借我一生》等。还有几本作者签名书,如李开复的《做最好的自己》等。" -Haiyan Chen

European Languages

"European Languages received a lot of books in French on Judaism, Islam, and astrology, including Astrology and Homosexualities and Do the Stars Govern the Bourse?, and several books in the Découvertes Gallimard collection." -Susan Strain

Classics and Modern Literature

"Edgar Allen Poe, Complete Works, Volumes 1-10. Set $100.00.
Charles Dickens circa 1930. 15 book set. Set $86.00.
Victor Hugo, pub. Nelson NY. no date. Small size, nice feel, 10 volumes. $8.00.
Oliver Goldsmith, pub. Lippencott, Phila. 1846. five vols, All, $5.00.

"Anthony Trollope. Lots of donations this month. 19 vols. to choose from. Classics, bottom shelf. Priced individually." -Laverne Bornschlegel

Short Stories and Essays

"Short Stories and Essays is a subsection of Classic Literature. We currently have a wide variety of short story collections; many by well known authors both of historical importance and by contemporary authors who are of high repute in this literary form. We also have an amazing collection of anthologies which encompass a wide variety of historically important material as well as collections that focus on ethnic, regional and gender as well as new writers that are felt to be important. The Essays category is similarly diverse. Of special note are the collections, issued yearly, of Best Stories and Best Essays which are selected by well-known authorities. We also have a variety of works which can aid 'budding' writers." -Allan Fisch

Sets for 2017 12 December

"The two new sets for December are volumes 1-12 of The Annals of America covering 1493 to 1904, in excellent condition for $20 and the five-volume box set The Dictionary of the History of Ideas for $10. Also available is The Complete Works of Robert Burns, Gebbie 1905, in very good condition reduced to $60, and works by Defoe, Swift and Irving. For our individual volumes although I cannot attest to the quality of the contents I can attest to the quality of the covers. We have 80 books published between 1900 and 1950 for the gift giving price of $2 each.

"Don't forget, a set only counts as one book when you are buying within the 12-book limit." -Nigel Jones

2017 12 December Humor

"In December we have seven editions of the New Yorker Cartoons including the for the first time the excellent Blown Covers. Also in 7s we have 7 books from UK comedians, not including 10 by Wodehouse. In 2s we have Apatow, Mark Twain, and Ellen DeGeneres and other titles such as Talk the Talk, Furiously Happy, The Worst Person in the World and The Definitive Collection of Perelman.

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

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

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.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sent to Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention camp, for a crime he did not commit, Stanley and the other boys “build character” by spending all day digging holes in the parched dirt. But there is more than character development going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging because the abhorrent warden is looking for something.  And soon Stanley, along with his newfound friend, Zero, begin their own search -- for the truth.

Life of Pi (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.

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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