Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday July 9
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Room
Bollingen Books


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 July and August
At the time of writing, there are no Palo Alto Library closings scheduled for the remainder of July and August.

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.

July Sale Notes

July is FOPAL's busy donation time and FOPAL's members are benefiting with 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. Summer is here, donations are up and we've got plenty of summer-time reads, music and more! From the Nature section, look for Dover books as a set at $30, this along with hundreds of books donated this month by Palo Alto's own Acterra. (Acterra is a San Francisco Bay Area nonprofit based in Palo Alto that brings people together to create local solutions for a healthy planet.) Check out Nature's Acterra Special located across from the cashier's tables. The Science section has been restocked with a wide variety books from a recent donation from TE Connectivity. Look for multiple sections/shelves of Science books in the Bargain Room as a reflection of the overflow from the Main Room! The Religion section has had a strong month of new donations. The Children's Room has more than enough books to fill most sections twice, graphic novels, kids' non-fiction & fiction, toys, puzzles and games to name a handful of the superabundant sections. For all FOPAL's bibliophile customers the Bollingen Book Special will be offered again this sale.

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.


"Part of a large religion donation is on sale in both main and bargain rooms. Sets: Pulpit Commentary, Talmage's 500 Selected Sermons, Morgan's Westminster Pulpit and Keil/Delitzsh's Commentary on the Old Testament. Many vintage and modern scripture reference works. Lindsay's as well as D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation, Thomas' The Apostle Peter, and more." -Nancy Mahoney Cohen

Nature for July

"July and the Bay Area--what a wonderful combination, whether you are hiking, star-gazing, bird watching, rock hunting or catching up on the latest best-sellers, the Nature section has something for you and your family! Our New Arrivals shelves feature: The Hour of Land, Second Nature, How and Why Species Multiply, Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon, etc. On our window display shelves: Hiking Marin, The Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Book, Traveling With Your Pets, Important Bird Areas in California. Other sections include Nature Writers, Animal Stories, Dog Training, Vintage Collectables and the ever-popular Fungi. All proceeds go to local libraries." -Karen D.

2017 July 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: A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales; The Golden Land: The Story of Jewish Immigration in America; Dictionary of Jewish Lore and Legend; Slow Fire: Jewish Notes from Berlin; The Blessings of a Broken Heart; The Author of Himself: The Life of Marcel Reich-Ranicki; Among the Righteous: Lost Stories from The Holocaust's Long Reach into Arab Lands.

"Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme. Books in Hebrew with no English translation will be found in the European Languages section." -Charlotte Epstein

Classic and Modern Literature

"The new section ''Judaica Fiction'' has expanded to two shelves, and is just around the corner from the Judaica section. Novels by Frank Stockton, 1834-1902 are on the bottom shelf in Classics. He was a popular writer in the late 1800's, living and writing in Philadelphia and New Jersey. His novels are offered for sale individually for $2.00 each. Pearl Sydenstricker Buck, was an American author who grew up in China, daughter of missionaries. Her novel, The Good Earth was the best-selling fiction book in the US in 1931-1932. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. We've received a large number of her novels which are featured on the top shelf of the first section of Modern Lit. Kafka continues to be popular, and his works are in their usual place on the top shelf. A small group of stories of San Francisco is featured - top shelf next to Short Stories." -Laverne Bornschlegel

Art Section

"A variety of art books were received this last month. Specifically, there were many books related to illustration, poster art and cartooning. The books included: Illustration Now-150 Illustrators by Taschen, Illustrators-The Society of Illustrators 29th Annual of American Illustration, Images of an Era: the American Poster 1945-1975, Hirschfeld On Line, The Poster Art of David Lance Goinses by Alice Waters, Hiroshige: 14 Famous Views of Edo. Other wonderful books included: Holy Terrors: Gargoyles on Medieval Buildings by Janetta Benton, Masters of Deception (Escher, Dali & Artists of Optical Illusion), The Mitchell Beazley Library of Art which includes New Horizons, Art and Artists, Understanding Art, and Great Traditions; A Life of Picasso by John Richardson; Chardin (Royal Academy of Arts).

"The art section still has a great collection of prints that are wonderful for collectors or framing. Please come by and take a look." -Andrea Lozano

Philosophy for July 2017

"In terms of philosophers we have received nine books by Kierkegaard, some in very good condition. On general philosophical topics new titles include: Metamagical Themas, Postmodernism, War and Moral Responsibility, The Sovereignty of Good, The Open Society and its Enemies, Self and Soul, The Complete Writings of Thomas Paine, Entropy and Art and Metaphysics: An Anthology. 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


"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. We have a large number of books on the history of film and Hollywood. We also have collection of books in large format, script and movie tie-ins, and several film and entertainment bios which we haven't seen before.

"Highlighted titles this month are: Golden Gate and the Silver Screen, Michael Krasny Off Mike inscribed, Grace Kelly in Pictures, Golden Age of Lobby Cards, large format biographies (with great pictures) of Ingrid Bergman, Claudette Colbert, Fred Astaire, and Gary Cooper.

"In the section you will find (roughly from left to right in the section): modern culture, film writing, craft and movie business, TV, film 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 July Humor

"July without doubt is P.G. Wodehouse month. We have two very nice anthologies as well as 18 Penguin paperbacks. It's an opportunity to explore him, add to your collection or go on a binge with Bertie. Other authors include Stephen Fry, Howard Stern, Judd Aptow, Richard Zacks, Daniel Pinkwater and Amy and David Sedaris. The oddest book of the month is the boxed Guidelines: An Anthology of Inspiration and Humor. Open it up and take a look. Make sure to check out the Bargain Room for Humor and look through the large collection of books and cartoons." -Nigel Jones

Psychology / Self-Help

"Some recent and popular books this month: Option B, Sheryl Sandberg about facing adversity; Becoming Whole, Kehr, full of empathy and hope; 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, by Morin, about training your brain for happiness and success. Look for a big selection of books by Deepak Chopra on the Inspiration shelf and many books on ADHD in a subsection on a bottom shelf. This month I've labeled one shelf with books by some selective authors with two or more books like Marshall Rosenberg, author of Non-Violent Communication and Byron Katie, author of Loving What Is. Enjoy browsing and come early for the best selection." -Marnie Shuey

2017 July 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: Handel's Messiah - A Celebration; Making Drums; Hard Bop: Jazz and Black Music 1955-1965; To the Limit: The Untold Story of the Eagles; A Box of Rain by Robert Hunter; Boys in the Trees: A Memoir by Carly Simon; Exile on Main Street: A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones; Searching for the Sound: My Life with the Grateful Dead. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

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.

We have many good books in Chinese this month, such as 《徐志摩全集》, 林语堂的《红牡丹》,王蒙的《尴尬风流》,严歌苓的系列书籍,如《幸福来敲门》,还有高阳和白先勇的系列书籍。我们还有两本作者签名书: 《人生的万花筒》和《孤单的美国人》。请不要错过Bargain Room, 那里有更多的中文书。 -Haiyan Chen

Sets for 2017 7 July

"New arrivals in July are three partial sets. The Royal De Luxe edition of The Ridpath Library of Universal Literature, 1900, 20 volumes of a 25-volume set, $5 each, Collier's New Encyclopedia, 1921, 6 volumes of an 11-volume set with excellent covers, illustration and marbling, $3 each. The Cornhill Magazine, 1860, volumes 1 and 2 sold together for $5. Also available is Webster's New International Dictionary, 1914 for $20. We have quite a range of older individual volumes 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

July Teen Reviews by Tristan Wang

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier

Still recovering from his mother's recent death, Jerry Renault finds himself at Trinity High School, a brutal environment overrun with bullying and intimidation. Upon arrival, Jerry is already labeled as vulnerable and targeted by the Vigils, a secret society of power-scheming pranksters. But tensions escalate as Jerry challenges the Vigils' influence in a defiant rage -- which will prevail?

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Desperate to escape his eventless life, Miles Halter departs for unpredictable realm of Culver Creek Boarding School in search of the "Great Perhaps." There, Miles is soon captivated by the gorgeous and emotionally unstable Alaska Young. She launches Miles into the "Great Perhaps," which carries him through a labyrinth of emotions, propels him to the top of the world, and plunges him into a devastating tragedy.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

A genuine novel with "its own rationale...and its own character" set in the closing months of the Second World War, the tale details the frustrated observations of Yossarian, an American bomber furious because men he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. Interpreted as a microcosm of the convoluted 20th century world, Catch-22 uses classic satire to reveal the hilarious yet horrific dangers of being sane in a world plagued by twisted paradox.

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