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Saturday May 13
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday May 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


The West
African American Studies


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 May and June
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.
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.

May Sale Highlights

African American Studies was one of our featured specials last month. Having sold more than a third of these books during our April sale, and as we have even more new books to offer, we're extending this special another month. Most are featured in the case outside the sorting room, others you'll find in the appropriate sections. To the right of the African American Studies books you'll find a new special of Poetry books as they received a large donation last month of nearly poetry books, these range in price from $3 to $10 with all books having double the asking price online. Look for the Poetry special to last for this month and possibly next as well, as we've got an assortment of titles to offer. Big selections of Signed Mystery Books are highlighted in the Mystery section for May; look for this extremely full bay. The Art section shelves are FULL, look for books on every artist, art period, art medium as well as donation of books on calligraphy and the paper & brushes to give this ancient art a try. The West's special can be found in the small bay at the end of the DVDs, the focus for this collection is America's storyteller, Louis L'Amour, famed author that brings to life the American frontier!

Sections on the move

Every so often we move sections giving more or less space to an area, look for these changes to the Main Room, Antiques & Collectibles moved next to Home & Craft, leaving an additional bay for Games & Puzzles. Yearbooks & Annuals moved into the SE corner, moving Coins & Stamps forward, leaving an additional bay open for Photography.

Art Specials this month

"4 Hake brushes and box full of Sumi and other Japanese papers at $40, these brushes are 4 to 6 inches wide and made of natural animal hair and are in very good condition. Enough paper to allow you to practice and create for months.

"FMR (Franco Maria Ricci) Art Magazine almost a complete set from Volume 1 published in June 1984 through Volume 127 published in 2004 (missing vol. 54 and vol. 107). Plus Volume 1 of the International Edition through Volume 10 (missing vol. 5) of the next group published between 2004 and 2006. Individual issues of these magazines can sell for up to $12 on eBay. This month only you can purchase the whole set in 4 boxes for $125. That is less than a dollar a copy." -Mary Ahrens

Classics and Modern Literature

"Complete Works of Mark Twain, Uniform Set, Hard Cover, 25 volumes set published 1910. Price reduced from $50, now $40. Lots of books donated this month by Graham Green, J. M. Coetzee, and Upton Sinclair. Slim volumes, 69 at last count. Many are Dover editions, but there are a wide variety of choices. Will sell for one for $1 or two for $1." -Laverne Bornschlegel


Look for FOPAL's Ephemera outside area to have double the inventory as a result of the April showers canceling last month's sale. Same is true for Framed Art, with 50+ pieces to be displayed for the May sale. For May, we're offering 100+ vintage piano rolls for used in player pianos, for a mere $1 each. (A piano roll is a music storage medium used to operate a player piano, piano player or reproducing piano. A piano roll is a continuous roll of paper with perforations (holes) punched into it. The perforations represent note control data. The roll moves over a reading system known as a 'tracker bar' and the playing cycle for each musical note is triggered when a perforation crosses the bar and is read. -Wikipedia)

Interested in helping at FOPAL's Ephemera sale Saturdays? We could use more volunteers, if available please contact Janette Herceg at

2017 May music books

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 - Stars of the American Musical Theatre in Historic Photographs; Between the Dark and Light: The Grateful Dead Photography of Jay Blakesberg; Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records; Without Getting Killed or Caught; Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song; The JBL Story - 60 Years of Audio Innovation; Beatles Gear: All the Fab Four's Instruments, from Stage to Studio.

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

Sheet Music for May

"Musicians well know that printed full scores can be hard to get and exorbitantly expensive. On the sheet music shelves in the Main Room this month is a broad collection of full and miniature from the collection of a local professional musician. There is certainly plenty from the-well known composers of classical music, but also some real gems from the lessor known and also more modern composers. While a lot of scores are now available on ISMLP and other online resources, quite a few of what we have available are not. All are reasonably priced and ready for you to play from. Some of the modern music we have available has music notation that is more beautiful to look at then to listen to." -Edwin El-Kareh

Sets for 2017 May

"In May, we have received a large selection of very good sets and older single volumes. Newly arrived sets include Travels in Arabia Deserta, Doughty, two volumes, 1936, $80; Lord Bolingbroke, four volumes, 1841, $40; Morley's biography of Rousseau, two volumes, 1873, $15; The Works of Thomas Hardy, 12 volumes, no date, circa 1900?, $30; Works of Oliver Goldsmith, six volumes, 1886, $15; Morocco, de Amicis, 1897, $12 and The Complete Works of Captain John Smith, three volume box set, 1986, $25. Rarely seen as a complete set is The Great Books of the Western World, 54 volumes, 1952. The only other we have ever had sold for $80. We have quite a range of older individual books with these selected for their covers. More sets will be found in their subject areas such as History in aisle 11 and Fiction in aisle 15 with even more sets 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


"Eight volume set of Bancroft's History of the United States (1864) in nice condition $100. Also Edward Gibbon special in the History aisle and continuing with more African American history in the bookcase near the entry door." -JP Stone

European Languages

"Even more books in Hebrew than last time. French cookbooks in French, including everything from Guy Savoy to Cochon & Fils. Some have very attractive glossy photos, and might qualify as food porn." -Susan Strain


"Look for two specials this month: a collection of almost new books by or about Pope Francis and a number of works by Rudolf Steiner (''a respected and well-published scientific, literary and philosophical scholar'' of the late 19th and early 30th century. There are also many scriptural works, including 23 volumes of the Layman's Bible Commentary." -Nancy Cohen

Russian Language

"A substantial collection of Russian-language late Soviet-era graduate-level advanced math and applied physics monographs are on display in the Main Room Russian section as well as in the Bargain Room dividing wall south-east of the Science section. Most books are intact in near new condition (but still with the standard economy-grade paper typical of that epoch) many with dust jackets in good condition. Some volumes are translations of German, French or English texts, but most are native Russian treatises with the associated excellent level of scholarship. All are aggressively priced at $1 each to make room for the second half of the donation that will be on display next month. These titles are highly unlikely ever to show up again in California, so take advantage of this uncommon opportunity to stock up on the best of what Soviet brains had to offer the scientific world." -Edwin El-Kareh

Music CDs in Bargain Room

"Attentive customers will have noticed music CDs in the Bargain Room on recent sale Saturdays. Approximately 400 CDs in retail packaging for May, most popular rock, some classical, C&W, and soundtracks. They are shelved in flats, across the aisle from the Religion shelves.

"Note these are offered for $1/disc on Saturday only. After the Saturday sale they are removed for bulk sale and will not be available in the Sunday bag sale." -Frank McConnell

2017 May Humor

"In May, we have four different versions of the New Yorker cartoons including two copies of The Complete New Yorker Cartoons with DVDs, Cat Cartoons as well as the very funny Caption Contest and many other cartoon books. We have two books by Wodehouse and two by Trillin. Other titles include, Chuck Jones, Chuck Reducks; Bucher, 100 Days of Monsters; Cavett, Brief Encounters; Louvish's biography on W.C. Fields, and Thurber On Crime. Making its first appearance we have Wolk's fascinating Reading Comics - How Graphic Novels Work.

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

Health Section for May

"From Surgery to Spiciness: Popular prize-winning British novelist Ian McEwan reviews Do No Harm, by Henry Marsh, pre-eminent British neurosurgeon, with these words: ''painfully honest about mistakes that can 'wreck' a brain, exquisitely attuned to the tense and transient bond between doctor and patient, and hilariously impatient of hospital management, Marsh draws us deep into medicine's most difficult art, and lifts our spirits . . . . a superb achievement.'' Gary P. Napham's Why Some Like It Hot: Food, Genes and Cultural Diversity: You adore serranoes; your kids like jalapenos and your neighbor won't eat peppers at all. Here's why." -Verne Rice


"Still looking for a thoughtful (and low-cost) way to honor the wonderful mothers in your life? Why not treat yourself to a few great reads too? The Nature section makes it easy for you to find popular books at bargain prices, all sales supporting local libraries. Here are some of our newest arrivals, carefully selected for their like-new condition: The Hidden Lives of Owls, The Fossil Hunter, The Man Who Planted Trees, Riding Home, and The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior. Our thousand-plus books are divided into categories to help you browse, including; Nature Writers, Animal Stories, Local Hikes, Fossils and Dinosaurs, New Arrivals, Extreme Adventures, Bird Guides, etc." -Karen D.

2017 May 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 Letter in the Scroll by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks; A Bride for One Night: Talmud Tales; All Who Go Do Not Return; The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible; Rhapsody in Schmaltz; Masters of Death: The SS-Einsatzgruppen and the Invention of the Holocaust; In Search of Sugihara; Children in the Holocaust and World War II; Defending Identity by Natan Sharansky. Check the appropriate fiction section if you are interested in literature with a Jewish or Israeli theme." -Charlotte Epstein

Teen Reviews by Tristan Wang

The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

A tale with four quarters consociated with the motif of spirals, which can be read in any order. A prehistoric girl who intuits the possibility of language; a daughter of a "cunning woman" who faces accusations of witchcraft; a young doctor who mourns the death of his drowned wife; an astronaut who mans a spaceship on its one-way voyage to a new Earth, all are confronted with the horror and significance of perpetuity.

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by various authors

The enigmatic Harris Burdick, who gifted young readers with fourteen eerie yet fascinating illustrations, has since disappeared. Fourteen renowned authors of adult and children's literature step into the breach, spinning interpretative tales that range from funny to creepy to poignant.

The Tin Horse by Janice Steinberg

After years of resisting, elderly Elaine Greenstein finally decides to move to a retirement home. Packing her bags, she stumbles upon a clue to the whereabouts of her twin sister Barbara, who had disappeared at the age of 18. Plunged back into the past, Elaine recounts the the travails of her family's immigration, the heartaches of her teenage years, and the Depression and War that loomed in the midst of her troubled childhood.

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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