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

Sunday November 12
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Military History
Science / H2


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 November and December
The Library will be closed on Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11 for Veteran's Day. Normal hours will resume on Sunday, November 12.

The Library will also be closing early at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, November 22 and remain closed through Friday, November 24 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Normal hours will resume on Saturday, November 25.

The Library will also be closed on Monday, December 25 for Christmas Day.

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.

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.

FOPAL Members Get the First Pick at Members' Early Sale

A super big FUN FESTIVE FOPAL Members' Early Sale is scheduled for Saturday, December 9th. 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 Room and get the first crack at FOPAL's wonderful collection of materials!

Saturday, December 9th - 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 from 9 AM to 10 AM. Other Members enter at 10AM and are able to purchase 25 books at a time. General admission for all including non-Members begins at 11AM. The usual limit on purchasing 12 books at a time lasts until there is no longer a line waiting to enter. Remember, you may renew your membership, or join FOPAL, on the sale day. Renew, or join now at!

November 11th: FOPAL Sale & CASP Open Studios

One great location: the Cubberley Community Center! Two great events.... November 11th, FOPAL and Cubberley Artist Studio Program (CASP) come together to offer bibliophiles and art connoisseurs an opportunity to shop/buy FOPAL's art books, framed art...then attend CASP's Meet the Artists Event and Open Studios! Look for more details on FOPAL's Facebook page. Please "like" and "follow" us when you visit. General info: CASP Open Studios - Wings E, F and U, Artist Presentations 12:00pm–1:00pm, Room H1. Watch fast-paced presentations from all the artists; hear about their work and workshops. Open Studios 1:30pm-5:30pm. Join the artists in their studios for workshops, art and refreshments.

FOPAL Closings for November

In observance of Thanksgiving FOPAL will be closed for donations November 24th and 25th.

High Value - High Quality

FOPAL has decided to sell more of its High Value High Quality books at its monthly sales rather than on its Amazon online store. Although these book prices may be higher than our usual prices, it will give our customers access to books that we would not normally carry and at much better prices than are available online. This will happen in all our sections -- we hope you find more books to enjoy.

Art Section

"Great books came in this last month. The books ranged from unique artists; comedy; graphics; art perspective, architecture and many, wonderful how to books on drawing and painting. Specific books included Umberto Eco's books On Ugliness, Infinity and Beauty. Others were books on cartooning by Max Beerbohm, New Yorker, Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar." -Andrea Lozano


"In the Bargain Room this month there is a wide selection of linguistics books on assorted topics by renowned authors all in excellent condition. Look for these shelved in the Education & Language area." -Nigel Jones

Health & Medicine November 2017

"For decades, Frank Netter's books have been a staple of students in the health sciences. While the price tag has gone up for new editions (the newest will set you back $1000), his beautiful and detailed drawings of normal and pathologic organs and tissues have changed little, so the copies on sale at FOPAL can be considered an amazing bargain for students at all levels.

"First published in 2014, Atul Gawande's Being Mortal continues to be an important and much talked about book. His recent interview with Krista Tippett for her podcast “On Being” reinforces how Gawande's willingness to take on difficult subjects can be helpful many people. In his usual eloquent style of mixing the personal with the professional, Gawande raises and discusses issues that most of us have or will confront in our lives. His simple question of "what does a good day look like" is one that should become a part of many health care discussions. Reading Gawande is a bit like eating potato chips: it's hard to stop after one. Fortunately, you can read his essays in the New Yorker and find several of his other books on the shelf at FOPAL." -Susan Light

The West

"In addition to great general books on Western history, the history of California and local history of San Francisco and the Bay Area, this month we have some nice books on Western art and artists. We also have a good section on Yosemite and the Sierras and Women in the West. Come check this section out." -K.C. Sarr

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 11 November

"The premier new set is Latham's definitive 11-volume Diary of Samuel Pepys, as volume 5 is missing it's going for $20. 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. 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 1 book when you are buying within the 12-book limit." -Nigel Jones

Judaica November 2017

"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: How Jews Became White Folks & What That Says about Race in America; The Girl from Human Street; Once Upon A Time in Shanghai; Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California; 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year that Transformed the Middle East; Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths. The Modern Literature section has shelves for Judaica Fiction. Books in Hebrew with no English translation will be found in European Languages." -Charlotte Epstein

Russian for November

"This month we have a larger than normal selection of books by Boris Akunin and Friedrich Neznansky." -Edwin El-Kareh

Children's Room

"If you collect or just enjoy Archie comics, don't miss the November sale. We have a shelf full of vintage single and double issues, all in excellent condition, in our Humor/Graphic Novels section. Thanksgiving books are on display this month, in addition to the second overflowing installment of winter, Christmas, and Hanukkah books. Many books in every section of the room are like new and very gift-able. There are boxes of stocking stuffers, too." -Carolyn Davidson

November Humor

"If good things come in pairs we have two each of the following: Monty Python, Wodehouse, Mark Twain, and Ellen DeGeneres. Other titles include 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

Classics and Modern Literature

"Set of Charles Dickens novels, 18 volumes, illustrated by "Phiz". Price reduced to $35.00 for the set.

"Books by Kurt Vonnegut, 24 total, many are duplicates, and most are small sized, individually priced.

"Books by Ernest R. Gann, which I don't see often, includes his autobiography "Hostage to Fortune" and other adventure novels--top shelf Modern Fiction side. Another copy of Roberto Bolano's masterwork, "2666" is available--top shelf, Modern side." -Laverne Bornschlegel


"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. This month we have several very nice large books, rarer books on screenwriting and film financing, many bios, interesting books in film criticism, and even three guides to x-rated films. A few of the books are more expensive, but they are still priced well below Internet prices. Featured titles include: Audrey Hepburn photos 1953-1966, The Last Sitting of Marilyn Monroe, memoirs by Anna Kendrick and Neila McQueen Toffel (Steve McQueen's wife), Marilyn Monroe by Gory Vitacco-Robly, 2 Prospectors, Letters of Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark, As I Knew Him, My Dad, Rod Serling and All I Did Was Ask by Terry Gross, three copies--one signed.

"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. There will be a cart full of entertainment bios outside as well." -Dick Grote

November 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: Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died; Special Deluxe: A Memoir of Life & Cars by Neil Young; Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones; Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock by Sammy Hagar; Does the Noise in My Head Bother You? by Steven Tyler; Duende: A Journey Into the Heart of Flamenco; The Power of Sound: How to Be Healthy and Productive Using Music and Sound. Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein

Philosophy for November 2017

"In November we have 11 books that relate to the topic of Language and Philosophy in a general sense as well as books on Ambiguity, Semantics and the Scientific Methods. Other titles include The Moral Life, Cartesian Women, The Way We Think, and Plato Not Prozac. We also have a very good edition of Hobbes's Leviathan. 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

Psychology Self-help

"In Self-Help most books are typically $2 for hardbacks, $1 for paperbacks--a great bargain. This month most hardbacks from October and earlier are just $1.00--an even GREATER bargain! Some books with bigger mark downs are in a Marked Down section. Books of higher value, but well below Amazon prices are: Mindful, a Self-Coaching Guide and Toolkit, Delizonna; Focused and Fearless, a Meditator's Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, Shaila Catherine; and Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm, Thich Nhat Hann. The 2017 book, No One Cares About Crazy People by Powers, is another bargain! Relationship books include the popular Love Talk by Parrott, and a workbook each for men or women. An unusual find: we have 6 Q and A pamphlets (various topics) to go with the classic Non Violent Communication, by Rosenberg. So come in, browse and enjoy." -Marnie Shuey

Nature Section

"Time for a Nature Section tutorial, our thousand-plus books are sorted into several categories! Including Nature Writing, Extreme Adventures, Animal Stories, Nature/ Hiking Guides, Pet Care and Training, and our popular New Arrivals, which takes up three shelves and counting! Here are some best-selling titles from this month's selection: Rough-Hewn Land, The Disaster Diaries, Horseshoe Crabs and Velvet Worms, The Last Season, Spillover, Goat Man, and Citizen Canine. Our Curious Collectables shelves are overflowing with vintage books carefully selected for their vibrant images and quaint appeal. The window display features books on our beautiful Bay Area native plants and wildlife, as well as guides to the best places to find them. Lots going on this month, and all proceeds go to local libraries." -Karen D.

Teen Recommendations by Tristan Wang

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

A book with an ominous title -- and an ominous outset, the grotesque man Jack murders the Dorian family in their sleep -- save the toddler upstairs, who had unwittingly crawled out of the house and into the nearby cemetery. Here, its supernatural "residents" convene and agree to raise him as one of their own. Renamed Nobody, or Bod for short, the boy must brave the horrors of the graveyard, which, as he will discover, is never quite as frightening as the reality of living.

The Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer

Their village sacked and destroyed by berserker Vikings, Jack and his little sister Lucy are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow. Under the constant threats of Thorgil, a fierce shield maiden, the duo struggle to remain true to each other as they brave the inconceivable dangers that surround them, not to mention the quest they must undertake if they ever hope to see home again.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Moving is all too mundane for Roy Eberhardt. A new arrival in a Florida suburb, he is quick to make the acquaintance of a menacing middle-school bully -- as well as two oddball friends.  But a riveting experience unfolds as Roy joins an effort to sabotage the construction of a local Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House, which, if allowed to proceed, will exact an unseen yet terrible cost on some natural residents.

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