Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

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

Sunday September 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Asian Language/Chinese
Large Format


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 September and October
The Library will be closed on Monday, October 9 for Columbus Day. Normal hours will resume on Tuesday, October 10.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar.
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.

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 in FOPAL's October Sale newsletter and on FOPAL's Facebook page. Please "like" and "follow" us when you visit.

Check out the FOPAL Book Club

The FOPAL Book Club, which has been meeting for over 15 years, meets the second Thursday of every month in the meeting room at the Palo Alto Art Center located at 1313 Newell Road. 7:30 - 8:45 pm. For questions and 2017-18 reading list, email the current president: Emily Young ( or call (650) 856-9571.

The reading list is also available on our web site.

September Sale Notes

For the upcoming September Sale, look for lots of terrific treasures in each of FOPAL's three Book Rooms. In the Main Room the Nature section is overflowing as result of another generous donation from Acterra. The Palo Alto City Library brought in several dozen Chinese books, these are not all ex-library. You'll surely want to see the new donation of vintage postcards curated by FOPAL's deltiologist (a person who collects postcards) Rommel Struckus. Early sale attendees usually greeted by Rommel will miss him this Saturday as Rommel and others will be attending the Vintage Paper Fair. FOPAL's postcard special is located on the top shelf of the small specials bay across from the checkout, near DVDs. Also, sharing this specials bay is a collection of newish nice condition large format books. These are priced starting at a mere $3!

September Nature

"Fall already? Never fear, September weather in the Bay Area is perfect for hiking, birdwatching, beach going, or just relaxing in the shade with a great book. This month we expanded the New Arrival section to make room for dozens of terrific titles: The Chalice and the Blade, F.U. Penguin, Keeping a Nature Journal, You Had Me At Woof, One Wild Bird At A Time, Wild Ones, and many more. We received a large donation of vintage, beautifully illustrated books on birds from Nepal, China, India, The Philippines, Mumbai, etc. Not interested in reading about Spiny Babblers or Cebu Flowerpeckers? Browse our other popular sections - Nature Writers, Animal Stories, High Adventure, Natural Disasters, Local Hikes and Raising/Training Pets, to name a few." -Karen D.

Postcard Special this September!

"Hundreds of new "vintage" postcards offered this month - 1930s through 1950s. Most are unused and ready to be posted to a special person; or kept as a memorable keepsake - and cheap! Regardless of scarcity all cards are only 25 cents each! Any future postcard donations to further the good work being done by FOPAL would greatly be appreciated! Stop by and visit our special display area and bring home a small piece of history!" -Rommel Struckus

Art Section

"There are so many beautiful art books, that it is impossible to describe the incoming art books alone. Here is just quick glimpse of some of the special books. There are special books on flowers and nature through art. The group includes The Flowers of Kew by Mabey, Ehret's Flowering Plants by Adams; Flowers by Bukovnik, Flowers and Nature by Segal.

"The Art section continues to receive unique coloring books on historic architecture; paint by number; and fantasy. FOPAL also received some wonderful art books on various artists such David Hockney, Carl Spitzweg, Edouard Vuillard, Stanley Spencer and an intimate biography of Edward Hopper. In addition look for, unique books on Jewish artists such as Henry Mosler and Tully Filmus. Have fun browsing and take time to look through the print section." -Andrea Lozano

Children's Room

"Boo! We have so many Halloween books that we're offering some at the September sale--here's your chance to grab some great ones. Look for them on display just inside the door, and elsewhere in the room. All our sections are overflowing this month: gift worthy hardback picture books, board books for toddlers, fascinating non-fiction, school-age fiction (including award winners and multiple shelves of Harry Potter and other fantasy favorites), graphic novels, puzzles, games, crafts, hundreds of world language titles--no tricks, just treat your favorite youngsters. Our cashiers now take credit cards, too!" -Carolyn Davidson


"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. Several areas are packed with books not regularly seen: TV, craft and screen writing, and analysis and criticism. Featured titles include: Several books with beautiful portraits of movie stars, two books of lobby cards, two volume set of World Film Director, bios of George Clooney, Betty Davis's Lonely Life, Amy Schumer, Barbara Stanwych (well received), and Meryl Streep, and a signed copy of All I Did Was Ask by Terry Gross.

"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.  Outside is a cart with $1 entertainment bios." -Dick Grote

2017 September 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 - For the Love of It: Amateuring and Its Rivals; The Intimate Act of Choreography; Tango!: The Dance, the Song, the Story; Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer; Heaven and Hell: My Life in the Eagles (1974-2001); and A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead. Michael Steinberg’s books For The Love of Music: Invitations to Listening; Choral Masterworks; The Symphony; and The Concerto.

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

Modern and Classic Fiction

"19 new books, Borders Classics 2003, Includes the usual and Douglass, Maupassant.

"2004-2011 issues of Persuasions from the Jane Austin Journal, each $2.00 Classics area.

"Novels from a 1917 set of Kipling's books are reduced to $1.00 each. We have a number of paperbacks by Jorge Amado (1912-2001). He was born in Bahia area of Brazil, his best known work is probably Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. Dystopian, Kafka and Judaica sections are still around. Lots of new Dostoyevsky books, featured this month on top shelf of Classics." -Laverne Bornschlegel

2017 September 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: The Sacred Table: Creating a Jewish Food Ethic; The Jews in Early America: A Chronicle of Good Taste and Good Deeds; Strangers Always: A Jewish Family in Wartime Shanghai; Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State; The New Work of Our Hands: Contemporary Jewish Needlework and Quilts; Ruth - A Modern Commentary; Neurotica: Jewish Writers on Sex; Alex's Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance; Founder: A Portrait of the First Rothschild and His Time.

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 West

"Come check out The West for the history of Palo Alto and the Bay Area, as well as all of California and the West. We have a special selection this month on the Lewis & Clark expedition." -KC Sarr

Sets for September 2017

"The premier new set is Boswell's Life of Johnson and The Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides, 1733. This eight-volume set has no date but is inscribed as 1889, $30. The Complete Works of Robert Burns, Gebbie 1905, in very good condition is reduced to $60. Two excellent new single volumes are the illustrated Beautiful Life of Queen Victoria, Handford, 1901, $8, and The Handbook of Engraved Gems, King, 1885, $15. 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

Health and Medicine sections

"Lots of us are old enough to remember hot childhood summers when we weren’t allowed to cool off in the community swimming pool, and mom wouldn’t let us go to the movies because we all lived in fear of Infantile Paralysis. Avoiding crowds meant eliminating many kids' summer vacation pleasures. Knowing friends who spent the summer, or maybe longer, in quarantine; many in dreaded Iron Lungs (which kept them breathing.) Hundreds were crippled for a lifetime; many died. In mid-20th Century, Jonas Salk developed the first vaccine to prevent infantile paralysis; the Sabin Vaccine followed a few years later, and the world thought that polio had been conquered. Fast forward to the end of the century when -- quite suddenly -- nearly half of the people who had had polio decades earlier developed symptoms almost identical to the ones that had afflicted them as children: pain, severe fatigue, muscle weakness and atrophy, breathing and swallowing problems. Patients who had been healthy adults often again needed braces, canes, crutches and management of severe pain.

"We have received a collection of books directed both toward medical professionals and lay persons and former patients as well. Look for them on display between our Medicine and Health sections." -Verne Rice

Philosophy for September 2017

"In September, new arrivals include the two-volume box set The Great Age of Western Philosophy for $15, as well as A History of Philosophical Systems by Ferm. The Life of Descartes by Watson, What is Ancient Philosophy? by Hadot, The Consequences of Ideas by Sproul and Human Rights and Human Liberties by Machan. 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

September Humor 2017

"New arrivals in September include five different varieties of the New Yorker cartoons including the Complete Cartoons plus CDs and Rejections volumes 1 and 2. We have again the very topical Yuge by Trudeau on you know who. Other new arrivals include Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Magician and the Cardsharp, Travels with my Radio, Underground Education and books by Ellen and Tina.

"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

Teen Reviews by Tristan Wang

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

Edward Tulane is a china rabbit who enjoys a pleasant but vain life under the care of his young mistress, Abilene. But upon the fateful day he was lost in the ocean, he must learn what it means to lose, to love, and find his way back again.

World War Z by Max Brooks

In a formal yet haunting report commissioned by the United Nations, an unnamed interviewer assembles a riveting narrative of a horrifying zombie apocalypse, recreating the plague from the first outbreak, to the climactic Great Panic, to its devastating yet redemptive aftermath.

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing by M. T. Anderson

Raised by mysterious philosophers in revolutionary Boston, Octavian is provided with the finest of classical educations. Yet the color of his skin renders him the "property" of Mr. Gitney, and, unbeknownst to Octavian, the subject of an extremely sinister experimentation.

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