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Saturday August 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 August 12
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Whale of a Sale
Philosophy / P. C. Suppes
Framed Art
8mm projector & movies
Collectible Games


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 in August and September
All libraries will be closed on Monday, September 3 for the Labor Day holiday.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's event calendar. Check it out, it has filters that let you select a date range, library branches, types of events, and other things. Wide desktop browsers will show these filters on the left of the window; narrow browsers will show a "REFINE" that can be clicked to reveal filtering options.
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
Monday "Free Night" Book Giveaway
From 6-8 pm on the Monday night after each monthly sale, everyone -- you don’t have to be a non-profit or a FOPAL volunteer -- may come and take away from the Bargain Room/H2 any amount of books and media. Be sure to pass along to all and as a reminder, bring your own bags and boxes.


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.

August Sale Highlights

Donations were especially strong since the last sale, and considering we had a backlog from July, our shelves are sagging under the weight of all the books. This means a super selection for buyers; this will be a great sale! The Philosophy section is jammed with great books in all categories, as a result of a generous donation from the Patrick Connell Suppes estate. You’ll likely find more books from the Suppes donation throughout other sections as well. Sharing the same aisle, the featured subjects in the Whale of a Sale special section is an unusual collection of books on whales, marine animals, whaling history and sea adventures. Also, featured this month is a collection of 8mm movies, the projector to show them with, plus a screen! All you need a bulb and you’re ready to have a retro movie night. Our Framed Art Manager features a variety of new pieces, all priced to sell. The Games & Puzzles section has almost all new stock this month with several more collectible games being offered from FOPAL's archives.

From FOPAL's Archives

Unearthed from FOPAL's High-Value storeroom/Archives for this month's sale is a special collection of 8mm movies plus the projector to show them with. Grab the folding screen from Ephemera and you're all set for the show. All are priced individually or as a bundle. As a continued result of a reviewing of many valuable Puzzles & Games sitting in FOPAL's High-Value storeroom/Archives last month, we are offering another Collectable Puzzles & Games special filling one bay in the Games & Puzzles area, near the exit door. These are in used or nearly new condition with lookup sheets attached highlighting the current Amazon/E-Bay asking prices. FOPAL's Collectable Puzzles & Games special selections are priced at 50% of what's online, with prices ranging $10 to $60. A must see for all FOPAL's serious board game and puzzle collectors.


"Thanks to the generous donation of the family of Stanford professor of philosophy Patrick Suppes the Philosophy section in August is a Suppes Special. We have increased the section from two to three bookcases. The left case is all from professor Suppes while the middle case adds to our collection on specific philosophers and the right case adds to our collection on philosophical issues. This is a unique opportunity to see books from the library of a Stanford professor of philosophy." -Nigel Jones


"Scripture has several sets or partial sets. Six volumes of The New Interpreter's Bible. 12 volumes of Jimmy Swaggart Bible Commentary. Nine volumes Communicator's Commentary. Special on 19 volumes of leather bound Modern Reader's Bible - $19.

"Two volumes of Troeltsch's Social Teaching of the Christian Churches. Thomas Romer's Invention of God. Ruck's Apples of Apollo. AND MUCH MORE." -Nancy Cohen

Vintage Children's Books

"We are combing through a large collection of children's books spanning a century, 1880s to 1990s. You will find them in the Children's Room on the red carts and on the shelves in the pony corner. Even more are in the children's section of the Bargain Room. Look for the old favorites like Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and Bobbsey Twins as well as some interesting single volumes." -Nancy Cohen

With Nancy's assistance we have some shelf preview photos for the Vintage Children's Books special.

European Languages

"This month, we have some very nice books in Spanish, mostly fiction, including about 10 from Alfaguara, and some books in Polish (one by Mrozek, and lots of Hemingway and Faulkner)." -Susan Strain


"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.

"We have a large number of books on media and media studies this month. Besides the usual shelf of books, we have several on display on the top of the smaller bookcase. Additionally there are several interesting titles in film analysis and criticism.

"Featured titles include:
Moments that Made the Movies by David Thompson
Theatres in Los Angles
Cinema Treasures
Eye Witness by Robert Spiers Benjamin

"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, 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

Science Fiction and Fantasy

"In Science Fiction and Fantasy, we have a couple of the Hugo Award novel finalists (too late to vote, but plenty of time to read them before the awards on August 19.) Also a huge collection of the "Forgotten Realms" D&D books. In the Graphic Novels section there's a lot of manga after a long dry spell, plus a good selection of Marvel and DC superhero books." -Rich McAllister

Children's Room

"Our Non-fiction section has many Star Wars books, including some unusual ones and many like new. The Activities area is well stocked with board games galore, crafts materials, a box of Barbie dolls, and plenty of puzzles. The Beginning Readers shelves are overflowing. And our Religion section has lots of books for the Jewish High Holidays, just around the corner." -Children's Room Volunteers

Teen Reviews by Jeff Wang

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

In the second book of the Percy Jackson series, Percy Jackson's school year was again interrupted, this time by giants who threw giant cannonballs at him. After being saved by his friend Annabeth from his previous adventures and by his classmate Tyson who turned out to be a Cyclops that was his half-brother, Percy finds out that Camp Half- Blood is in danger. What's worse, his best friend Grover is missing, and likely captured by a ancient monster, waiting to consume him. Not given the quest to save Camp Half-Blood, Percy and his friends sneak out in an attempt to save the camp on their own. Will Percy succeed in saving the camp from ruin, and also save Grover from being eaten?

Big Nate: in a class by himself by Lincoln Peirce

Nate Wright is your typical middle school troublemaker, always making life hard for the teachers. But he has plenty of problems of his own, including a social studies teacher that dislikes him, an annoying older sister, friends that make fun of him, and much more. But one day, he receives a fortune cookie containing the note "today you will surpass all others", and he decides to fulfill the prediction, causing hilarious events to happen for the entire school day.

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau

The City of Ember resides in a world filled with darkness, and the lights that kept it alive, have begun to flicker. Lina and Doon, are twelve year old who were assigned each other’s dream job on on assignment day: so, in secret, they switched jobs. However, the state of the city seemed to grow worse, and when Lina and Doon finds a mysterious piece of paper,inside a box owned by Lina's grandmother's grandfather, a former mayor, they begin to discover the truth of the city of Ember, and also, more importantly, how to save their people.


"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 - Sing for Your Life; The Inner Game of Music; Steinway & Sons; Who's Who in Rock Video; Runnin' with the Devil; Thirty Frames Per Second: The Visionary Art of the Music Video; America Dancing: From the CakeWalk to the Moon Walk; The Furtwangler Record; The Voice that Challenged a Nation; Spoons.

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


"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 - Written Out of History; From Krakow to Krypton - Jews and Comic Books; Queer Jews; Yiddishland; Who were the Early Israelites and Where Did They Come From; A Daughter of Two Mothers; The Liberators; Victory over Death; The Jews of Sing Sing; Safe Passage; Klezmer: Jewish Music from Old World to Our World.

"Most fiction with Jewish themes will be found in Modern Literature, Classics, or Current Fiction. Books entirely in Hebrew are shelved in the European Languages section." -Charlotte Epstein


"New arrivals in Sets for August include: Great Men and Famous Women, 8 volumes, 1894, $50; The Book of the Thousand and One Night, 15 volumes, 1901, copy 366 of 500, $95; The Works of Gustave Flaubert, eight volumes, 1904, $36; Cambridge History of Literature, 15 volumes, 1933, $30. We also have the illustrated 3-volume set Boswell's Life of Samuel Johnson, 1934 for $20; and G. B. Shaw's four-volume Music in London, for $10.

"We have quite a range of older individual volumes typically pre-1940 novels selected for their content and decorative qualities. There are some very good candidates for book arts this month.

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


"With the current atmosphere of conspiracies and fake news we think that our special on perhaps the most alleged conspiratorial event of the Twentieth Century, the John F. Kennedy assassination, is very timely. This month the History section has an extensive collection of books on this topic. Also timely is a small but excellent selection of books on the Japanese-American internment during World War II including Morning Glory, Evening Shadow by Yamoto Ichihashi. (We hope you saw the recent production at Theatre Works on this topic, Hold These Truths.)

"Completing our specials for this month is a collector's donation of books on Albert Schweitzer. It covers most aspects of his life and his philosophy of life. Last but not least--BUY AMERICAN!! We are overflowing with U.S. History books covering the earliest days of our nation up to the present era. Become more informed about our past and help us reduce our inventory!" -Suzanne Little and Irina Cross


"Recent book donations included a wonderful collection of instructional books on watercolor painting and drawing. In addition, FOPAL has a bountiful collection of books on the great master's drawings. Artists include Goya, Da Vinci, Hogarth, Munch, Michelangelo and Durer.

"FOPAL experienced such a significant increase in book donations and the art sections in the main room are filled to the maximum.

"As a final note, we consistently reduce the price of art books for each sale. The real value of art books are very much higher than FOPAL's pricing. Especially on collector art books. So keep looking for those great deals." -Andrea Lozano

Modern Literature and Classics

"Set of Dickens titles, 20 of the 21 in the set. Price is reduced to $35.00. Lots of new Classics in slipcases. Most are very nice.

"About 35 new donations of the African Writers Series.  The series has been published by Heinemann since 1962 and has ensured an international voice to young writers including China Achebe, Steve Biko, Nadine Gordimer and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o. Sold separately at usually $1.00 each. On Classics side." -Laverne Bornschlegel

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