Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday June 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 June 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Puzzles & Games Vintage
Children's Room Vintage


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 June and July
All libraries will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 for the Independence Day Holiday.

You can find out about closings and other Palo Alto Library events on the Library's new event calendar. Check it out, it has a different layout from the old monthly calendar grid layout and 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.
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
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.

June Sale Notes

Despite a slight drop in donations in the latter part of May (which is normal for us), we did end up with more books than time to sort them this month. There was a wide range of subjects with a few highlights... Look for a massive Cooking & Vintage Cookbook collection being offered for sale this month, with a terrific Better Cookbook Special located next to the check-out line, near the DVDs. Lots of other cookbooks in its respective section and an equal amount being offered in the Bargain Room/H2. The History/China Special is featured again this month with fresh additions to the shelves for June. Look for the Vintage Puzzles & Games special filling one bay in the Puzzles & Games area. The Children's Room is also full to brim, look for a “Red Cart” special display of vintage Oz books for sale at a fraction of what they go for online. In addition, look for a lot of volumes in the Franco-Belgian series of both Asterix (in French) and Tintin (in English). For the June sale, the Children's Room has it all! Also... the section managers for Politics report having a large number of books, in nearly new condition for the June sale!

Better Than a Tie, Give Dad a Book for Father's Day - Sunday, June 17th

Dads love mysteries, true crime and thrillers and we've got plenty of nearly new hardbacks. For the June sale, you'll find books from all dads' favorite authors: Vince Flynn, David Baldacci, Ian Rankin and Jo Nesbo. Or, if you'd like to introduce dad to an author he's sure to enjoy try picking up a book by Laurie King or from a relative newcomer to the mystery book scene author Mark Gimenez. You'll find these and more in our Mysteries & Thrillers section as well as a full bookcase of vintage mysteries if you're looking for something really original. With most priced under $2, you could afford to create a mini collection for your dad this year.

Vintage Puzzles & Games

As a result of a reviewing of many Vintage Puzzles & Games sitting in FOPAL's High-Value storeroom last month, we are offering a Vintage Puzzles & Games special filling one bay in the Puzzles & Games area, near the exit door. These are in new or nearly new condition with lookup sheets attached highlighting in orange the current Amazon asking prices. FOPAL's Vintage 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.


"This month, we received a donation of some beautiful baking cookbooks in amazing condition. They include recipes from some of the most famous celebrity chefs and are priced far below retail price. In addition, we also have cookbooks by Paula Deen, Ina Garten, and Mario Batali. Also displayed for sale this month are vegetarian and ethnic cookbooks in like-new condition. Please stop by our expanded cookbook section in the Main Room to take advantage of the opportunity to own these lovely cookbooks." -Rose Giamalis


"Most 1890 issues of Buds of Hope from 1890 are bound into a green volume with gilt lettering. Many Christian lessons, poems and lovely illustrations. Priced at $30 compared with online price of $69.
"The large Teilhard de Chardin Album by Jeanne Mortimer and Marie-Louise Auboux includes excerpts from his books, private letters, personal diary as well as writings of his friends and colleagues.
"Charles Taylor's A Secular Age explores the place of religion in our societies and what happens when faith is only one human possibility among others.
"The Ancrene Riwle a 1967 translation by M.B. Salu of a thirteenth century text which influenced English spirituality.
"Popular Religion in late Saxon England by Karen Louise Jolly combines literary sources in old English and Latin, archaeological evidence and ecclesiastical and political records.
"The religion shelves are full of other gems in both the main and bargain rooms." -Nancy Cohen

Children's Room

"Red Cart Special in June: We have many vintage Oz books for sale at a fraction of what they go for online (our price, $3-$10, depending on condition and scarcity). In addition, we have many volumes in the two Franco-Belgian series Asterix (in French) and Tintin (in English). If you don't know these delightful graphic-format series, come pick some up. Adventures of Tintin was made into an animated feature film here in America in 2011. We have a few issues of other vintage French comic books for sale, as well.

"School-age Fiction has lots of books to tempt summer readers: early chapter books in the series Magic Treehouse, Geronimo Stilton, Junie B. Jones, Flat Stanley, Rainbow Fairies, and others; Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, for ages 8-12; and Harry Potter -- perfect to take on a family trip. There are shelves full of novels for teens, too.

"Our Activities section offers many math books and workbooks, some from other countries (Singapore, Japan, etc.). There are also gently used Star Wars vehicles and figures, timed right for the new movie. Also check out our crafts and science kits for summer projects, and our puzzles and games.

"Just inside our door you’ll find books for Fathers' Day (June 17) and July Fourth." -Carolyn Davidson

Historical Fiction

"We have a lot of thrillers/adventure books in historical settings on the right side of our section, after the window and under the window. Writers include Joseph Karon, Alan Furst. We also have many books about WW2." -Marian Urman


"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 these subsections are particularly full: Hollywood and Film History, Film Analysis, and Radio. Titles of particular interest this month include: The Brand New Monty Python Bok, Cannes Cinema, Conversations with Wilder, Of Muppets and Men, and Here's Soupy Sales. A few of these featured titles are priced higher than many books at our sale, but if you check you will find that the prices are much lower than if they were purchased on-line.

"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

Classics & Modern Literature

"The Oxford Illustrated Dickens with the original illustrations. Like-new condition. 21 volumes. 1987. Set price is $70.00.

"Phillip Roth 1933 - 2018 and Tom Wolfe 1931 - 2018 are featured with a selection of their books.

"Gone With the Wind 1940. The Motion Picture Edition with pictures. Now $3.00." -Laverne Bornschlegel


"New arrivals in June are The Adventures of Hergé Creator of Tintin by Farr, Wallace and Gromit and the Lost Slipper by Davies, How About Never by Mankoff, Different Dances by Silverstein, Seriously Funny: The Rebel Comedians of the 50s and 60s by Nachman, and Further Cuttings from Cruiskeen Lawn by one of James Joyce's favorite Irish writers, Flann O'Brien.

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


"New arrivals in June include Protogoras and Logos by Schiappa, Mediterranean Passages by Cooke, Philosophy without the Boring Bits by Cave, The Death of Character by Hunter, A Barthes Reader by Hill and Paper Machine by Derrida." -Nigel Jones


"New arrivals for June include the 8-volume set Famous Men and Great Women, 1894 for $50, 5 volumes of the beautifully illustrated The Nature Library, 1926 for $30, the 4-volume set The International Library of Music for Violinists, 1925 for $10, and Volume IX, Italy, of The Historians' History of the World, 1904 for $8.

"Sales specials for June are: the complete 54-volume set Great Books of the Western World, 1952 for $30 and the excellent 10-volume box set of August Wilson's plays in perfect condition for $40.

"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 only counts as one book when you are buying within the 12-book limit." -Nigel Jones

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 - A Bad Woman Feeling Good: Blues and the Women Who Sing Them; The Bassoon King: Art, Idiocy, and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room by Rainn Wilson; Meet the Beatles: A Cultural History of the Band That Shook Youth, Gender, and the World; Bob Dylan: An Illustrated Biography; Shakey: Neil Young's Biography; Do You Mr Jones?: Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors; The Grammar of Conducting: A Practical Guide to Baton Technique and Orchestral Interpretation.

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


"Some featured books this month are: Designing Your Life; Attached; Insecure in Love; No Time Like the Present; Abundance Now; Buddha's Brain. The workbook section has 15 books to help you in your life's journey. A special deal is 8 copies, new, of Made to Stick, 2017. I've added a small subsection for Teens to see if there is interest in the topic. Browse and enjoy, Marnie"


"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 Temple: Its Symbolism and Meaning Then and Now; Dybbuk and the Yiddish Imagination: A Haunted Reader; From Defender to Critic: The Search for a New Jewish Self; The Spirit of the Ten Commandments: Shattering the Myth of Rabbinic Legalism; Learning to Read Midrash; 7 volumes out of the 22 volume set, The Talmud, The Steinsaltz Edition from 1989.

"The Modern Literature section has shelves for Judaica Fiction. Books in Hebrew with no English translation will be found in European Languages." -Charlotte Epstein


"FOPAL has a great selection of How to Art books that would be great entertainment for children. Summer is a good time for parents to continue a child’s interests in art. Consider books on drawing, painting, origami, collage or coloring.

"FOPAL continues to make available limited High Value Books at book sales. Everyone would enjoy the following books: Once Upon a Dream: From Perrault's Sleeping Beauty to Disney's Maleficent Deluxe Edition, The Art of How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Illusion of Life: Disney Animation.

"Finally, check out the many wonderful art books on different cultures. Specifically, there many books on Art from India." -Andrea Lozano

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