Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday October 13
Ephemera 8am - 3:30pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm

Sunday October 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Signed Books
Holidays / Fall


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 October and November
Children's Library, College Terrace, and Downtown Library will be closed all day on Monday 15 October for annual pest inspection.

Rinconada Library will be closed all day on Friday 19 October for annual pest inspection.

Mitchell Park Library will be closed all day on Friday 26 October for annual pest inspection.

All library locations will be closed on Sunday, 11 November, and Monday, 12 November for the Veteran's Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, 13 November.

All library locations will close at 6pm on Wednesday, 21 November and remain closed through Friday, 23 November for the Thanksgiving holiday. Regular hours will resume on Saturday, 24 November.

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.
True in 2004 and Still True in 2018
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL" -Marty Paddock, 2004.

This is still true in 2018! It's because of this truth that FOPAL continues encouraging checking the value of uncommon books on the internet so that they can be given a price which is fair to our customers and high enough to ensure the Friends are maximizing their sales revenue.

This is why our Main Room book sale customers are likely to see some books priced higher than the Bargain Room prices of $1 for a hardback and 50 cents for a paperback. A suggested pricing guideline for pricing book using internet research is one-third to one-half of the on-line asking prices given the criteria of publisher, date, edition, signed copy, condition, and availability. So, if you see a book priced for $10 at a monthly sale, chances are this book would sell on-line for at least $30. That being said some books warrant higher prices, but are still a great deal to our "collecting and reader" customers.

One of FOPAL's challenges is to recognize those books that might be even more out-of-ordinary and of unusually high value say...where the Internet price is over $40.00. Now once these books have been identified, FOPAL then looks for other markets for them where they can be sold at prices well above what we might price and sell them for our monthly sale. FOPAL not only sells books at the monthly sale but also at the Friends Kiosks at Downtown and Rinconada libraries, in an in-library store at Mitchell Park library, at auction, and on-line.

If you can't attend the monthly sale, please drop by the Friends Store located in the Mitchell Park Library, or the Friends Gondola located in the Downtown and Rinconada libraries during library hours. Books are priced $2 for hardbacks and $1 for paperbacks. The Friends Store and Gondolas are restocked regularly with books for all interests.
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.

November 10th: FOPAL Sale & CASP Open Studios

One great location: the Cubberley Community Center! Two great events.... November 10th, 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 November Sale newsletter and 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 1:00pm–2:00pm, Room H1. Watch fast-paced presentations from all the artists; hear about their work and workshops. Open Studios 1:00pm-4:00pm. Join the artists in their studios for workshops, art, and refreshments.

What's Special for October 2018?

Donation volume has been steady, and we want to send out a big thank you to all who have donated material for our sales as well as a big THANK YOU to FOPAL's Donation Pick-up team! Many sections have a backlog and as a result, we expect to have strong sales all through the winter months. Speaking of which, you'll find Fall and Winter Holiday books, music, and more in the bookcases just outside the sorting/donation room (opposite Travel). We will restock this area with new material through December. Science Fiction has a larger than usual selection of books, manga and graphic novels, much of it from an estate donation. Look for a Signed Book Special curated by several section managers this month as well. This collection can be found in the specials bay near the cashier line. After several plentiful months, the Mystery section again has a number of 2017 & 2018 titles choose from. A large donation of Religion books came in this month, many made the shelves but don't forget to check the Bargain Room. With several local churches clearing their library shelves FOPAL is the lucky recipient of dozens of titles priced to sell. These are just a few highlights; the shelves are full!

Science Fiction and Fantasy

"In Science Fiction and Fantasy this month we have a nice selection of books from Gnome Press and other specialty SF publishers. Also from the 1950s and early 1960s a good selection of the best magazines: of the era: Astounding, Analog, and Galaxy, starting with the very first issue of Galaxy." -Rich McAllister

Historical Fiction

"Lots of books especially on Ancient Rome, the Civil War, and lots of historical thrillers and sea stories." -Marian Urman


"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 lot of books this month in all categories but Hollywood and Film History, Film Analysis, Media, and biographies are especially full. There are several titles which we don't often see.

"Featured titles include:

With Love by Maurice Chevalier

Actors Work by Konstantin Staneslavski

Tom et Jerry by Patrick Brion

Guild to the Talkies Vol 1 & 2 by Dummlet

Collected Works of Samuel Beckett Film

Two books on the Audrey Hepburn style

"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

Children's Room

"October means Halloween, and we're well stocked, from board books for small ghosts, to haunting picture books, to frightful novels for early teens. Many are only 50 cents; check the display just to the right inside the door. Our school-age fiction section has lots of Harry Potter books, if wizardry is your thing. (And Newbery winners, and Magic Tree House books too.)

"The Collectibles Corner is particularly well stocked and appealing this month, as are the red carts.

"Beginning readers will find our shelves full of leveled books. Fans of graphic novels will have lots to choose from. And our DVD case is overflowing. Don't miss our sale!" -Carolyn Davidson

Teen Reviews by Jeff Wang

City of Ember Series: The People of Sparks by Jeanne Duprau

After discovering the secret passage out of the City of Ember, Lina and Doon discovers the outside world: a world of light. The people of the flickering city thus emerged from the ground the first time, and was able to see the stars above. But without resources, the Emberites are unable to survive for long: until they found village of sparks. Here, the Emberites were allowed to live peacefully with the locals. However, before long, conflict ensued between the two groups, and a mysterious person is targeting the people of Ember. Will the two people from completely different worlds be able to live in harmony?

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

After a devastating nuclear war that wiped out most of humanity, the only surviving nation is Panem, consisting of a capitol and thirteen different districts located in what remained of North America. However, a civil war began between the totalitarian Capitol and the districts, and resulted in the Victory of the Capitol and the destruction of district thirteen. As a punishment for rebellion, the Capitol created the hunger games; each year, two “tributes”, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12-18, are chosen from each of the districts to participate in a fight to the death. This year, Katniss Everdeen's sister, Primrose, is chosen, but Katniss volunteers in her stead. Will she be able to survive the Hunger Games?

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: the Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

As a new year at Camp Half-Blood starts, all seemed well: until Percy and Annabeth accidentally discover an entrance to the labyrinth, a constantly expanding maze network created two millenniums ago by the inventor Daedalus. Due to the maze possibly serving as a invasion route for Luke, who would do anything to destroy the place he belonged to, Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson are sent on a quest to convince Daedalus to not give the key to the secret of the Maze, Ariadne's String, to Luke. But on their journey, they will discover a much more sinister plot...


"Visit the Music section for books on a wide variety of musical topics in the genres of classical, rock, jazz, opera, American music, and dance.

"New this month - What Music Means to Me; The Opera According to Bartalini; African Rhythms: The Autobiography of Randy Weston; The First Four Notes: Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination; Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir; Pastures of Plenty: A Self-Portrait; Bernie Taupin: The One Who Writes The Words For Elton John; Eddie Condon's Scrapbook of Jazz; and Lynyrd Skynyrd: Remembering the Free Birds of Southern Rock

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

Asian Languages

"Asian Languages section has two locations. One is in aisle 13. This aisle displays many Chinese CDs and DVDs of music, movies and dramas. The other location is in aisle 8 hosting a lot of books in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Vietnamese.

"十月份,我们有非常多的中文书。例如,《老夫子》系列(30本以上),侦探小说系列 (50本以上),村上春树的《1Q84》(3本),艾蓓的《叫父亲太沉重》等等。 室外的红书架上也有不少中文书。" -Haiyan Chen


"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 - They Dared Return: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Lines in Nazi Germany; 2 volume set of Women in the Holocaust, by Jehoshua Eibeshitz and Anna Eilenberg-Eibeshitz; The Boys by Martin Gilbert; Listen to Her Voice: Women of the Hebrew Bible; Adventures in Yiddishland: Postvernacular Language and Culture; Jewtopia: The Chosen Book for the Chosen People; Our City: The Jews of San Francisco.

"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

Classics and Modern Literature

"Classics: Many new slipcase books. Also, Lots! of nice nice classic Reader's Digest books, priced at $2.00 each.

"Dickens set, now being sold individuallly, each volume is priced at $2.00.

"Two newly represented Nobel authors are represented on the Nobel shelves (top two shelves on the North end of the Modern Section): Elfriede Jelinek, 2004 Nobel author from Austria, and her book The Piano Teacher; and Jean-Marie Gustave LeClezio, 2008 Nobel Author from France, whose books I don't recollect just now.

"Modern Literature: Any Albert J. Gerard enthusiasts out there? We got a fairly large donation of his books. We have The Exiles, The Past Must Alter, The Hunted, and Night Journey. Check the bottom shelf of the 'G' section.

"Others authors shelved on the bottom shelves are: Durrell under 'D', Kafka 'K', McMurtry 'M', Nabokov 'N', Laurens van der Post and Vonnegut under 'V'." -Laverne Hornschlegel and Julie Avelino


"Some featured books this month are: Life Planning for You, Designing your Life, The User Illusion, Molecules of Emotion, 12 Rules for Life, Achievement Habit, Tribe of Mentors, Big Potential, Universal Traveler, A Fearless Heart, and I'm Not Sick. Look for some excellent, newly arrived books in the following sub-sections: Enneagram, Career, Parenting Teens. All books are priced well below (at least 50% off) internet used book prices; MANY 1 and 2 dollar bargains! Browse and Enjoy, Marnie" -Marnie Shuey


"We received a wonderful assortment of books on each art category. For example, we have some great books on sculpture; African Arts; Chinese Art; Impressionism; Drawing & Painting How to books. Currently, we have a large collection of Architectural books on historical houses.

"We also received a very large assortment of Art Gallery Exhibition brochures on individual artists. Many of the gallery brochures are collectible and vary in prices. Just another way of learning about the new artists in the last decade.

"As a final note, take a look at the print portfolios section with examples of how the same prints can look framed. The art section has provided some bundles of framed art and portfolios with additional prints." -Andrea Lozano

Military History

"The Military History section is brimming over with recently donated collections: WW I, WW II, Korea, Vietnam and our wars in the Middle East. Included are many biographies of the Nazi leaders from Hitler to Himmler, great military strategist Rommel, Patton and the Pacific Theater Admirals. There are many books of specialized or niche interest e.g. the rescue of Mussolini by Hitler's top operative Otto Skorzeny and the exploits of the famed Flying Tigers! All at sinfully low prices - don't miss out!" -Rommel Struckus

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