Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday September 8
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 9
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Room
Nature / Sea Animals
Sports & Transportation


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 September and October
There is plenty of fun at the Palo Alto Library, but no closings on the schedule through the end of October.

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.
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.

September Sale Notes

The end of summer is normally a strong month for us in terms of donation volume and this year is no exception. The Children's Room has been blessed with a large volume of donations and will have dozens of rare and collectible books offered for September, reasonably priced by the children's vintage book researcher Nancy Cohen. Need a kid's room area rug? Fopal has two for sale. These will be displayed on the railing of the children's room. Look for our teen writer/contributor recommending books available in the Children's Room for the September sale! Jeff Wang's book review column is a terrific one entitled, "Teen Recommendations by Jeff Wang", below. Thanks to a huge donation of books on the Sea Animals check out the specials shelves “Whale of a Sale” on your right as you enter the main room including a special on Women and Whaling. There is material on many facets of the history, growth, and culture. Our Sports & Transportation manager reports a nice selection of books this month, including a special sale of trading cards. Priced by our researcher Tyler Vinciguerra, look for these cards dated 1960s-1980s, sports included: baseball, football and hockey, boxed to sell for $20 each box and located in the small specials bay to your right of the checkout line. The Computer section has a higher than normal volume of offerings, look for full shelves in both the Main and Bargain Rooms.... The Psychology section manager has done a terrific job organizing their section this month, featuring many titles of what's special for September.

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

Children's Room

"The September sale will be amazing--the Children's Room is bursting with bargain books, games, puzzles, and toys. This month our School-Age Fiction section features fantasy books including always popular gift sets by Rick Riordan and Erin Hunter, in addition to an excellent selection of early chapter books and books for middle schoolers. If you love Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you're in luck; we're very well stocked. The Activities section has a plethora of puzzles, and many like-new Haba games (playable in English, German, Spanish, French). Check us out!" -Carolyn Davidson

Teen Reviews by Jeff Wang

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan

While looking to introduce two young powerful demigods to the safety of Camp Half-Blood, Percy and his friends are attacked by a Manticore named Mr. Thorn. They are rescued by the all-female hunters of Artemis, but after the fight, Annabeth is nowhere to be found. Soon after, Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, also disappears on a important mission. Percy suspects that Luke, a traitor demigod who turned their backs on the Olympians, might have been behind the disappearances. As usual, a quest is issued for the search of Artemis, and once again, Percy was not part of it. But like before, Percy did not care much for rules, and snuck out to save Annabeth, from Luke and also a power much more ancient than the gods...

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Smedry is constantly passed along different foster families due to his habit of breaking things. On his thirteenth birthday, Alcatraz receives an inheritance from his long-lost parents: a bag of sand. A day later, an eccentric old man came to his house, claiming to be his grandfather. The man rushed into his room, only to discover the sand had been stolen, presumably by Ms. Fletcher, whom the old man referred as a "librarian". After driving his newly-found and apparently crazy "grandfather" out of the house, Alcatraz is held at gunpoint by a librarian disguised as a foster care worker, and is saved by Grandpa Smedry. Alcatraz soon discovers that his biggest burden, his tendency to break things, was now a extremely powerful talent passed down the Smedry bloodline, and that glasses and lenses held powerful magical powers. Will Alcatraz be able to defeat the librarians and retrieve his inheritance, and discover more about his past?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley is just beginning his journey through middle school, and he and his friend Rowley faces all sorts of challenges in their new environment, including bullies, parents, dealing with older kids, etc. Being overly concerned about his reputation, Greg pulls many different antics in order to achieve his dream of being rich and famous, but they often backfire, often placing him in very precarious situations. Despite his well-(sometimes)-intentioned mischievous behavior, the book is a illustrates the life of a typical student very well, and contains many interesting stories that gives insight into how they view the world.

Children's Vintage Books

"Many more vintage books in Children's Room. Several are famous fiction writers like Spyri and shelved near pony in author alpha order. Picture books for younger children are in and around red carts." -Nancy Cohen

Historical Fiction

"We have lots of books particularly about China, World Wars One and Two and Adventure and Seafaring Stories. Check us out!" -Marian Urman


"We have received additional books from the generous donation of the family of Stanford professor of philosophy Patrick Suppes so that the Philosophy section in September continues our Suppes Special. We have increased the section from 2 to 3 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

The West

"We have a large number of books on the West with separate categories for California, Oregon, Washington, San Francisco, Greater Bay Area, Palo Alto and Yosemite. In addition, there are two shelves of Western Fiction including books by Larry McMurtry, Louis L'Amour, and Zane Grey. We have several volumes of American West magazine (1968-1977). All the books are very reasonably priced." -Ed Walker


"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 - Marching Along: Reflections on Men, Women and Music; The San Francisco Tape Music Center: 1960s Counterculture and the Avant-Garde; And the Grammy Goes To; 100 Best-selling Albums of the 80s; Talk - Action = 0; Moving History/Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader; Black Postcards; M Train.

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

Classics & Modern Lit

"Classic Fiction:
Set of 12 novels by Thomas Hardy: reduced to $12.00 for the set.
20 volumes of a set by Dickens, very nice, now for sale individually for $2.00 each.
"Also many more slipcase volumes, new this month, also some carryovers. Priced individually.

"Modern Literature 1900-2000:
Mostly on the bottom shelves, we've received lots of books by some of our authors, all are priced individually.

"Laurens van der Post was born in South Africa in 1905 and died in London in 1995. He wrote fiction and travel and politics. He spent three years as a Japanese prisoner of war in Java, and wrote The Prisoner and the Atomic Bomb.
"Others featured with many donated books are Vladimir Nabokov, Kurt Vonnegut, Anne Tyler, Larry McMurtry, Saul Bellow, John Barth, Graham Greene, and Nevil Shute." -Laverne Bornschlegel and Julie Avelino


"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 - With All Your Possessions: Jewish Ethics and Economic Life; Textual Knowledge: Teaching the Bible in Theory and in Practice; Creation and the Persistence of Evil; Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons, and Gangster Dreams; The Rabbi's Cat; Viktor Frankl: A Life Worth Living; Never the Last Road: A Partisan's Life.

"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


"In September we have had quite an influx of new books including three copies of the Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, two with CDs, three by Wodehouse, three by Monty Python including The Life of Brian, two by the Lears, Nonsense from Edward and Even This by Norman, and two by Demetri Martin. We also have several books about comedians and comedy shows and of course a great selection of cartoon books." -Nigel Jones


"New arrivals in Sets for September include: Stoddard Lectures, a 10 volume set with 5 additional supplements, 1907, $20; and Household Words, volumes 1 through 7, 1851 for $30, a rare set for this date. Also available are Great Men and Famous Women, 8 volumes, 1894, $50; and the Cambridge History of Literature, 15 volumes, 1933, $30. From now on there will also be a section specifically for books published before 1900. From 1900 to 1940 we have quite a range of older individual volumes typically 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 1 book when you are buying within the 12-book limit." -Nigel Jones

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