USED BOOK SALES
Saturday April 13
Ephemera 8am - 3:30pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent & Art Sales 9am - 4pm
Sunday April 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm
FEATURED IN APRIL
Puzzles & Games
New High Value
4000 Middlefield Road
NE corner of the Cubberley Community Center
Maps and Directions
More information on the sales
Donate your used books, CDs, DVDs, &c
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO HELP PALO ALTO LIBRARIES
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
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 April and May
All library locations will be closed on Sunday, 21 April for
their Spring Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Monday, 22
All library locations will be closed on Monday, 27 May for the
Memorial Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, 28
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 2019
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL"
-Marty Paddock, 2004.
This is still true in 2019! 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"
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
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 email@example.com 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
firstname.lastname@example.org or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.
What's special for April '19?
Historical Fiction, specifically novels about the military adventure,
is one of our featured specials this month. Look for a highlighted
subsection in Historical Fiction for this special collection.
Check out the display of San Francisco Giants World Series 2012 signed
baseballs, donated recently; these are priced individually and located
in the Puzzles & Games area. For April in FOPAL's Children's
Room, you'll see a nice selection of Spring themed books as well
as a new offering of handpicked Children's records each priced at a
mere $1.50! A new section for FOPAL's Main Room is High Value.
Located at the end of aisle 13 this very special section will feature
a variety of items each month uncovered in our Annex storage area by
FOPAL's past president Nigel Jones.
Sections on the move- Every so often we move sections giving more or
less space to an area, look for these changes to the Main Room, Law
has moved next to Gardening, leaving an additional bay for
Business. Computers has added a new bay and moved down
into the SW corner. This resulted in losing both a Fiction and a
Young Adult Fiction bay. Poetry has downsized to one bay
and now is located next to Classics while Essays & Short
Stories moves into its old space. Asian Languages and Asian DVD
bays are now back to back taking one bay from Mysteries. Judaica’s
two bays are now next to each other with a new High Value section
moving into its old spot next to Education & Language.
Eastern Religion gained a bay moving New Age across the
"MILITARY ADVENTURE THRILLERS—not quite a mystery thriller, not quite
science fiction, not quite historical fiction but sort of a blend of
all three. We've received a sizable donation of these books all in
pristine condition. You will find them in the center section of
Historical Fiction. This is a one time unique opportunity to
snap up these books by authors such as Dale Brown and Steve Coonts.
Each book is priced at two dollars. Historical Fiction has
lots of other 'adventure and historical thriller' books this month by
authors such as Bernard Cornwall, C.S. Forester, Patrick O’Brian, as
well as a great selection of Alan Furst espionage novels. For more
traditional historical fiction our shelves of books set in England are
overflowing including many books by Philippa Gregory." -Marian
"Look just inside the door for dozens of delightful holiday books for
Passover, Easter, and Mother's Day. Also this month, our shelves of
beginning readers, DVDs, and Klutz books are especially full. And as
always, we have a bountiful assortment of like-new picture books that
make great gifts for any occasion.
"Young Adult books have been moved from the Main Room to the
Children's Room, where you will find YA titles from now on. For
example, we have books by John Green (Paper Towns, An
Abundance of Katherines); Markus Zusak (The Book Thief);
Suzanne Collins (the Hunger Games series); Jesse Andrews
(Me and Earl and the Dying Girl); Jay Asher (13 Reasons Why);
Gregory Maguire (the Wicked series); and many more. Movies
have been made of many of these--and the books are even better than
"We are loaded with Harry Potters, including the early titles
in case you are just beginning the journey. Rick Riordan's multiple
series of fantasy titles are also well stocked on our shelves. Readers
8 to 12 may enjoy our books by P.J. Palacio (the Wonder series)."
"Lots of classic fiction for the older kids. And for younger ones we
are overflowing in lovely old picture books." -Nancy Cohen
Teen Reviews by Jeff Wang
The Martian by Andy Weir
After strong storms forces the Ares 3 expedition off of Mars, only one
member of the crew is left behind: Mark Watney. Now, the
Engineer/Botanist, who is presumed to be dead, must live on the red
planet for four years until the Ares 4 crew arrives, while dealing
with the issues of food, water, and the possibility to be sucked into
the vacuum of space if he makes one single mistake-all without any
contact with Earth. Will Mark be able to come back safely, or will
he live the last of his days trapped on a foreign planet?
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell explores how certain exceptional
individuals, which he calls “outliers”, are able to achieve their
success. Looking at the Beatles, Bill Gates, Robert Oppenheimer, and
other famous examples, Gladwell finds something in common with all of
them: to achieve extraordinary success in their particular area, they
spend 10 thousand hours doing it--the equivalent of slightly more than
10 years. But he also finds out that there was more factors that lead
to success than just pure effort: even something as unremarkable as
the month a person was born can be a huge factor in determining the
outcome of their career. By reading Outliers, one will gain a more
nuanced perspective on how successful individuals reach the positions
they are in, and hopefully, a more comprehensive view of the world.
Short Story- Flowers for Algernon
Flowers of Algernon is written from the perspective of Charlie
Gordon, an intellectually disabled man. At his job working as a
janitor for a company run by Mr. Donnegan, he is constantly ridiculed
by his coworkers, who he considers to be his "friends", for his
disability, but he is only faintly aware of this. However, because of
this feeling of inferiority, he has a motivation to become smarter,
so one day when he was offered an experimental operation to make him
smarter, he immediately jumps at the opportunity and undergoes the
operation. As his intelligence increases, the way Charlie interacts
with others, the way other treat him, and even the way he regards
himself changes very dramatically...
High Value Books and Collectibles
"FOPAL sells it highest value books online but we are going to have
selected high value books at our monthly sales to give our sales
patrons an opportunity to buy them. This is the first month of the
program and book included are: the three volume, The History of
San Francisco, 1931, $70; the two volume Around the World
with General Grant, 1879, $80; the signed first edition Vonnegut,
Fates Worse Than Death, $80; The Ring, a record book
of boxing, signed by Sugar Ray Leonard, $75; Alan Paton, Knocking on
the Door, with two letters from Paton, one signed by Paton, $35;
the classic UK children's book The Beano Annual 1952, $60;
and Hen Sparrow, a wonderful concertina book, $40. We also
have three non-book collectibles: Caprano's statue The Dancer
for $35, the unique 16 Fish, a resin puzzle by renowned
Italian designer Enzo Mari, 1974, $150; and equally unique The
World's First Rolling Stones CD Shaped Like Mick Jagger’s Head, only
2,500 produced, undated, presumably the 1960s, every true Stones fan
has to have it - $15." -Nigel Jones
"One box of curated children's records for sale in the Children's
Room, priced at $1.50/ea. Look for it near the vintage books nearest
the cashiers." -Frank McConnell
"Are you looking forward to seeing the Superblooms of Bay Area
wildflowers this month? Go to openspace.org and
baynature.com for the best places to view them, and
pick up wildflower and hiking guides from the Nature section to
make the experience even more fun! Our shelves are overflowing with
great books this month: Planet Walker, You Had Me at Woof,
The Shepherd's Life, The Secret Life of Flies, Illustrated Birds
of North America Folio Ed., The Intimate Bond, etc. Interested in
'rockhounding'? We have eleven books on rocks and minerals this month
at great FOPAL prices. Are you an ephemera collector, artist or lover
of old books with great images? Visit the Vintage Collectables shelves
(in Nature) for some amazing finds." -Karen D.
Science Fiction and Fantasy
"In Science Fiction and Fantasy we have some very recent books
by Neil Gaiman, Ann Leckie, and Ada Palmer; some editions from
specialty publishers like Golden Gryphon and Advent; and a shelf of
issues of Worlds of IF magazine from the '50s to the '70s,
including the original serialization of The Moon is a Harsh
"Featured this month: several Hugo Award finalists for this year and
last." -Rich McAllister
"New this month:
Illuminating the Word, a description with pictures of how the St
John's Bible was entirely written and illustrated by hand.
Karl Barth's How to Serve God in a Marxist Land.
John Cobb's Jesus' ABBA.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer Theologian of Reality by Andre Dumas.
Volume 1 of Samuel Hugh Moffett's History of Christianity in Asia.
The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu, The Book of Joy."
"Yay, Framed Art is back for the FOPAL April sale! Look for
many nice pieces we priced to move and one exceptional signed oil
portrait priced at $200. There are well over 100 pieces at great
prices and maybe some hidden gems. Actually, the number is closer
to 200!" -Carolyn S.
"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 - There are still a few haggadot on the shelves.
Other new books are When General Grant Expelled the Jews;
Exodus 1947: The Ship that Launched a Nation; Algeria
Hotel: France, Memory, and the Second World War; Black
White and Jewish; 920 O'Farrell Street.
"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
"Visit the Music section for books on a wide variety of musical
topics in the genres of classical, rock, jazz, opera, American music,
"New this month - Kurt Cobain Notebooks; 101 Microlezioni
di Jazz (most of the quotes are in English); Mozart in the
Jungle; Pianism; Beethoven in China; Best-Selling
Albums of All Time; The Autobiography of Gucci Mane; No
Fixed Points: Dance in the Twentieth Century; Taylor Guitars:
30 Years of a New American Classic.
"Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by
instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar."
Special Vinyl Sale coming May 11
"Save the date for a special vinyl sale event May 11 at Cubberley
Community Center. FOPAL co-presenting with KFJC 89.7 FM. Jazz, rock,
new wave, funk, soul, reggae, classical, and all other
genres. Bargains and rarities. Saturday May 11, same day as FOPAL's
May sale, but Saturday only." -Frank McConnell
"Books on CD are next to the movie DVDs. It's a small section but
packed with wonderful books on a variety of topics. If you would
rather listen than read, check out this section. We have many new
CDs and older ones that have been repriced to sell. Check it out.
Just three shelves of great listening." -Mary DeMasters
"The Reference section features, in like-new condition: seven
Library Science textbooks, plus two attractively-priced coffee table
books: Century (dated photos from the 20th) at $3, and The Great
Book of World War II Airplanes at $6. While you're there, buy an
atlas!" -Bruce Heflinger
"Please don’t miss our Sets section this month. In the spirit of
spring cleaning we’ve drastically reduced some of our set prices.
We have a small but interesting collection of books about
Japanese-Americans including Morning Glory, Evening Shadow in
our US History area. In the 20th century bay of US History on the
bottom shelf we have a number of books about President Herbert Hoover.
We also have books about James A. Garfield and Warren G. Harding. We
infrequently receive books about these presidents. Learn about
another lesser known President, James K. Polk in the book, The Wicked
War and the tremendous impact of the U.S.-Mexican War which he
instigated. Our Asia section has a nice collection of books about
Japan. Our China section is overflowing. The Historiography section
has one of the best and largest selections that we’ve had for months.
(Bottom shelf of the Asia bay)." -Suzanne Little and Irina Cross
"Besides all the usual suspects we have four excellent coffee table
style books available this month, The Complete New Yorker Book of
Cartoons, with CDs, The New Yorker Book of Dogs, 20
Years of Dilbert, and a first for us, the really impressive The
Complete Comics, by Brian Walker." -Nigel Jones
"FOPAL received an abundance of special art books and prints. There
are new books on Impressionism, American modern artists, drawing and
painting how to books. We expanded the 'collectible' print section.
The value of the items are significant and they are available at low
FOPAL prices. The items include vintage prints of St. Marina the great,
Currier and Ives hand painted lithograph and M. Bernard Loates floral
prints. Other wonderful items include a set of Vietnamese silk prints,
Chinese floral silk prints, Hokasai boy on Mount Fuji and a great
Utamaro geisha print. There are also great vintage giclee prints of
various landscapes and birds." -Andrea Lozano
"Doctors, Diets and Diabetes sections are fertile and dominate our
shelves this April: we have a radiantly blooming supply of recent
best-selling books by Doctors: (Gawande, Kalanithi, Groopman, Sacks,
and others, some of which we have been scarce for ages). Diets may
seem like weeds, often unwelcome, but promising healthy and beautiful
results. Diabetes, though like gardening requires a lot of work and
determination. With recent Diabetes research, management and advances
in treatment and technology, this is a growing and exciting field of
medicine. April has also brought us a large crop of new, valuable,
inexpensive and attractive books." -Verne Rice
"New additions to Sets includes, the impressive ten volume
Works of Shakespeare, 1,000 copies only, 1904, $70; the
three volume Seven Great Monarchies, Rawlinson, c1870, $45;
the ten volume Works of Thackeray, 1878, $30; the eight
volume Great American Lawyers, 1907, # 751 of a set of 1,000,
$75. New titles also include The Works of Tennyson, 1878,
$30; 1,000 California Place Names – The Gold Rush Edition,
1949, $8, and various novels from Victor Hugo's 1862 Valjean Edition.
There are also 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