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Saturday August 10
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 August 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Framed Art
Vintage Figurines
Military History/WW II


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 library locations will be closed on Monday, 2 September for the Labor Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, 3 September 2019.

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.

What's special for August

A big THANK YOU to all! Donations continue to pour in. The Main Room is full once again with great books.... As usual, the Art section has an amazing selection of books on all things art-related as well as architecture. The Nature section is offering a nice collection of guide books for hiking; identifying flora & fauna, birds...covering most areas in California.... The Military History section is carrying over its WWII special for one more month only! This collection from a single donor is displayed just a few steps from the entry door on the right specials wall. Look for the huge number of Framed Art pieces that arrived this month, most of them will be for sale outside displayed on FOPAL's gallery wall (along the fences next to the Main Room), and some smaller nice pieces found in the Art section’s print area in the Main Room all at terrific prices.... Those who like collecting ceramic figurines will flip over the bevy of pieces FOPAL received last month. Check out the special tables of dozens of 1940s ceramics including Shawnee Pottery, Weil Ware/Pottery and Pretty Girl pieces from ceramics firms like Yona Ceramics, Yenz Ceramics, deLee Art, and Florence Ceramics Company to name several. Each unique piece from an antique dealer's donation is priced starting at $1 and up! This sale offers a wonderful opportunity for a new collector to start a collection, or add to their existing treasures.

Special ceramics sale on Saturday

"Saturday ONLY! World War II and 1950s Ceramic Figurines in Beautiful Condition.

"A generous donor gifted FOPAL with a large collection of unique ceramic figurines made in the USA during the war years 1941-1945, as well as dozens more (including lusterware) made from 1947-1952 and imported from Occupied Japan. You'll also find well-known and highly collectable mid-century modern ceramics by Yona, deLee, Hedi Schoop, Shawnee, Royal Copley, Weil Ware, Hangar as well as carnival chalkware animals given as prizes during the war. A treasure trove!

"These items are close to 80 years old, yet the condition is outstanding, the colors vibrant. During WW2 in America many of these figurines were designed and created by women, as so many men were at war. Among other items, our donor collected small planters and bud vases that were popular in the 1940s, in the form of shepherd girls, colonial figures, dogs, birds and baby shoes. Everything is priced to sell, and make perfect shower, baby, hostess gifts, or maybe the start of a colorful collection from a memorable era, at a bargain price." -Karen D.


"Books in the Computer section have been grouped in interest areas, so if you are interested in graphics, networking, hardware design or other specialties you can find relevant books quickly. The Opinions & History shelf has non-technical books about the industry, and just below are books about Management and e-Commerce. For programmers, August brings a special section of books on Perl. (Major nerd points if you know what designer Larry Wall said Perl stood for!)" -David Cortesi

High Value Books and Collectibles

"FOPAL sells its highest value books online but we now have selected high value books at our monthly sales to give our patrons an opportunity to buy them, as well as rarities and unusual collectibles.

"This month, for the first time, we are also offering books that usually only go to our auction house partner. The high value auction books include: in very good condition, The Correspondence of Burke, four volumes, 1844, $115; in good condition, The Memoirs of Napoleon, four volumes, 1836, $175; The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, 1925, 20 volumes, $160; and Thoreau's classic Walking, 1914, $40.

"Other high value books include Henry Miller's trilogy, The Black Spring, $40; and the 20th anniversary edition of Patricia Nell Warren's classic, Front Runner, inscribed, $15." -Nigel Jones

European Languages

"We received 3-4 shelves' worth of very nice books in Spanish, including almost 30 novels published by Alfaguara. We also received lots of boxes of fairly recent paperbacks in German and Dutch, mostly fiction, almost all in very nice condition. Some of the Dutch cookbooks have luscious cover pictures and should not be viewed when hungry." -Susan Strain

Children's Room

"It's the last sale before school starts, and the room is bursting with great buys. All single DVDs are reduced to $1 and the selection is outstanding. The Picture Book section boasts some amazing pop-up books sure to please. There are four boxes of books in Hebrew, most like new. In School-Age Fiction we're loaded with early chapter books for young readers: Geronimo Stilton, Thea Stilton, Magic Tree House, and others. Use those Summer Reading coupons! There are CD sets of almost all the Harry Potter stories, perfect for listening on the way to soccer tournaments and symphony rehearsals.

"On our Graphic Novels shelves are more TinTin books than we've ever had at one time. In the Activities section you'll find loads of math and science books, perfect for reviewing those subjects. Two bins are full of beautifully illustrated cookbooks to inspire young chefs and their parents. You'll find a modern dollhouse with furniture, and a box full of PLAN Toys dollhouse furniture, all in excellent condition. Several large trucks await new owners, and last but certainly not least, there's a Lionel electric train set of Thomas the Tank Engine, in its box." -Carolyn Davidson

Vintage Children's Books

"Several volumes are available by authors such as Leo Edwards with the Jerry Todd series, Laura Lee Hope with Bobbsey Twins, Louisa May Alcott with Little Women, etc. also see the Travel and Adventure Series, Mark Twain The War Prayer with drawings by John Groth and a Peanuts Treasury.

"For younger tots there is a Land, Sea and Air pop-up book, and Lois Lenski's The Little Auto." -Nancy Cohen


"August is definitely cartoon month. For the first time, we have the mammoth and excellent two volume box set The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons in first class condition, for $25. This is not to be confused with The Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker which we also have, plus five other books in the series and The Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Cartoons. As if this is not enough we also have five books by perhaps the greatest of cartoonists, Charles Addams, one of which is a new anthology.

"In fiction, we have six books by Wodehouse including for the first time the fascinating book Wodehouse at War, an apologia for his very ill advised Berlin broadcasts.

"As ever in the Bargain Room there is an excellent selection of additional humor and cartoon books." -Nigel Jones


"Scripture shelves are full e.g.,
Howard Vos, New Illustrated Bible Manners and Customs,
Bart Ehrman's Great Courses audio, Religion
Amy-Jill Levine's Great Courses audio, Great Figures of the Old and New Testaments, 2 parts
Bates, Bible Designed to be Read as Living Literature.

"And in Christianity:
John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress
William Placher's Callings
Erickson's Christian Theology
Ischei's History of Christianity in Africa" -Nancy Cohen


"We have received some new and high value philosophy books this month. As examples: Garf's recent and highly regarded biography of Kierkegaard, $15; Taylor's Source of the Self, $28; the biography of David Lubin, $10; and Frankish's Mind and Supermind, $15.

"Other titles include Interpreting Davidson, What is Life?, Stolen Legacy, Three Philosophical Poets: Lucretius, Dante, and Goethe, and a signed copy of Singer's Ethics." -Nigel Jones

Sets and Antiquarian Books

"The main addition in August is a very good set of Scott's The Waverley Novels, volumes 1 to 24, 1885 for $45.

"We still have a large collection of pre-1900 books. Whether it's the pleasure of owning a vintage book and reading it or appreciating the art of the book in terms of its cover design and illustrations they are a wonderful addition to your library.

"Don't forget, a set only counts as 1 book when you are buying within the 12-book limit." -Nigel Jones

Travel Narratives

"We received 13 brand new copies (with 12 still in sealed plastic wrappers) of Kaleidoscope, an interesting and colorful book of world travel by Virginia Ramsey Brunner during 1970 through 1996. The lowest used price on the Internet is $12.00 and FOPAL is offering them for $6.00 each." -James Sutherland

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