Friends of the Palo Alto Library Edjoo and Kate Visit our web site 

Saturday December 14
Ephemera 8am - 3:30pm*
Main Room Sale 9am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Vinyl Sale (M3) 10am - 4pm
Tent & Art Sales* 9am - 4pm*

Sunday December 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Ephemera & Collectibles
Curious Books
Winter Holidays


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.


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 December and January
Children's Library, College Terrace Library, and Downtown Library will be closed all day Tuesday, 24 December; and they will remain closed through Wednesday, 01 January 2020.

All library locations will close at 5pm on Tuesday, 24 December, and remain closed through Wednesday, 25 December.

Mitchell Park Library and Rinconada Library will be open as usual Thursday, 26 December through Tuesday, 31 December.

All library locations will be closed all day Wednesday, 01 January 2020. They will all reopen Thursday, 02 January 2020.

All library locations will be closed all day Monday, 20 January 2020, for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. They will all reopen Tuesday, 21 January 2020.

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:
  • Starting on the Friday before our sale, please hold donations until after our Saturday and Sunday sale days.
  • Books brought in before the sale may not make it onto the shelves that month. (If you wish to see them on display, plan accordingly)
  • 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.

December 2019 sales notes

December is a time for giving and receiving, here at FOPAL are giving our members another Members' Early Sale. All FOPAL paid members will receive earlier than the normal 11am entrance time. Because of this the usual Main Room entry procedure is changed. See the section below pertaining to the Members' Early Sale.

Christmas is around the corner and we've got plenty of Christmas books, DVDs, CDs and more. Look for the Winter Holidays display just a few steps from the entry door on the right wall.... Our Sports & Transportation section manager is featuring a special all transportation related. Look for these gift-able books on the end cap across from Art/Architecture and near head of the check-out line. The outside Ephemera sale has been completely restocked with new donations and will contain a large selection of previously offered High-Value Ephemera and Collectables now priced half off! The Curious Books section has had a strong month of new donations and will also feature several lovely High-Value figurines from Ephemera.

Check out- FOPAL & KFJC 89.7FM, Pop-Up Presents- Vinyl Collectors Record Sale, one day only special event 12/14, 10am-4pm in room M3! Look for 100s of groovy vinyl offerings including, classical, jazz, rock, new wave, funk, soul, reggae, holiday and other genres, bargains and rarities!

FOPAL Members Get the First Pick at Members' Early Sale

A fun and fabulous FOPAL Members' Early Sale is scheduled for Saturday, December 14th. Twice a year, FOPAL holds a Members' Early Sale, at which members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library are admitted early to the Main Room sale.

Life Members Enter at 9am

At our Members' Early Sale, Life Members and Sponsors (each with up to one spouse or guest) may enter at 9am and can purchase up to 100 books per membership from 9am to 10am. Each (Life or Sponsor) member must give the one Purchase Slip per membership to the cashier before 10am in order to purchase up to 100 books. If a Life Member exits without purchasing all 100 books, he/she may take the Purchase Slip and reenter to fill out the 100 books as long as they are purchased by 10am.

Other Members Enter at 10am

Members at all other levels can enter the sale at 10am, and purchase up to 25 items per membership except Family Members may purchase up to 25 items for each of two adult members at a time. All members may enter with their families, including one accompanying adult and children.

At 11am, non-members are admitted. The limit on purchasing 25 books at a time lasts until there is no longer a line waiting to enter. New memberships can be purchased and expired memberships can be renewed beginning at 8am.

Ticket Handout Procedure

At our usual sale, tickets for early arrivers are given out to everyone starting at 8am for a line that forms later for entry at 11am.

At the Members' Early Sale, tickets are given only to members of FOPAL and are for two lines: one for entry at 9am, one for entry at 10am. Each member will get just one ticket, although Life & Sponsor Members may bring one guest between 9am and 10am and other Members may bring in their families, consisting of one other adult and minor children, beginning at 10am.

We do encourage members to bring Membership Cards even if expired; they do help the ticketing move more quickly. New memberships can be purchased and expired memberships can be renewed beginning at 8am.

At the Members' Early Sale, there are no tickets for the 11am general entry, because most people who come early are members of FOPAL and so there’s a greatly reduced line for the 11am general entry.

You may renew your membership, or join FOPAL, that day. Renew, or join now at!

And, for members a special treat, artisan roasted coffee will be offered again by long-time volunteer and coffee connoisseur Dean Ujihara. Here's a list of the coffee he will likely roast for this Saturday's sale. They all come from Sweet Maria's:

Ethiopia Dry Process Guji Shakiso Hambela Dabaye
Fruit flavors are juicy and clean, strawberry jam and berry-like brightness illuminate the cup, hints of sweet citrus, peach puree and tart acidic impression.

Kenya Kiambu Fram Farm AB
Citric brightness and mild berry tones, puckering lemon and orange citrus flavors, dried green apple, brown sugar cookies, and aromatic wood finishing note.

Sweet Maria's Moka Kadir Blend
Rich chocolate flavors, fruited notes of slab apricot and plum, and finishing notes are leathery, herbal, fruited, and of course bittersweet.

Papua New Guinea Kainantu Sero
Sweet, clean PNG. Syrupy sweet, bubblegum accent, Botan rice candy, orange marmalade aroma, and mild, black tea-like acidity.

Peru Las Parias SWP Decaf
Brown sugar and molasses sweetness keep bittering roast/cocoa tones in near perfect balance.

Big half price Ephemera/Collectable sale- Main Room!

"Did you miss out on our huge Ephemera/Collectable sale last month? You're in luck! This month we are again offering souvenir dolls, curiosities, and a large selection of our vintage printed items, all marked at least 50% off (or much more). They will be part of the usual Saturday ephemera table sale held outside of the main room, 8am to 3:30pm. These one of a kind items will make perfect inexpensive stocking stuffers for the hard-to-please on your list.

"On both Saturday and Sunday inside the main room you'll find two big displays of very unique print items, also priced 50% or less than last month. One display is next to the Nature section, the other on the High Value shelves in the middle of the main room.

"On the window shelf in the Curiosities section we are displaying a few very special gift ideas (for yourself?) at great prices: A highly collectable signed 'Silver Hand' Alaskan doll with baby, a green glass foo lion figurine signed and numbered by famous glass artist Heinrich Wang, a 1960s carved soapstone whale in the 'Inuit style' by German-Canadian artist Dietrich Muckenhiem signed DIMU, among other items." -Karen D.

Historical Fiction

"Lots of books on Civil War, WW2, Alan Furst. Come and look!" -Marian Urman

"Historical Fiction is brimming with many recently published books that let you learn about history in a very enjoyable way. This month we have an unusually nice selection of books. From thrillers to romance to war or novels set in your favorite historical era or geographical location you are sure to find something that you will enjoy or/and that will make a wonderful gift. (Don't miss our very extensive selection of the Alan Furst espionage novels this month as well as an excellent collection of women spy novels.) Sorry Santa, this month we're into spies!" -The Historical Fiction Team

Vinyl Collectors' Record Sale

"In May for our first go-round we focused on vinyl. This time we will will have vinyl and those newfangled Compact Disc things. Still no shellac. Maybe some cassettes. Bargains and rarities, prices start at $1 and go up from there. Room M3, behind the Cubberley Theatre, on Saturday December 14 only, 10am to 4pm. All genres: jazz, rock, new wave, funk, soul, reggae, classical, and very likely some spoken word and comedy.

"One BIG change from May is that this time we are suspending sales of records and CDs in the Bargain Room for the month. They WILL return to the Bargain Room in January." -Frank McConnell

Children's Room

"This is the place to stretch your holiday shopping dollars! You'll find stocking stuffers and stuffed animals enough to fill a sleigh, along with loads of graphic novels including Christmas editions of popular series. Our puzzles and games would make good gifts, too. The gift books shelves are full of like-new picture books and gorgeous holiday pop-ups, and in our board books display are many gift-worthy non-seasonal books for the youngest 'readers,' all priced well below retail. And just inside our door is an excellent selection of holiday books.

"Our School-Age Fiction section is now the only place FOPAL offers Young Adult books (12-18 years). This is the hottest segment of the publishing industry, and on the table in our section you'll find a great selection of the hottest authors: Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, James Dasher, Rick Yancey, Margaret Stohl, Maggie Stiefvatter, John Green, and Angie Thomas. Now that finals are almost over, your young adult might enjoy reading something just for pleasure!" -Carolyn Davidson

Vintage Children's Books

"December is all about the holidays in the vintage section for the younger set. These books have been saved all year to make a spectacular Christmas display. In addition, we have a greater-than-usual collection of Little Golden and Tell-a-Tale books that are sure to delight any tiny book fancier during the holiday season. For older readers, our display this month features several books from the Windemere series - stunning front covers and classic stories like Black Beauty, Jo's Boys and Treasure Island (among others). Also, as a holiday feature, we have an early edition of L. Frank Baum's The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Come check out our entire collection of holiday books and other collectibles." -Lisa Heitman

Teen Recommendations by Jeff Wang

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot, the world famous Belgian detective, was just preparing to return to London from Istanbul aboard the Orient Express when disaster struck the train. A heavy snowstorm had fallen, prevented the train from moving forward, and amidst the disturbance, a murder had been committed. An American man was found dead with twelve stab wounds, and the culprit had to be among the passengers on board. Luckily, Poirot is there to take up the case while the train remains impeded, and began his usual investigations: examining evidence, interviewing suspects, and most importantly, deducing what happened from the facts. But as Poirot gets closer to solving the case, the more he has to decide how to deal with the uncomfortable truth....

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is a Hobbit -- people that are around half the height of a human -- and lives comfortably in his home of Bag End in the Shire, land of the Hobbits. Distant from the dangers of Middle-Earth, Bilbo Baggins is content with an ordinary life of smoking his pipe and drinking tea...until one day the mysterious wizard Gandalf arrives at Bag End with a group of dwarves. Before he knew it, the untroubled hobbit suddenly finds himself venturing out into the unknown, embarking on a quest to reclaim the dwarves' treasure from the dragon Smaug. The journey could be a fascinating or perilous one, but one thing is for certain -- it will change Bilbo Baggins's life forever.

Flatland: A romance of many dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott

Written in England's Victorian Era, Flatland: A romance of many dimensions imagines a world of only two dimensions. In this world of Flatland, the walls of buildings are lines and everyone is made up of lines. But that's where the comical element of the story stops -- the society of Flatland is a cruel one, marked by divisions among its inhabitants. The most obvious mistreatment is that of women, who, made up of only a single line segment, pose a large threat to the polygonal men through their sharp points which are dangerous and their pseudo-invisibility if viewed from the wrong angle. The Flatland society uses this to justify imposing authoritarian rules upon them, such as constantly having to emit a "peace-cry" in public and having their every move regulated by strict codes. But that's not the only division in this society -- the polygonal men are separated into strict classes based on their shape. Irregular triangles are workers and soldiers, equilateral triangles are middle class, the "professional class" are squares and pentagons, and the nobility are those ranging from hexagons to the circles, priests whose shape is regarded as "perfect". Just like how it was in our world, the higher classes prosper as the lower class suffers. But there is one thing stopping the lower classes from overthrowing this established order: their offspring's shape can improve with each generation if they follow the rules. But this rule does not always hold true -- the lower the class, the harder it is to rise up the social ladder. The story follows a square in his life not only in flatland, but also in "pointland" and "spaceland", and through this journey, the author reveals a biting allegory of Victorian society and the numerous arbitrary rules imposed upon its members.


"For George Bernard Shaw fans, the Drama book section contains almost a complete list of books of scripts for his plays. They are in the lower right corner of the shelf." -Robert Jackson


"We have a lot of nice books again this month. The subsections on Hollywood and Film History, Film theory & Criticism, and Director's Corner are particularly interesting. Titles to consider this month are Hollywood Then and Now, Fay Wray & Robert Riskin, Classic Hollywood Style, and Hank & Jim about the relationship between Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart. (I've read they painted model airplanes together late in life to pass time.) Have fun." -Dick Grote


"As a special for the Members' Early Sale we have pulled humor box sets from our online high value inventory. These include The Complete Monty Python, 25 DVDs, Chaplin, 57 classics, 5 DVDs, Complete Seinfeld, 20 DVDs, three seasons of I Love Lucy, 17 DVDs, and 4 DVDs of Looney Tunes. To complement Monty Python, we have 5 related books. The book of the month is the first appearance of the coffee table size 40: Doonesbury Retrospective.

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


"This month we have received large donations of high quality philosophy books so our two book cases have new books on all shelves. We particularly have a big selection of books related to consciousness, morality and ethics, as well as some very good reference books. We also have 12 volumes of Paul Strathern's very popular 90 Minute series ranging from Socrates to Derrida." -Nigel Jones


"The Computers section is even more blessed with COMPILER books than last month. If you want to write a compiler, or debug one, or just understand them, we have a variety of books on compiler theory. Look also for two books to help you prep for a programmer job interview." -David Cortesi


"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 - George Balanchine's The Nutcracker (with CD); Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day; A Windfall of Musicians: Hitler's Emigres and Exiles in Southern California; Making and Playing Musical Instruments; Barred for Life: How Black Flag's Iconic Logo Became Punk Rock's Secret Handshake; How Music Got Free; 50 Years of the Gibson Les Paul; Under a Hoodoo Moon: The Life of the Night Tripper.

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


"Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion including editions of the Torah, Kabbalah, Jewish history, the Holocaust, memoirs, Israel, Jewish Women, the Jewish American Experience and other related subjects.

"New this month - Cadaverland: Inventing a Pathology of Catastrophe for Holocaust Survival; In Fitting Memory: The Art and Politics of Holocaust Memorials; Anne Frank's Family: The Extraordinary Story of Where She Came From; Jews and the American Soul: Human Nature in the Twentieth Century; The Book of Klezmer: The History, the Music, the Folklore.

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


"Featured books this month include: The Presence Process; Complex PTSD; the Graceful Exit; Big Magic; 12 Rules for Life; Attached; Rising Strong; When's Happy Hour; At Peace; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Workbook.

There are several dozen CDs on various Self Help topics. PRICE REDUCTION: Your Wish is Your Command, a 14 CD set that goes for $24 on Amazon. Now just $4/set, or $20 if you buy all 7 sets! Come and browse for yourself or look for books you might want to give to someone during this Holiday season." -Marnie

Sets and Antiquarian Books

"The main new arrivals in November are: five volumes from the Edition de Luxe seven volume set, The Works of Turgenieff, 1904, $25, and the five-volume set, The Life of George Washington by Washington Irving, 1855, $40.

"We still have a large collection of pre-1900 books and a selection from the 1920-1950 era. 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 counts as only one book when you are buying within the 12-book limit." -Nigel Jones


"There is a shelf of books by or about Bede in very good condition. A nice Christmas present would be Bibles and Bestiaries, a Guide to Illuminated Manuscripts. And for biblical scholars there is The Analytical Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon." -Nancy Cohen