Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday February 9
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 February 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Framed Art
Greeting Cards
Asian Language
Bargain Room/H2 LPs


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 February and March
All library locations will be closed on Monday, 18 February for President's Day. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, 19 February 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 February?

The rainy weather kept FOPAL from offering its popular Ephemera, Framed Art & Tent Sale last month; as a result, we are overflowing with last month's donations plus this month's donations too! Look for our $1- books/red carts inside our Main Room again, and Ephemera & Framed Art sale in Room M3! M3 is located inside the M building, south end of the campus. Look for directional signs and open door facing the lawn area. Also see the City's map of Cubberley Community Center; M3 is toward the lower left between the Theatre and the Amphitheatre.

Look for a variety of displays in each sale room as we celebrate Chinese New Year, President's Day, Valentine's Day and Black History Month! Be sure to check out the packed shelves in the Asian Language sections, the newly filled boxes of LPs in the Bargain Room and the freshly stocked cart of Greeting Cards. Sasha, FOPAL's greeting card manager has a brimming box of Valentine's each a mere 25 cents! At this low price, you could buy several for your sweetheart.

Love is in the air, and whether you're shopping for a paramour or your best Galentine's Day pal -- or making a wish list of your own to slip to your sweetie -- Fopal has got you covered today, with some of the best ideas for Valentine's (and Galentine's) Day gifts. (Galentine's Day occurs on February 13th, the day right before Valentine's Day. What began as a fictional occasion on a TV show spurred a movement within female friend groups across the nation: celebrating wholesome friendships with favorite gal pals over brunch, nights out, or gifts.) At FOPAL we celebrate it all with books and much more! We have cards, books, artworks, and LPs...all would be ideal gifts, February 13th or 14th. You'll surely find some heart-warming gems in every sale room this weekend. And, if you're not quite sure what kind of books your valentine will love, you can also buy gift certificates in denominations of $5 from the Main Room cashiers. Created by FOPAL's Art section manager Andrea, this special heart shaped gift certificates are adorned with a red and white heart covered ribbon!


"Stop by the Cookbooks Section on Saturday for an outstanding collection of like brand-new cookbooks by well known chefs. This new donation has been internet priced and is a good value for your cookbook budget." -Rosemarie Giamalis

Historical Fiction

"We have lots of thrillers and sea stories.... Cornwall, Furst, O'Brian, Fullerton, McDine, Ghosh, Nelson, Pope, Kanin and others. Also lots of books about India and artists this month." -Marian Urman


"Valentine's Day AND the Great Backyard Bird Count all in one month! Treat yourself and your sweetheart to like-new best sellers from our Valentine's Day window display: Braiding Sweetgrass, Hidden Life of Trees, How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves, Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass, The Last Season, The Fetish Room, Pigeons, Flotsametrics, The Whole Hog, etc. The Great Backyard Bird Count takes place Feb. 15-18. Go to for the easy guidelines, then pick up an Audubon Society Bird Guide full of beautiful color photographs to help you identify your finds. Family fun without leaving your backyard!" -Karen D.


"The Movie/Entertainment section is in the north/west corner of the book room. It is always easy to find: the African Queen is hanging overhead.

"Our shelves are very full this month. Of special interest this month are the areas of screen writing and craft, film history/Hollywood, director's corner, and film analysis and criticism. We have several copies of the interesting Cineplex journal. Also check out our bios. This month we have the recent biography of Mr. Rodgers and a signed copy of Michael Krasngeney's memoir." -Dick Grote

Children's Room

"It's February, and love is in the air--and our display of Valentine's Day books is just inside the door. From board books for tots, to school-age fiction, to crafts ideas, we have a great selection. Our non-fiction section has a fine display for Black History Month, and a special sale on dictionaries for children and students, a bargain at $1 each. Check out the activities section--full of puzzles and games galore, construction sets, and some brand-new science kits that would please any child interested in building a robot, learning about ecology, experimenting with weather, and the like. On the fiction shelves are like-new Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, enough to build a library, and lots of Geronimo Stilton early chapter books. There are also popular titles for teens that have lately been made into movies. Perfect rainy day reading." -Carolyn Davidson

Teen Reviews by Jeff Wang

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

In a alternate version of World War I, the Allied and Central powers have separated not only because of political differences, but also a technological one. The "Darwinist" Allies use genetically fabricated animals as their weapons and vehicles, whereas the "Clanker" Central powers have adopted giant Machines as their way to fight. Deryn Sharp is a commoner girl in England, and due to her love of flying, she disguises herself under the name of Dylan Sharp, and joins the Royal Air Force aboard the Leviathan, the biggest air beast in the Empire on a secret mission to Constantinople. As the war breaks out with the assassination of archduke Ferdinand, the archduke’s son, Aleksander, flees from Austro-Hungary to Switzerland with some loyal men to escape the ensuing war. But right as they get there, the Leviathan is shot down by german airplanes, and crashes into the very place Alek was hiding at, and Alek is soon captured by the crew of the leviathan when he was tried to help the injured Deryn. But with the leviathan unable to take off, and the crew will have to rely on the Clankers to get it working again. Will both sides be able to overlook their differences, and work together?

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ender is born a "third", an exception to the two-child policy implemented on Earth, as his older siblings showed promise in the fight against threat of the alien "buggers", but were ultimately unfit for the job. When Ender inadvertently kills a gang leader who was bullying him to prevent a future fight, the International fleet decided that he showed promise, and allowed him into Battle School, a program to turn exceptional children into commanders against the alien fleet. Will he be able to win against the threat that threatens to eradicate humanity?

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

In a dystopian America, books are illegal, as their influence was deemed too troubling to the average person that instead enjoys "parlor walls", large televisions filling up an entire wall. Guy Montag is one of the "firemen" dedicated enforcing the law by burning down the properties of those who own books, and he greatly enjoys his job. However, things begin to change when he meets Clarisse, whose different ideas greatly disturbed him. When Clarisse mysteriously disappears, Montag secretly steals a book from one of his burning out of curiosity, and this small act of rebellion will change the course of his life forever...

Self Help

"Come by the Self Help section and check out the shelf with Marked Down books, many popular on Amazon! Some featured books to guide you in 2019 include: True Refuge; Radical Self-forgiveness; Rapid Transformation Therapy; Designing Your Life; The Happiness Hypothesis; Waking Up; The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up; Emotional Agility; 9 Rules of Engagement; How Emotions are Made; No Time Like the Present; Creative Confidence; Don't Call Me Crazy. I've set out multiple copies of The Four Agreements, popular on Amazon and only $1 each! Check out the many Little Books and see which ones you might want for yourself or to give as a gift." -Marnie Shuey


"Look for the label 'GENEALOGY' within the Reference section (across aisle from Science), for two dozen new items. Also visit the new Reference shelf in the outdoor Tent Sale." -Bruce Heflinger


"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 - Antonio Stradivari: His Life and Work (1644-1737); The Greatest Music Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from Music History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy; The Composer's Landscape: The Pianist as Explorer; Summer of Love: The Inside Story of LSD, Rock & Roll, Free Love and High Time in the Wild West; Glenn Gould: A Life in Pictures.

"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, Kabbalah, Jewish history, the Holocaust, memoirs, Israel, Jewish Women, the Jewish American Experience and other related subjects.

"New this month - Joy, Despair, and Hope: Reading Psalms; Jewish Liturgy as a Spiritual System; Generation J; Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses; 1,000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire, and Change Your Life; History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier; Paper Love: Searching for the Girl My Grandfather Left Behind.

"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


"The state of our union might not be the most ideal, but the state of our shelves is full to bursting! Lots of books on presidents and the presidency. Plus: Fire and Fury, Russian Roulette, and The Origins of Political Order." -Margaret Deng


"FOPAL has a great variety of new books on various art topics/artists and in wonderful condition. Worth mentioning is the abundance of books on such sculptors as Rodin, Henry Moore, James Croak and Armando Amaya. In addition, we have beautiful books on Glass Sculptures by Chihuly and other American glass sculptors. Books include Beautiful Things: Original Art from the Artists of and American Studio Glass 1960-1990.

"We received an abundance of fantastic books on Japanese Art and prints. Also, we expanded the sale of framed, collectible prints representing different eras. We have a growing variety of books on Cartooning, Science Fiction and Fantasy. Finally, we have some books on the business of art to include seeking a career and the legal side of the visual artists." -Andrea Lozano

European Languages

"We got lots of very nice paperbacks in French or German (more German next month; they wouldn't all fit this month). The French ones include some children's books (mostly Medium Club)." -Susan Strain

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