Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday July 13
Ephemera 8am - 3:30pm
Main Room Sale 9am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Tent & Art Sales 9am - 4pm

Sunday July 14
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Military History
Children's Room
High-Value Section
Puzzles & Games


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 July and August
As of this writing the library has no closings scheduled for the remainder of July nor for the month of August.

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" customers.

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 all interests.
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 July

July is FOPAL's busy donation time and FOPAL's members are benefiting with another Members' Early Sale. All FOPAL paid members can get in earlier than the normal 11am start time. See the section below pertaining to the Members' Early Sale. Summer is here, donations are up and we've got plenty of summer-time reading books, games, puzzles and more! From Military History, look for a collection of books on World War II displayed just a few steps from the entry door on the right wall... The Ephemera section has been blessed with a wide variety of items including some collectible ceramics, as well as a wide selection of greeting cards donated from Trader Joes. The Puzzles & Games section has had a strong month of new donations. The Children's Room has more than enough books to fill most sections twice, graphic novels, kids' non-fiction & fiction, toys, puzzles and games to name a handful of the overflowing sections. Our High-Value section is restocked and featuring a couple of vintage Lego sets.

FOPAL Members Get the First Pick at Members' Early Sale

A fun and fabulous FOPAL Members' Early Sale is scheduled for Saturday, July 13th. 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 Kaffa SWP Decaf
Caramel, dried apricot aroma, tart citrus note, toffee-malt-core

Sweet Maria's Moka Mutovu Blend
Rustic-Sweet strata of molasses, palm sugar and rice syrup, baking chocolate, and fruit leather, wisps of smoky aromatic wood, dried blueberry

Guatemala Acatenango Gesha
Floral and brisk with simple syrup sweetness, jasmine floral hints, Darjeeling tea, molasses accent, malt, moderate acidity

Burundi Kazoza N'Ikawa Station
Raw sugarcane juice underpins top notes of dried apple, lemon zest and cinnamon stick

Sumatra Wet Process Atu Lintang
Brown sugar and cream caramel smells permeate the ground coffee along with pulpy fruit and a green bell pepper accent

Colombia Vereda Buesaquito (Cold Brew)
Caramelizing sugars, caramel candy, fruited accents of red apple, Anjou pear

Children's Room

"Just inside the door, the racks are full of activity books to take on car trips and airplane rides, or just to enjoy on summer days at home. We also have dozens of 100-piece jigsaw puzzles, loads of toys and games (including several vintage items), many popular graphic novels, and DVDs galore. Our School-age Fiction section is bursting with Captain Underpants, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Dork Diaries, and Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events. In the Fantasy section you'll find Erin Hunter's Warrior series, best-selling author Gregory Maguire's Wicked series, and Veronica Roth's Divergent series. The Teen section includes Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games series, many titles by John Green, Angie Thomas's National Book Award finalist The Hate U Give, and an autographed first edition of Bridge of Clay by Marcus Zusak, author of the critically acclaimed The Book Thief." -Carolyn Davidson

Teen Recommendations by Jeff Wang

Animal Farm by George Orwell

In Manor Farm in England, owned by the negligent Mr. Jones, discontent is rife across the animals, who were angry with their harsh conditions and wanted to improve their treatment. And so, when the elder pig Old Major began to preach his philosophy of Animalism before he died, which ensured equality for all Animals on the Farm, it captured the attention of the other Animals. Under this philosophy of Animalism, a rebellion soon rises across the estate and Farmer Jones is evicted, and the farm, now renamed Animal Farm, is in complete control of the animals. All seemed well at first, with the farm operating more efficiently than ever before, however, when a power struggle broke out between the two leaders of the farm (both pigs), Napoleon and Snowball, the utopian dream quickly turns into a totalitarian nightmare.

Mountains of Mourning (Vorkosigan saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold

When Miles Vorkosigan, crippled at birth, has finally graduated from the Imperial Military Academy on mutation-hating planet of Barrayar, overcoming the difficulties and prejudices associated with his condition. One day, as he is at his estate, he meets a hill-woman from the Denadarii Mountains, a region that is located in the Vorkosigan District and under the rule of Miles' father. She had come to protest the way the death of her child was treated, which after a quick investigation, it became quite apparent that the incident was a case of infantcide, presumably by the woman's husband, due to the baby having a cleft lip, which was commonly regarded as a mutation in the backwards region. To carry out justice and end this archaic practice once and for all, Miles is sent to the village where the murder occurred to investigate, but he would discover that the case would not be as clear-cut as it seemed...

War Surf by M.M Buckner

Nasir Deepra is an extremely wealthy two hundred year old kept alive by nanobots in his bloodstream constantly replacing and maintaining his body, keeping his body healthy and young. Being one of the few that survived the ecological collapse on Earth, he and his friends had helped restore the economy, making themselves rich in the process. However, due to living so long and experiencing so much, he becomes bored with life, and needs to "war surf" -- that is, to risk their lives moving round in conflicts between workers and corporations -- to gain any sort of excitement. One day, he meets a young and adventurous masseuse named Sheeba, who he falls in love with, but she does not return the sentiment. However, she is interested in war surfing, so he invites her along for one of the hardest surfs, at a facility named Heaven, which unknown to Sheeba, is owned by Nasir himself. What they will discover on that surf will change the course of their lives forever...

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's books include Henry Miller's trilogy, The Black Spring, $70, and the 20th anniversary edition of Patricia Nell Warren's classic, Front Runner, inscribed, $30.

"Our two birds of a feather selections are, the Beats, and the West. In the Beat world, we have a spoken word CD of Jack Kerouac reading his poetry over Steve Allen's jazz piano, Rhino 1995, $15; and volume 1 of Ferlinghetti's well-worn 1955 copy of Pictures, $5. On the West, we have a collection of rarities, Jesse James's Early United States Barbed Wire Patents, 1966, $20; The Bobbed Wire Bible II, 1971, $10; the comprehensive study, Talks on Manure, 1900, $30; Black Hawk's autobiography, $15; Confessions of John Doyle Lee (The Mormon Menace), $10; Judging Livestock, 1911, $15, as well as books on Cattle Breeding, Range Sheep and Sod Busting. Of particular note is Dobie's Vaquero of Brush Country with a faux snakeskin cover, $15.

"In collectibles, we have a very fine statuette of Guan Yin, the Chinese representation of the bodhisattva of compassion, $50, and finally, our oddity collectible is a 45 rpm vinyl record of the Black Crowes LP size [12” EP] Remedy in a unique vinyl shaped metal box, for $12." -Nigel Jones


"A large number of newish scripture books arrived this month. Some had to be squeezed into other religion shelves. Look for Ernest Lucas' Daniel, Daniel Harrington's Sacra Pagina, Daniel Trier's Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, Warren Wiersbe's two-volume Bible Commentary and many more.

"Daniel Carroll's Christians at the Border is timely. Also look for Writings from the Philokalua, Grudem's Systematic Theology, Larkin's Dispensational Truth and Edward's Fourfold Sovereignty of God." -Nancy Cohen


"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 - The Dance Band Era: The Dancing Decades from Ragtime to Swing: 1910-1950; Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer; Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir; Composers of the Nazi Era: Eight Portraits; In Griot Time; I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto; It's Not Only Rock & Roll: Popular Music in the Lives of Adolescents; One for the Money: Politics and Popular Song.

"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 - The Rise of the Individual in 1950s Israel: A Challenge to Collectivism; KL Auschwitz Seen By The SS; If All the Seas Were Ink: A Memoir; Sins Of Omission: The Jewish Community's Reaction To Domestic Violence; Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons, and Gangster Dreams; Jewish Comedy: A Serious History.

"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 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. We have a large number of books on screen writing, film productions and other books about the movie craft. The Film history and Hollywood and biographies shelves are packed.

"Featured and large format titles include:
David Thomson's A Biographical Dictionary of Film, Third Edition
I Peed on Fellini
The Making of Star Wars
Footsteps in the Fog (Hitchcock and San Francisco)" -Dick Grote


"Featured this month we have the Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Cartoons, and two copies of the Complete Cartoons of the New Yorker, both with CDs, as well as at least a dozen other cartoon collections.

"New titles include Zone 23, Black Man, White House, Be Sweet, Free Range Chickens, A Manual for Cleaning Women, Binge and headlining our large Wodehouse offering we have the excellent homage, Jeeves and the King of Clubs.

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


"We have received a collection of high value books which are in excellent condition and are titles we have not seen before, these include, Machan, Classical Individualism; James, Stolen Legacy; Paracelsus, Selected Writings; Boden, The Philosophy of Artificial Life; Rhees, Wittgenstein; Mihaly, The Meaning of Things; Santayana, Three Philosophical Poets; Agresti, David Lubin, and a signed copy of Singer's Ethics." -Nigel Jones

Self Help

"The Self-Help section is overflowing this month! Of note, there are some books, CDs and cassette tapes on subjects like Sedona Method, Healing Trauma, and Traumatic Incident Reduction that are very interesting tools, both for Self-Help and for counselors and coaches to guide their clients. Some of the many recent and 'Popular on Amazon' books are: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone; How to Disappear; Behave; Mastering Fear; Soft-Wired; The River of Consciousness; Duped; Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice; Practicing Mindfulness; Resilient; and Selfie. And of course a HUGE number of books for just $1-2. Check it all out and enjoy." -Marnie

Historical Fiction

"If you are a fan of Flashman you are in luck as we have a good selection of his adventures this month. All devotees of historical thrillers and adventures, especially of the sea faring kind, will find lots to choose from. We are featuring Alexander Kent this sale as well as Alan Furst in the thriller section. Our center bookcase displays new arrivals and recently published books of the historical fiction genre as well as unusual, rare, or other historical fiction that we can't fit into one of our other categories. Pick your favorite historical era or event and we probably have a book about it. Enjoy browsing in the ''history with a little bit of sugar'' section." -The HF team

This notice comes to you from the non-profit organization Friends of the Palo Alto Library. No trees were felled in the making of this e-mail. Visit our web site. Become a member by joining online.

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