Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday March 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 March 10
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Classics/Modern Lit
Sex & Gender
Groovy Media


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 March and April
All library locations will be closed on Sunday, 21 April for their Spring Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Monday, 22 April 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.
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:
  • 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.

Spring Forward This Sale Weekend

Daylight Saving Time begins this Sunday, which means you'll want to be sure to move your clock forward by one hour on Saturday night. Otherwise, you'll arrive at our Sunday sale an hour late! Incidentally, the correct term is daylight saving time, not daylight savings time. If you had it wrong, don't feel bad. More people Google the incorrect phrase than the correct one!

For this weekend's sale look for a special from our Classics & Modern Literature section. This section a huge amount of new inventory, the Classics & Modern Literature managers and assistants have been working together to process hundreds of books that were donated recently. For FOPAL Sex & Gender fans and LGTBQ book collectors/readers (LGTBQ is an initialism that stands for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Bisexual and Queer. It is an umbrella term to describe a diverse group of people.) Check out a nice selection of books on all things LGTBQ. Look for this special to your right in the two bays from the sorting room entrance. The Sports & Transportation shelves are packed full waiting to find their way to homes of FOPAL's sports and transportation lovers. The section manager for these areas mentioned he'd seen a larger than the usual number of books donated over the past few months. Groovy Media for March is offering 100+ pieces! Look for classical, popular, and soul LPs in the Bargain Room/H2, this March's selection is one of our biggest! Looking for Sets? We have a special section across from Mystery and more Sets offered in the Classics & Modern Literature section. Some are vintage book sets, decorative books sets for shelf decor including Heritage books for reading, admiring for the illustrations or for staging.

BYOB- Bring Your Own Bag- Please!

If you have not already made the switch to reusable bags, here are a few reasons to make the switch. You’re helping the environment! Reusable bags hold more and are easier to carry! Reusable bags/totes are stylish! Reusable grocery bags store easily so they can be kept in places that are convenient for use! They last longer and can be used more times! They can be used for so much more than store purchases!

In an effort to reduce our overall storage of bags brought in by our generous donors, FOPAL will be recycling or offering these paper bags during the week at our Main Room for free. Another recipient of the donated paper bags will be the Food Closet in downtown Palo Alto. FOPAL will continue to provide a fresh, fun, and quality green reusable bag in each of our salerooms. These may be purchased for a mere $2. 

Groovy Media

"Many records donated this month. Both classical and popular music are well-represented. Popular music has a bit of extra soul and jazz. Jim Dean wants me to mention that we have several boxes of direct- to-disc classical recordings and I think I should mention that they are in the form of albums of shellac discs." -Frank McConnell

Framed Art

"We had several nice Asian art pieces come in but the big thing is there is tons of framed art!" -Carolyn

Historical Fiction

"We have lots of thrillers and sea adventures. Also lots of Philippa Gregory titles. Also lots on the Civil War." -Marian Urman


"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.

"As usual we have many books in all areas of entertainment including TV, movies, film studies, biography, and media studies.

"There are an unusual number of books on film criticism and analysis including many volumes by Pauline Kael.

"In the craft and movie business subsection, you can find ASC Treasury of Special Effects.

"The Movie History and Hollywood shelf is packed. For example you can read about the Fatty Arbuckle scandal which occurred in the St. Francis Hotel room 1221 in 1921." -Dick Grote

Children's Room

"Just inside the door you’ll find a wonderful display of books for both Purim and St. Patrick's Day, all priced to sell. And good golly! Games galore! Our donors have been extra-generous this month, and we have games for every age and interest, like Jenga, Cranium, Monopoly, Operation, Blockus, and all kinds of card games--just what's needed for wet-weather days. Our school-age fiction section is especially well stocked with popular titles for teens, such as books by John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) and Suzanne Collins (Mockingjay, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire). And as always, plenty of Harry Potter." -Carolyn Davidson

Vintage Children's

"An early Chit-Chat with lovely illustrations; many readers at various levels, several old little Golden Books, The Little Dutch Tulip Girl and Little Erik of Sweden. In the vintage corner near the pony find lots of classic children's fiction such as Alcott, Spyri, Kipling, Carroll, and Milne." -Nancy Cohen

Audio Books

"Audiobook overflow onto a cart, newer audiobooks are shelved above DVD movies. Marked-down audiobooks are on a red metal cart (either at the end of the aisle or in the outdoor tent sale)." -Mary Demasters


"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 Long Hard Road Out of Hell by Marilyn Manson; Absolutely on Music: Conversations by Haruki Murakami; Music, Sense and Nonsense; 1000 Record Covers; Cover Me: The Stories Behind the Greatest Cover Songs of All Time; Hollywood Rock: The Ultimate Guide to Rock 'n' Roll in the Movies; 8 books on Glenn Gould.

"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 - There are almost 20 individual Haggadot including The Holistic Haggadah; From Bondage to Freedom; The Scholar's Haggadah; and An Archaeological Passover Haggadah. Other new books are Israel and the Bomb; Rav, Rabbi, Rebbe; This is a Life by Primo Levi.

"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


"Look for the Collected Works of St John of the Cross, Alter's Literary Guide to the Bible, Three Mystics by Father Bruno, Swedenborgian magazine from 1859, Rapaport's Ritual and Religion in the Making of Humanity and Norwich's The Popes." -Nancy Cohen

Travel Guides

"The Travel Guides section has a large number of large-format books. We call them coffee table books. They are ideal for giving as gifts to you or your friends. We also have many, DK illustrated guides to so many cities and countries, like Paris and France." (DK's highly visual Eyewitness guides show you what others only tell you, with easy-to-read maps, tips, and tours to inform and enrich your holiday.)" -Ray Jadwin


"We have an entire shelf of each the following: John D. MacDonald, Lawrence Block, P. D. James, Robert Ludlum, Sue Grafton, Ed McBain, James Bond, Frances Fyfield, James Patterson. Also 23 books published in 2018, 25 books published in 2017, plus signed books. We also have one published in 2019!" -Cathy Swan


"The Nature section has received wonderful donations this month, check us out! On the Just-In shelves: Skulls, Bird Sense, The Third Plate, Animal Architecture, The Coldest March, Salad Bar Beef, etc. Below the Just-In shelves we have a new collection of unusual bird books: Where the Birds Are, Handbook of British Birds, The Hand Guide to the Birds of New Zealand, Rare and Elusive Birds, etc. In Vintage Collectables: large format books with beautiful illustrations, ready to frame or make into something wonderful. Fans of The Durrells of Corfu will enjoy the selection of vintage Gerald Durrell books from the 1960s. Our window display features all the Audubon Guides you need to greet Spring in the Bay Area- Wildflowers, Insects, Birds, etc. Don't forget to pick up a hiking guide to the beautiful trails in our area." -Karen D.


"The History section celebrates Women's History Month by featuring books about women in U.S. History. The books run the gamut from Colonial times to the present. You will find them on one of the top shelves in U.S. History. Early (17th, 18th century) U.S. History shelves are extremely full and include numerous books that we haven't had before. We also have an unusual collection of books about the Vikings. As in past ages, the Vikings have invaded Great Britain's territory and you will find the Viking books located on the top shelf of the Great Britain section. Check out our set section as well as there are some newly reduced sets well as new sets including a beautiful Folio set about Ancient Greece. In the Asia section both India and Korea have a nice selection of books this month as does China. Enjoy your shopping!" -Suzanne and Irina, History Section Managers


"The Art section has expanded their collector prints. The collection includes some African woodcuts prints, Brazilian woodcut prints, vintage Gerber baby prints, travel prints, American Indian prints and a wonderful collection of vintage Chinese, Vietnamese and Japanese prints. Some of the prints have been framed in advance at no extra cost.

"FOPAL received books on various artists and topics. Such as Augustus John, Paul Rafferty, Cicely Barker, Gershon Benjamin, Anselm Kiefer, Cecilia Beaux, Richard Diebenkorn and Elmer Bischoff. In addition, Oudry's Painted Menagerie and books on the artistic use of hidden messages and symbols." -Andrea Lozano

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