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Saturday May 11
Ephemera 8am - 3:30pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm
Vinyl Sale 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent & Art Sales 9am - 4pm

Sunday May 12
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Military Adventure Novels
Mother's Day
Games & Puzzles/Baseballs
New High-Value Section


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 May and June
All library locations will be closed on Monday, 27 May for the Memorial Day holiday. Regular hours will resume on Tuesday, 28 May 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 May!

Our moms are often the first people to teach us how to read and our first "librarians". That's why FOPAL loves moms and we love celebrating all of the wonderful moms in our lives on Mother's Day. Every year, millions of us purchase a bouquet of flowers to honor the mothers in our lives. This year, why not celebrate her with a bouquet of books? Check out a sweet display of books for moms or about moms located in our "specials area", the small bay to your right across from Art. In the "large specials area" look for a huge selection of Military Adventure novels. The Historical Fiction section managers jumped at the chance to feature a special collection of Military Adventure books for the May sale. Historical Fiction fans are going to want to check this out.

The Main Room is bursting with terrific donation offerings this month. Look for an impressive selection of Games & Puzzles donated recently. From a personal collection, you'll find twenty-four 2012 World Series baseballs. These are authentic and offered online with an asking price of $42 each. At this month's sale, these are priced at a mere $20 each and in pristine condition! Look for the 2012 World Series baseballs, as well as several autographed balls filling a few Games & Puzzles shelves.

The New High-Value section received many book and non-book items this month. Come check out their selection... High-Value volunteers said this month "it feels like we're also holding an upscale garage sale!"

M3- Vinyl/LPs: As CD sales have eroded in recent years in favor of digital downloads and streaming services, vinyl has emerged as a niche market. Sales of vinyl records jumped significantly in the U.S., as new stores opened and more artists opted to make their recording available on the format. As luck would have it FOPAL's Vinyl Team has brought in a generous collection, comprising many lifetimes of stored record albums. The FOPAL volunteers cleaned the covers, checked for scratches and did some on-line research to determine where to best sell this extensive collection. You'll find the many of these LPs in our Bargain Room as usual. An FYI for all you groovy media enthusiasts, look for a handpicked selection of better and unusual vinyl in M3! And, check out the Palo Alto Weekly running an article about LPs in print and online on May 10th. Look for photos of Fopal’s own Henry and Frank in print this Friday or stop by M3 to say "Hi" as these two manage this special sale presented by FOPAL and KFJC 89.7FM!

Sale of Unusual Print Ephemera coming Saturday, June 8

Whether you are a collector of ephemera or not, mark your calendar for this special sale. Come see what we have found over the past year amongst the many generous donations and have set aside for this event; take a look at a fascinating array of material on a broad range of subjects.

Watch for more details in the FOPAL June newsletter. Preliminary plans are for Room A7, 10am to 4pm.

High Value Books and Collectibles

"FOPAL sells its highest value books online but we are going to have selected high value books at our monthly sales to give our patrons an opportunity to buy them.

"This month's books include, Steinbeck Letters to Elizabeth, $35, Verlaine's Songs without Words, copy 302 of 550, $80, the three volume, The History of San Francisco, 1931, $70; the two volume Around the World with General Grant, 1879, $80; The Ring, a record book of boxing, signed by Sugar Ray Leonard, $50; the classic UK children’s book The Beano Annual 1952, $60; and Hen Sparrow, a wonderful concertina book, $30.

"Our main collectibles for the month is our entire collection of over 50 First Day Covers (FDC). Each set is a complete series for a specific cachet maker in a customized album. The collection is mainly from the 1970s, mostly American but other countries are represented, such as the UK and USSR. Every set is in perfect condition and is priced at $2. Two larger albums of Canadian and European FDCs are $10. This is a perfect addition to any philatelic collection or an opportunity to start one. Other items include The Chinese Brush Painting Studio, $30, Caprano's statue The Dancer for $35, a Glassbaby tumbler for $20 and the unique “The World’s First Rolling Stones CD Shaped Like Mick Jagger’s Head”, only 2,500 produced, undated, presumably the 1960s, every true Stones fan has to have it - $15." -Nigel Jones

Vinyl Collectors' Record Sale

"Jazz, rock, new wave, funk, soul, reggae, classical, and all other genres. Maybe even some spoken word and comedy. The focus is on vinyl for this first spin so no shellac, no shiny discs, no tapes this time. Bargains and rarities, prices start at $1 and go up from there. Room M3, behind the Cubberley Theatre, on Saturday May 11 only, 10am to 4pm.

"And as always there will be records in the Bargain Room." -Frank McConnell

Children's Room

"Just inside the entrance, you'll find books for special occasions in May and June: Mother's Day (on the sale weekend!), Father's Day (June 16), Shavuot (June 8-10), and graduations.

"Our school-age fiction section has an excellent selection of Dork Diaries (the female counterpart to the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series). To interest new readers over the summer, we recommend the Geronimo Stilton, Ivy and Bean, Junie B Jones, Magic School Bus, and Magic Tree House series. Fantasy fans will enjoy books by Rick Riordan and the Wings of Fire series by Tui T. Sutherland. Fans of C.S. Lewis's Narnia series will find several like-new, complete sets. And as usual, the Harry Potter shelves are full." -Carolyn Davidson

Teen Reviews by Jeff Wang

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

When a evacuation plane crashes onto a deserted island during WWI, the boys that were on board have to fend for themselves to survive. With no contact with anyone, the boys form a system of government based upon a conch shell: whoever has the shell is allowed to speak interrupted. Under the leadership of Ralph, Jack, and Simon the boys begin searching for food, and found it in the form of wild pigs, of which Jack and his group of hunters become responsible for catching. Everything appeared to be going alright at first, but as rumors of a mysterious "beast" start to emerge, division spreads among the boys, forcing them to choose one of two sides: civilization or chaos.

Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

After Katniss escapes from the 75th Hunger Games, she finds herself in District 13: a district that secretly survived the chemical bombings of the capitol by hiding underground. Due to her status and popularity as among the districts, Katniss is used in propaganda pieces for the revolutionary cause. With many of the districts already in open revolt, this causes the rebellion to continue spreading steadily among the nation. But when something unexpected happens when Katniss is shooting a propaganda film, she decides to take charge and embark on an extremely dangerous mission: to assassinate President Snow, ending the Capitol's power and the civil war with it. However, she would soon realize that everything was not as black and white as it had once seemed...

Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (first book of the trilogy)

When many prominent scientists began committing suicide and mysteriously disappearing after stating they have given up on science, Wang Miao, a nanotechnology researcher who had known one of the scientists that committed suicide, is asked by a secret organization called the Battle Command Center containing many international military, political, and scientific members to work with the detective Shi Qiang to solve the case. Wang Miao is initially hesitant of the request, but after he began to see an ominous countdown in his field of vision, he decides to work with Shi Qiang to discover the causes of recent events. He soon finds out that there was a connection between the suicides and a virtual reality game called three body, where players work together to survive on a planet plagued by "chaotic" eras due to having a solar system of three suns, and decides to participate in the game himself. But what he will discover is much more than just the causes of the disappearances...

European Languages

"The French section is packed, mostly with contemporary fiction in French. The Spanish section is full of fiction in Spanish (much of it from the 1970s). We also have a shelf of modern Greek books, including one each by Seferis (a bilingual Collected Poems), Cavafy, Wharton, and Poe. We have about a shelf of books in Dutch, including a couple of lavishly illustrated photography instruction books." -Susan Strain


"There are two books featured this month. First, we have the World of Charles Addams, one of America's greatest humorists, plus a variety of other cartoon books. The second, and a first for us, is Corrigan's Smartest Kid on Earth. We also have from a FOPAL favorite, 20 books by Wodehouse including five anthologies and all of Sedaris's most popular books." -Nigel Jones


"We have had a large series of donations this month and have at least a hundred new arrivals on the Philosophy shelves. These include eight reference books such as the Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Other titles include Murdock's Existentialism, Foucault's Power, Metzinger's Being No One and Gelernter’s The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness." -Nigel Jones

Audio Books

"This month we have a large number of audiobooks. Overflow audiobooks can be found in the Reference section (two aisles northwest)." -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 - Ballads Without Words: Chopin and the Tradition of the Instrumental Ballade; Cultures and Styling in Folk Dance; What Makes It Great: Short Masterpieces, Great Composers; Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell; Van Halen Rising: How a Southern California Backyard Party Band Saved Heavy Metal; Writings and Drawings by Bob Dylan.

"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 - Bereishis / Genesis - 2 Volume Set: A new translation with a commentary anthologized from talmudic, midrashic, and rabbinic sources; Warhol's Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered; Live and Be Well: A Celebration of Yiddish Culture in America; Maimonides Guide of the Perplexed; Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America's Food Answers to a Higher Authority.

"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


"Some featured books this month are: The Body Remembers, Advice Not Given, The Road Back to You, Into the Magic Shop. As usual 'Popular on Amazon' books and 'New Arrivals' are on marked shelves. The subsections 'Grief and Dying' and 'Addiction' have more books than usual. Look for a few CDs this month. NEXT month there should be more because I’ve just received a nice collection of Psychology CDs, tapes and courses. Happy Browsing," -Marnie

Sets and Antiquarian Books

"In May, we have the largest collection of pre-1900 books we have ever offered, over 50 titles. Whether is 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.

"In terms of Sets we have a six-volume group of Civil War Memoirs from Grant, Sheridan and Sherman, 1891, four anthologies of French Masters, from Balzac, Rousseau, Voltaire and Zola, 1925, the nine-volume set of Victor Hugo's novels, the Valjean Edition, 1862, $30, and the 8- volume set Great American Lawyers, 1907, number 751 of a set of 1,000, $75.

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

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