Friends of the Palo Alto Library Visit our web site 

Saturday October 12
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 October 13
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Psychology Professional
Religion/Ecclesiastical History
Latin & Greek Language


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 October and November
The next closing that is on the event calendar as of this writing is Thanksgiving. All library locations will close at 6pm on Wednesday, 27 November and remain closed through Friday, 29 November. Normal hours will resume on Saturday, 30 November.

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.
FOPAL Annual Meeting
"Reminder: Annual FOPAL meeting will be October 16 at 10:30am in the Embarcadero Room of Rinconada Library. Financial report and elections will be the main agenda items." -Nancy Cohen
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.

November 9th: FOPAL Sale & CASP Open Studios

One great location: the Cubberley Community Center! Two great events! November 9th, FOPAL and Cubberley Artist Studio Program (CASP) come together to offer bibliophiles and art connoisseurs an opportunity to shop/buy FOPAL's art books, framed art...then attend CASP's Open Studios! Look for more details in FOPAL's November Sale newsletter and on FOPAL's Facebook page. Please "like" and "follow" us when you visit. General info: CASP Open Studios - Wings E, F and U, 12pm- 4pm. Join the artists in their studios for workshops, art & refreshments.

October Sale Notes

Donation volume has been steady, and we want to send out a big THANK YOU to all who have donated material for our sales as well as a big THANK YOU to FOPAL's Donation Pick-up team! Many sections have a backlog and as a result, we expect to have strong sales all through the winter months. For October, you'll find a donation from a Stanford Classics Professor. The books and pamphlets are in excellent condition and cover the areas of religion, literature/language, history, and Latin and Greek in the specials bookcases just outside the sorting/donation room (opposite Travel). Psychology Professional has a larger than usual selection of books, workbooks...from a substantial donation from the Palo Alto Mental Health Research Institute. Look for DVDs a-plenty curated by a couple of section managers in the Main Room and H2 this month as well. This collection can be found in an additional bay giving DVDs more space this month and moving forward! More DVDs equals more viewing fun!

Religion, Literature, Language, History Special

"On special this month is a donation from a Stanford classics professor. The books and pamphlets are in excellent condition and cover the areas of religion, literature/language, history and Latin and Greek.

"There is a shelf related to the Venerable Bede such as two volumes of Miller's Old English version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History, Kendall's translation of Bede's On Genesis, Hurst's translation of Excerpts from the Works of Saint Augustine on the Letters of the Blessed Apostle Paul and many others.

"Then there are the Vitellius and Salisbury Psalters, Bishop Aethelwold, Aelfric and Morris' Churches in the Landscape.

"In literature we have Earle and Plummer's two-volume Saxon Chronicles, 3 volumes of Krapp's Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records, 3 volumes of Aldhelm. And Stork's Aldhelm Riddles in the British Library.

"Anglo-Saxon history and Latin and Greek texts complete the collection." -Nancy Cohen

Children's Room

"Children love Halloween, and you'll love our display of wonderful Halloween books just inside the door. Also look for decorations, costumes and accessories to please princesses and superheroes alike.

"If you're planning ahead for gifts, we have beautifully rendered pop-up books, new and like-new games, and stuffed animals. Once again you'll find Legos by the pound, lots of crafts books and materials, and a very full table of science and math books. New this month are Disney movie VHS tapes, priced at only $1. Look for them near the DVDs. Garfield fans will find a wide selection; there are joke books galore; and the Klutz shelf is bursting.

"School-age Fiction is full: Harry Potter, the Rick Riordan series, Evan Hunter's Warriors series; a huge selection of Magic Tree House, Junie B Jones, and Judy Moody books; and the Diary of a impy Kid and Unfortunate Events series. Teens may want to check out the books by popular author Tom Green; the Hunger Games series; and the latest (2019) book by acclaimed author Angie Thomas titled On the Come Up." -Carolyn Davidson

Vintage Children's Books

"October is a good month for vintage children's books! The little kids' section is overflowing with new choices and a special science section. We're also continuing to highlight some of the more collectible books, including three Ant and Bee books that are just the perfect size for little hands. In the older kids' section, it's still girls! girls! girls! with vintage books about Nancy Drew, Kay Tacey and Judy Bolton. And this month we're featuring 8 volumes of the classic Elsie Dinsmore, a young girl/woman who struggles with her Christian values around the time of the Civil War. We're also continuing to feature special collectibles, including several first editions and a book written by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by NC Wyeth. Come browse! And buy!" -Lisa Heitman

Teen Recommendations by Jeff Wang

Vorkosigan Saga: Borders of Infinity by Louis Bujold

While Miles was part of a Barrayar Military operation, he and his comrades were captured by the Cetagandans. Placed inside a POW camp surrounded by an impenetrable force dome, all hope of escape seemed to be lost, as the prisoners are divided into different factions with no leader to guide them. To further exacerbate the situation, each day there is just enough food for all the prisoners to survive is placed on the sides of the dome, causing the prisoners to fight amongst themselves for the rations. With only a madman named Suegar who rants about a piece of paper he calls his "scripture" as his ally, how will Miles be able to unite the prisoners and eventually escape?

The 33 Strategies of War by Robert Greene

To many in the modern world, war is considered to be something barbaric, something that no civilized person would partake in. Robert Greene, however, has a different view on the subject of war. To him, life is a state of constant warfare, struggles against both ourselves and others. He states that although the nature of war has changed, from a physical conflict to more of a social and political one in modern society, the same strategies that defeated armies can still be applied and have effective results. Using examples from history, including famous figures such as napoleon, Margaret Thatcher, Alfred Hitchcock, and Alexander the Great, Greene provides a compelling and engaging insight on the nature of war, both in the past and present.

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is alone. In California. And he has lost all memory of his past, except one single name: Annabeth. Oh, and also, he is being attacked by two Gorgons who can't die and want to kill him by poisoning him with cheese and crackers. However, for reasons unknown to Percy, he seems to be invulnerable to any sort of physical harm too, and though this strange ability, he escapes the gorgons and arrives at Camp Jupiter, a place for Roman demigods to live and avoid the mythological monsters that roam the earth. Something about the whole situation seemed very familiar to Percy, but he could never quite remember what he was reminded of. Once he had stayed there for a while, everything seemed to be going smoothly until Mars, the god of war appears and announces a quest to Alaska to free the god of death, Thanatos, so that monsters that are defeated could remain dead. Will Percy and his newfound friends be able to accomplish this insurmountable task before the Feast of Fortuna, or will they fail and doom Camp Jupiter, and also cause Percy to remain forever ignorant about his past?


"'Tis the season of spook and what's spookier than politics? Featuring: The Muller Report. We have a good number of vintage books this month, as well as some books on and by current Democratic candidates." -Margaret Deng


"The titles of new additions for October include: Talk of Love, Sources of the Self, The Culture of Morality, Einstein and Buddha, and Becoming Wise. Also look for an unusual picture book, The Good European - Nietzsche’s Worksites and a highly-regarded biography of Kierkegaard." -Nigel Jones



"October is a big month for cartoons, we have both the hardback and paperback versions of The Complete New Yorker, both with DVDs, plus nine other NY cartoon books. Additionally, we have a classic from Charles Addams, The Smithsonian Book of Cartoons and seven other cartoon book to choose from.

Also, we have six books by Wodehouse including for the first time the fascinating book Wodehouse at War, an apologia for his very ill advised Berlin broadcasts." -Nigel Jones

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 featured books are from the illustrated Sierra Edition of The Writings of John Muir, 1916. We have the first nine volumes of the ten-volume set, all in very good condition for $245.

"We also have, and rarely found complete, The Lives of the Saints, 15 volumes, 1872, $175, as well as eight volumes from the series Edition de Luxe of The World's Great Masterpieces, 1916, priced individually." -Nigel Jones


"We have several interesting books this month that we often don't see including:
- Richard Shale's Academy Awards
- Screen Deco
- In All His Glory, Life of William S. Paley on the Media shelf
- Hollywood Dressed and Undressed

"As always we have many interesting bios including one on Sergei Eisenstein. And we have several volumes on Star Trek.

"Check out the Entertainment corner." -Dick Grote


"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 - Music 109: Notes on Experimental Music; Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway Revolution; Debussy: A Painter in Sound; Your Song Changed My Life; Far From the Shamrock Shore; So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star; Guitar Mania Cleveland, Ohio; Harmonic Experience: Tonal Harmony from Its Natural Origins to Its Modern Expression; Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey.

"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 - Braided: A Journey of a Thousand Challahs; Life in Biblical Israel; A History of Israel: From the Bronze Age through the Jewish Wars; Hitler's Ghettos: Voices from a Beleaguered Society 1939-1944; Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production Of Hate; The Blue and the Yellow Stars of David.

"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

Self Help

"There are many new arrivals this month. Featured books include: First We Make the Beast Beautiful; No More Mr. Nice Guy; Complex PTSD; The Finders; On the Brink of Everything; A Geography of Time; The Undervalued Self; Empowered Sexy and Free; The Wisdom of Insecurity. I have 7 unopened copies of Your Wish is Your Command, a highly rated 14 CD set in manifesting your dreams. They sell for $17 (with shipping) each on Amazon. Yours for $5 each, or $30 total if you buy all 7 sets. I also have multiple copies of the popular book Learned Optimism and Supersurvivors. If you like Osho, and his wise words for living, there is a group of his books on the fourth bay. Everything is priced to sell!" -Marnie

Classic and Modern Literature

"This month Classic and Modern Literature is having a special sale of New York Review of Books paperbacks. These are ''books that had been forgotten or largely ignored by the mainstream. A list, as [editor Edwin] Frank writes, of 'good books, books to delight and enlighten and surprise.' Books in translation. Books that are strange and wonderful. Books that defy classification...'' (PR release for new publication of The Red Thread, Twenty Years of NYRB Classics.) We will have about 15 of these wonderful books displayed on a top shelf in our section." -The Classic and Modern Literature Team

Special Fall Ephemera Sale

One day only: Sat. Nov 9th, 10-4, M3

Join us for our second sale of rare and unusual paper ephemera as well as art, curious collectibles (including two vintage cuckoo clocks), AND a just-in amazing donation from world-traveler Ruth Brunner: dozens of 1970-1990s dolls and mementos from as many countries, in pristine condition. Perfect gifts for the holidays--we'll even throw in her beautifully photographed book as a lovely parting gift!

Sat. Nov. 9th, 10-4 pm
Room M3 at Cubberley - look for our signs!

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