Friends of the Palo Alto Library Edjoo and Kate Visit our web site 

Saturday February 8
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 9
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Room
Asian Art
Framed Art
Home & Craft


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 all day Monday, 17 February 2020, for the President's Day Holiday. They will all reopen Tuesday, 18 February 2020.

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?

February means Valentine's Day is just around the corner! If you just can't find the right words for your Valentine, check out our Music section for some inspiration. Of course, you can't go wrong with song lyrics; you'll find the sheet music across the aisle from the Asian Language section. The Children's Room also has many Valentine's titles to help get you and your family in the mood for the upcoming February 14th! If you can't choose from our huge selection of books... you can always purchase a FOPAL gift certificate for your Valentine! Ask for gift certificates in denominations of $5 from one of the Main Room cashiers. Created by FOPAL's Art section manager Andrea, these special heart-shaped gift certificates are adorned with a red and white heart covered ribbon!

Framed Art continues to feature works both signed and numbered as well as lots of prints and posters. A collection of oils on canvas by a local artist came in last week and will be available this Saturday as well. A unique donation of Asian Art pieces came in recently. This donor asked us to offer the items together and we've honored her request. Shop early for the best selection, of vases, teapots, ceramics, lacquer boxes.... If you need something to hang on the wall, we have a few decorative rolled scrolls offered too. Framed Art pieces will be available outside in the Framed Art Sale and the Asian Art will be featured in the specials bay to your right as you enter the Main Room. Also, check out our Home & Craft section. The manager here is having some fun this month, featuring a selection of knitting books. A large number of Ephemera items have been set aside from FOPAL's recent trip to the SF Antiquarian Book & Paper Fair last weekend and will be sold at half price Saturday only outside in the Ephemera sale area!

Discount Ephemera Sale - Saturday February 8th Only

"Half off all High Value Ephemera - hundreds of unique vintage items - 1900s photo albums and individual photos, political tracts, poetry and literature chapbooks, military tracts including armed services editions 1938-1945 of fiction for servicemen, transportation, small books, art books with beautiful vintage images, maps and books with maps in pockets, and dozens of really obscure topics. Most items 1960s or earlier. Amazing prices for very collectible items." -Karen D

Children's Room

"Short month, big sale! In Non-fiction, look for the Black History Month display, where you'll find biographies and history books for all readers.

"The Giftables bookshelves are so full of beautiful picture books that we've had to expand to the racks just inside the door; these books are practically new, and at bargain prices. Look for interesting alphabet books and award winners, among others.

"School-age Fiction has many of the books in the Magic Tree House series, including a giftable boxed set of books 1-28. The series will hook even reluctant readers, and its fantasy elements will lead readers on to other popular fantasy series such as Harry Potter (we have all of them) and after that, to other fantasy authors (Rick Riordan, Brandon Mull, Erin Hunter, Eoin Colfer). The section also includes three copies of Wonder, by R.J. Palacio, and loads of Diary of a Wimpy Kid including recent volumes 12-14.

"The Readers shelves are bursting this month. Check out a unique offering: many books from the British series of "Banana" books. Our British volunteer gives these two thumbs up!

"The Activities section boasts more stuffies than ever, including quite a few that would make lovely Valentine's gifts. Look for music CDs for children, many new. The Science/Math table has many books with ideas for cool science experiments. On our Activities Giftables shelves you'll see some beautiful cookbooks for children, including books on baking and vegetarian cooking. Last but absolutely not least, we have many books on building with LEGO (not just from kits, but with the blocks in your existing collection)." -Carolyn Davidson

Vintage Children's Books

"There is lots to highlight in children's vintage for February! Fans of books for older kids can find many collectibles by Frank L. Baum - both his Wizard of Oz books and books he wrote under the pseudonym of Edith VanDyne (Mary Louise and Aunt Jane's Nieces). In addition, I've pulled out a whole selection of girls' and boys' adventure books (think Nancy Drew, Tom Swift, Beany Malone) that can take you back to your tween years! The graphics of Beano and Dandy round out our specials, and there are still many Windemere classics and others to choose from. Little kids with an interest in adventure on the high seas are treated to an entire display of books about Moby Dick. There is something here for all age groups, complete with whale stuffies to hug while reading. The science/non-fiction section continues to be robust, and we have a couple of cloth books for even the youngest readers." -Lisa Heitman


"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 - Factory Records: The Complete Graphic Album; Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues; Pipes & Strings; Dave Thompson's 'Third Ear' guide to Funk; Escaping the Delta; Everybody Dance: Chic and the Politics of Disco; Sex Pistols File; Favourite Australian Bush Songs; How to DJ Right; The Violin and Its Music (1831).

"Also browse our wide selection of sheet music neatly sorted by instruments including violin, piano, trumpet and guitar." -Charlotte Epstein


"It's February and love is in the air...but you know what else is in the air? That's right, impeachment! Swing by the Politics section for some juicy books including The Mueller Report, Unhinged by Omarosa, Dumpty by John Lithgow, and many more! We also have quite a few books signed by authors, so be sure to check them out!" -Margaret

Mysteries & Thrillers

"There are 38 large print mysteries for sales this month; 41 mysteries printed in 2019, and another 56 from 2018; 17 Raymond Chandler paperbacks; and 19 Dashiell Hamett along with the many other wonderful books on display for you to buy." -Cathy Swan

Travel Guides

"The Travel Guides section is loaded with good guidebooks about New York City, and plenty of up-to-date books about Hawaii. As usual, the section is replete with books about Italy. And I have a number of beautiful 'coffee table' books that would make wonderful gifts for your friends." -Ray Jadwin


"With Valentine's Day occurring this month, there are so many creative gifts one could give a loved one. Gift ideas include some beautiful art books; collector art prints and posters. One could pair a bit of art with wonderful cook books; games or a romantic classic. Put together a basket for a loved one with their favorite kind of books, music, or art. If you feel really creative, one could get some Valentine ideas from 'How To' art books or even make a special Valentine card using the many art prints available in the Art section. Happy hunting!" -Andrea Lozano


"Featured books this month include: Make Your Bed; The Little Book of Hygge; Becoming the Iceman; You Are the Placebo; Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself; The Defining Decade; Mastery; Belong; 12 Rules for Life; How to be Parisian; Resilience Road; You are Here; Awakening your Ikigai; and Maybe You Should Talk to Someone. Check out the seasonal section on LOVE and a special section of 'Popular on Amazon' books that are marked down. There are also some new and interesting workbooks on display. If you're a fan of Brene Brown, I have three of her books grouped together on the top shelf. Most of all ENJOY browsing and taking advantage of our great prices!" -Marnie


"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 - Szyk Haggadah; Tree of Life, Tree of Knowledge: Conversations with the Torah; Embroideries and Fabrics for Synagogue and Home: Five Thousand Years of Ornamental Needlework; The Rabbi as Symbolic Exemplar; I Escaped from Auschwitz; The Lampshade; Racial Hygiene; Jews of Islam.

"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

Historical Fiction

"Historical Fiction has received what may be the complete collection of the historical adventure novels by BERNARD CORNWALL. They are very popular so we suggest that if you haven't read this author now is an opportunity to pick up some of his books. For those of you who are already fans we may have that particular book you have been looking for. This month we have an unusually large number of recent books i.e. published in 2019 and 2018. We also have some oldies as well such as Captain from Castile. Whatever historical era or country you are interested in we probably have at least one book about it. Do you like thrillers? Check out the historical thriller bookcase.

"Enjoy the hunt." -The Historical Fiction Team


"FOPAL has received two different sets of Great Books all of which are nicely bound and very good looking. Out of that you will find 15 titles in Philosophy.

"Recent additions to look out for are: Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Cohen-Salal's biography of Sartre, Spector's Denialism, Harris's The End of Faith and Out of Step, signed by Hook. We have a big selection of books related to consciousness, morality and ethics, as well as some very good reference books. We also have eight volumes of Paul Strathern's very popular 90 Minute series ranging from Socrates to Derrida." -Nigel Jones

High Value

"We have a special this month of a large number of books from the Easton Press, which makes deluxe leather-bound editions of famous books. These books have elaborately tooled covers, beautiful marbled paper, and gilt edges. The special is mostly great works of fiction, including such authors as Dostoevsky, Henry James, Proust, and Zola. There are a few books of poetry and a few plays, as well as a copy of Darwin’s Descent of Man. Prices for these incredible books will range from five to twenty dollars. They are in pristine condition. A small selection of classic medical texts from the same publisher will be available for very low prices in the High Value section or the Medicine section. These also have leather bindings with beautifully tooled covers and gilt edges." -The High Value Team

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