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

Saturday December 11
Main Room Members' Early Sale 9am - 11am
Main Room General Sale 11am - 4pm
Bargain Room 9:30am - 4pm
Children's Room 10am - 4pm

Sunday December 12
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Children's Room/Holiday
Vinyl/LPs Main Room
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, 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 next to the soccer field near Greendell School. 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 records, CDs, and DVDs 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.)

News from the Library, by E-mail and RSS

All Library branches will be closed on Friday December 24 and Saturday December 25 for the Christmas holiday, and Friday December 31 and Saturday January 1 for the New Year's holiday. Downtown, College Terrace, and Children's Libraries will be closed from Friday December 24 through the end of the year. Children's Library will re-open on Tuesday January 4, and College Terrace and Downtown Libraries will re-open on Thursday January 6. You can read more about this, and about other Library news here.

If you have ever given the Library your e-mail address, like this newsletter editor did when he signed up for a Palo Alto Library card, you have probably noticed that they are sending you one to a few e-mails per month since the start of the pandemic.

If you haven't been getting these e-mails, and are curious, there's an archive of them here. The messages linked from the archive page have links to a subscription page.

If you prefer this sort of thing in your RSS reader instead of your e-mail, you can get the RSS feed here. (This may open in your RSS reader instead of in your browser.)

December 2021 sales notes

December is a time for giving and receiving, here at FOPAL are giving our members another Members' Early Sale. All FOPAL paid members will receive earlier than the normal 11am entrance time. Because of this, the usual Main Room entry procedure is changed. See the section below pertaining to the Members' Early Sale.

Christmas is around the corner and we've got plenty of Christmas books, DVDs, and more. Look for the Winter Holidays display just a few steps from the entry door on the right wall.... Look for Holiday CDs in the Bargain Room/H2. The Children's Room Holiday section is bursting with hundreds of books in great condition, many are gift-able. The Photography section manager has filled their shelves. An internet access glitch prevented many boxes from being able to be priced for the December sale. As a result, the Photography section will have more offering to come in January 2022. The same is true for the History section managers, who received so many books that they'll be featured as a special again in January.

Look for gift-able Puzzles & Games in their usual spots as well as a holiday selection across from the specials section just to the left as you enter the Main Room. Vinyl collectors will appreciate a nice selection of better LPs next to the CD rack this month. And, look for dozens of groovy vinyl offerings including, classical, jazz, rock, holiday, and other genres, as always in the Bargain Room!

FOPAL Members Get the First Pick at Members' Early Sale

A fun and fabulous FOPAL Members' Early Sale is scheduled for Saturday, December 11th. 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 and Sponsor 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 12 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 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. People who come early are members of FOPAL and so there's a greatly reduced line for the 11am general entry. No tickets are given out for the 11am general entry line.

You may renew your membership, or join FOPAL, that day. Renew, or join now at!

Children's Room

"No waiting for ships to unload at overcrowded ports--shop the Children's Room for gifts you can take home from the sale. Browse our many boxes of Christmas books, DVDs, and CDs, all at rock-bottom prices. Elsewhere, our Beginning Readers section has lots of choices at every level including Star Wars and superhero books and beginners' books on space, history, and biography. World Languages has seven copies of Le Petit Prince, along with some Christmas books in Spanish, German, French and Russian. There are also Chinese non-fiction sets on Chinese history and Western music, as well as readers and educational materials. On the Non-Fiction shelves you'll find many giftable books on assorted topics to interest the children on your list. Check out School-Age Fiction for beautiful gift sets, some in their original shrink wrap, suitable for elementary through high school readers. There's also a giftable version of Harry Potter, and an expanded selection of the best books for children and young adults. The "popular authors" cart is loaded to the gills. Look for great values on the Giftable Hardback Picture Books shelves and on the Board Books table under the front windows. There is also a bin of giftable Paperback Picture Books, and many Little Miss and Mr. Men small books that are perfect stocking stuffers. For games, puzzles, and crafts supplies, look in the Activities sections, where you'll also find books to intrigue budding scientists and mathematicians. There are many bags of scale models of wild animals (lions and tigers and bears, etc.) in various sizes. Finally, the shelves of Humor and Graphic Novels are well stocked with Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, Adventure Time, Tin Tin, Peanuts, and many other titles. Happy shopping!" -Carolyn Davidson

Fiction Boutique

"Welcome to the excellent selection of recent novels from which to choose gifts for family, friends and for yourself.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, 2019;
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, 2020;
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, 2021, rated as a Best Seller by The New York Times, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal.

"In addition, we have our regular categories of novels by award-winning authors, stories that take place in bookshops or libraries and shelves devoted to individual writers.

"All best wishes for the New Year!" -Marian Knox


"This month (December) the reference section has many additions to the Genealogy shelf." -Bruce Heflinger


"Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion including editions of the Torah and other basic texts, Kabbalah, Jewish history, the Holocaust, memoirs, Israel, Jewish Women, the Jewish American Experience and other related subjects.

"New this month - Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields; A Second Exodus: The American Movement to Free Soviet Jews; Burning Lights: A Unique Double Portrait of Russia by Bella Chagall; Not by the Sword: How the Love of a Cantor and His Family Transformed a Klansman; A Book of Life: Embracing Judaism as a Spiritual Practice.

"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 Health Section has a copy of the new book: Metabolical by Robert H. Lustig, MD, MSL. He recounts the path of the processed food industry, and how it has 'ruined our health, economy, and environment in the past 50 years.'

"Another good read is the 'looks-like-new' book about F. M. Alexander...the individual responsible for developing The Alexander Technique: a muscular re-education program used by thousands of folks around the world (particularly actors, singers and dancers).

"The Diet Section is brimming with every type of diet for those who want to start the New Year off with healthy eating and a healthy outlook. Don't forget the $1 bargains under that section, with even more dietary advice." -Suzanne Cholko

European Languages

"The French section is overflowing with books that are new to us this month, including a lot of dictionaries for language lovers. Several are slang dictionaries. There's even a 'Dictionary of Words That Don't Exist'." -Susan Strain

Historical Fiction

"The Historical Fiction section has a large number of medieval and Renaissance mysteries, including works by Kate Sedley and Peter Tremayne, arranged along two bottom shelves of the free-standing bookcase. There are many recently donated books by Philippa Gregory and Bernard Cornwell. And there are recently published historical novels on the top shelf." -Historical Fiction


"Featured books this month include some published in 2021: Divergent Mind; Neurodharma; Universal Human; and Connection. Other featured books are: The New Long Life; Overcoming Paranoid and Suspicious Thoughts; Maybe You Should Talk to Someone; Messy, the Power of Disorder to Transform our Lives. Most books new this month are in the sections marked Popular on Amazon and New Arrivals - enjoy browsing! If you have a focused interest check out the Sub-Sections which include: Happiness; Emotions; Mental Illnesses; Addiction; Creativity; Relationships; Communication; Mind/Brain; Spiritual/Inspirational; Aging; Grief/Loss; Family and Parenting Teens. As you consider changes you might want to bring to your life in the New Year consider checking out the Workbooks section. Enjoy paying bargain prices for your books and supporting the recycling of our precious resources. Wishing you Peace," -Marnie


"Among the new inventory:

"Six-volume edition of Clarke's Commentary on the Holy Bible from 1836.
"The Old English Version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Part 1 (Section 2).
"Quaker Records of Southern Maryland and of Baltimore and Hartford Counties.
"Besse, A Collection of the Sufferings of the People Called Quakers, for the Testimony of a Good Conscience....
"Myers, Immigration of the Irish quakers into Pennsylvania, 1682-1750.
"McCabe, Cross and Crown, 1875, re persecuted men and women for religion.
"CD of The Handbook for Genealogists, US version.
"Robert Parker, On Greek Religion, and Jan Bremer, Greek Religion." -Nancy Cohen

Mysteries & Thrillers

Yr hmbl newsletter editor has been prevailed upon to tell you that this month the Mysteries & Thrillers section has three shelves of books from 2020 and 2021 and (directly opposite) two shelves full of books by Cara Black, Colin Cottrell, Barbara Cleverly, Louise Penny, and Helene Tursten. That is all.

Records in the Main Room

"Some artists we will have: Simon and Garfunkel, James Taylor, Supertramp, Steely Dan, Alan Parsons Project, Styx, Meat Loaf; music to have cocktails with (exotica, hawaiiana, big band, smooth jazz, crooners (male and female)" -Henry Yu


We have made it past Drop-off Donations 3.0 and have returned to accepting donations without the need to make an appointment.


We must pause accepting donations until December 13 while we prepare for the monthly sale. Please hold your donations until then.

We also plan to be closed December 24 and 25 for the Christmas holiday, and December 31 and January 1 for the New Year's Holiday.

Please read our donation guidelines before you bring materials to us.

All that said, our normal hours for drop-off donations are Monday through Saturday, 3pm-5pm. (But not the week before the sale.)

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.

Be sure to receive your own free copy of this e-mail notice so that you'll know about all special upcoming books sales. To sign up, just e-mail us. We carefully protect the privacy of your e-mail address. We will not share your e-mail address with any other organization and we will not use it for any purpose other than to send you these notices. If you do not wish to receive these e-mail notices in the future, please reply with the words "Remove Me" in the first line of the text.