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

Saturday December 10
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 11
All Rooms 11am - 4pm


Military History


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 $3.00 and softcover books start at only $2.00.


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, fiction for teens, 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

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.

The Library would like you to know that they can help you find books for your child's reading level, and that there will be plenty of kids around next week or so reviewing for their finals. You can read about these on their blog to which you can subscribe if you have got an RSS reader.

And if like yr hmbl newsletter editor you have not been paying attention and are wondering what is open and how much the Library has a Current Library Services page.

What's Special for December 2022

For December FOPAL members are benefiting from another Members' Early Sale. All FOPAL paid members can get in earlier than the normal 11am start time. Because of this, the normal Main Room entry procedure is changed. See the section below pertaining to the Members' Early Sale.

Winter is upon us and generous donations keep coming in. This is the perfect time to pick up books to give or collect for cold weather reads. From Philosophy, check out a collection of books pulled from a recent large donation to be offered to our loyal sale customers. All are in great condition and at low prices. The Law section this month offers shelves filled with nearly all new books from a donation we received earlier this year. Shout out to new volunteer Otillia M. for her help co-managing the Law section this month. Nice job Otillia! The Military History section has been restocked with a wide variety of books on all aspects of this popular genre. Look for several limited signed copies offered, shelved in the special bays just to your right as you enter the Main Room. Also in the specials bays, the Holiday sale is fully stocked with seasonal items/books, well as caroling sheet music for harmonica! Check out the DVDs in the DVD & Blu-Ray section and on the red cart this December. This section is newly stocked with DVDs that will suit your winter viewing pleasures. Grab your popcorn and enjoy!

FOPAL Members Get the First Pick at Members' Early Sale

A fun and fabulous FOPAL Members' Early Sale is scheduled for Saturday, December 10th. 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. Look for FOPAL President Jenny Munro at the entrance to officially welcome all FOPAL Members' to shop early this Saturday!

Life & Sponsor Members Enter at 9am: At our Members' Early Sale, Life and Sponsor Members (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 Member and 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 or Sponsor 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!

What's Special in January 2023

Most of you will have received an e-mail last week that included information about the High Value Special Sales of Books and Ephemera to be held in the parking lot outside the Children's Room. The weather forecast has progressed since then to where there is as of Wednesday night a 90% chance of rain on Saturday, so we have chosen to postpone this sale until Saturday, January 14, 2023, when we expect to hold it in Room H1 next to our Bargain Room.


The Philosophy section for December has the richest collection of books, especially in terms of Phenomenology, for all of 2022 with the books being specially priced for the Members' Sale. The major group is eighteen books by or about one of the leaders of the Phenomenology school, Martin Heiddeger, shelved next to these are three books by his student and friend Hannah Arendt. Also connected to Heidegger we have four books by Emmanual Levinas. Following this are six books by Theodore Adorno, a child prodigy on the piano and leading thinker on Existentialism and yet another accomplished pianist and thinker, five books by Edward Said. These books are in very good condition and most have an insert showing the book's current online value. And that is only two out of ten shelves!

-Nigel Jones


This month, the top shelf of Poetry is devoted almost entirely to Eavan Boland: her own work and the works of over thirty other poets who have inscribed their volumes to Eavan. The top shelf is rounded out by a few other Bay Area writers. On the bottom shelf, find some works about limericks, both dirty and otherwise. Finally, in the women poets section, find several volumes by and about Adrienne Rich.

Photos can be found at

-Mandy MacCalla

Home & Crafts

This month the Crafts shelves showcase a Christmas Craft Source Book and Christmas with Martha Stewart Living, as well as titles for paper craft, jewelry-making, fabric gift ideas, and floral crafts. Find a guide in the nick of time for holiday home creations and gift-giving.

For December, the Home titles include: Diana Vreeland and Isaac Mizhahi fashion, plus bridal beauty, wedding guides, and lingerie styles. The Home shelves provide window and curtain ideas, in addition to bath and kitchen remodeling. You'll also find an array of home decorating, interior designing, and decorative painting books, plus home organization concepts. Do you have your New Year's home resolutions ready?

Photos can be found at

-Virginia Perry

Antiques & Collections

Among the many offerings this December you'll find: stamps, jukebox, rock 'n' roll, coins, silver, pottery, and other collectibles, plus antique buying guides and furniture. Peruse and purchase these items at greater savings than online or at used bookstore prices.

Photos can be found at

OF NOTE: NEW MIXED RED CART - Antiques and more!

Seeing more 'red' this December? We have a new FOPAL mixed RED CART, which includes an overflow of Antiques & Collections, plus several Home & Crafts titles including home improvement, as well as Feng Shui home, office, and health. Take a look!

-Virginia Perry


History of medicine books are featured, and since the greatest recent discoveries were made by accident or "chance"...they make for some interesting reading. Highlights include the richly illustrated coffee table book The Cambridge History of Medicine, the early surgical triumphs of The Doctors Mayo, and Accidental Medical Discoveries, where Pasteur reminds us that "chance only favors the prepared mind."

Explore the collection of vintage texts written between 1847-1930s, although unenlightened, will make you glad that you were born after the discovery of penicillin. Note also the mint condition leather bound Classics in Medicine volumes, with marbled end pages, gilded edges, and satin ribbon markers...ideal for unique holiday gifts.

-Pam Parke

Science & Technology

Donations have been light this month, but quality has been good. Almost all books are price checked on the internet and I price them much lower than the lowest price I can find. The bargain room is not the only place to find bargains on STEM books. Shelf pictures at Plenty STEM books are also available in the bargain room.

-Edwin El-Kareh

Sheet Music

We are bulging with banjo and ukulele books this month. We also have a decent selection of clean books, many with CDs, for most instruments. Shelf pictures and images of each individual book organized by instrument at Heaps of lesser quality sheetmusic books are available in the bargain room.

-Edwin El-Kareh


The Health Section is burgeoning with books. A great gift idea is Lisa Genova’s 2021 book, Remember, on how to protect our memories. For excitement, try Radium Girls, set during World War I. It is the story of young women working in a radium dial factory, who began to fall ill, and the quest to discover the cause. There are a number of diabetic cookbooks, full of colorful photos and recipes. And, a bargain to prepare for the holidays, or for after the New Year: all of the exercise DVDs have been marked down in price. We have three beautiful books on the human body...for just $3 apiece...a good gift for an aspiring health worker? For chills, try Weekends at Bellevue; Nine Years on the Night Shift at the Psych ER...a memoir by Julie Holland, MD.

-Suzanne Cholko

Children's Room

Come to the Children's Room to find gift-quality picture books, both holiday-themed and otherwise, on our Giftables shelves. There's a wonderful selection, most priced for just a dollar or so. In the Activities section you'll find a colorful assortment of toys for toddlers, and to add to your holiday merriment, an overstuffed bin of joke books (good stocking stuffers). The World Languages shelves are overflowing with books in French, German, and Polish this month. Check out the School-age Fiction section for beautifully illustrated gift-quality classic story books: stories from Shakespeare, Dickens, and the Arabian nights. There is a complete set of 21 paperback books by Enid Blyton; like-new hardback editions of the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer; many books in the popular fantasy series Wings of Fire; and lots of the Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Parents, if you want your elementary-age children to keep reading over the holidays, we suggest our early chapter book series. Teens, if you want a break from "have to" reading, we have lots of best sellers and critically acclaimed books to take you far away from the here and now.

-Carolyn Davidson

Children's Vintage

It's finally Christmas in children's vintage! Plenty of holiday books for both big and little readers. Shelf pictures of some of the treasures are available at

We continue to have a robust section of non-fiction books, again for both big and little kids. On special this month is a 12-volume Audubon Natural History encyclopedia that will amaze you with pictures of and facts about our natural world. And as always, 'tis the season for series books - this time with a hefty dose of Enid Blyton Famous Five classics in addition to the usual Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.

Stop on by and see what you can find for gifts for yourself or friends. Who doesn't love a good book for the holidays?!

-Lisa Heitman

European Language

We received some very nice fiction in Spanish, including several books by Isabel Allende and several by Garcia Marquez, and a few books of poetry inscribed to Eavan Boland.

-Susan Strain


Browse the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion and culture 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 - People Love Dead Jews by Dara Horn; The Betrayal of Anne Frank; Old Wine New Flasks: Reflections on Science and Jewish Tradition; Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought; Brotherhood | The Israel Defense Forces; Recovered Roots; Hybrid Judaism.

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, Section manager for Judaica

Science Fiction & Fantasy

For Tolkien collectors, I have a set of the first printing of the Ballantine paperback Lord of the Rings, in good shape for paperbacks from 1965. There's quite a bit of Terry Pratchett, Discworld and otherwise, mostly paperback but some hardcover, including some titles I rarely see. In the Graphic Novel section, look for a selection of graphic memoirs, family sagas, and immigrant tales.

Photos can be found at

-Rich McAllister

Travel Narratives

Available for the first time this month are many dozens of virtually new books in our COLD REGIONS and RUSSIA sections.

-Jim Sutherland


Looking for a gift for a history buff? We recently received a large donation of books on 20th century history - mostly about Germany and Russia, but there are also a fair number on France, Spain, China, India, and Mexico. All of these are in very good condition, and priced at $3 to $5 a volume. We continue to receive new donations of books on African-American history, and have a small section on immigrants and immigration as well. If you're looking for a biography of an American who wasn't a president, we have a shelf of books on famous and not-so-famous Americans from Colonial times to the mid-20th century. If you're looking for something different, check out the "Offbeat History" section for lighter books that don't really fit into other categories.

We also have some nice-looking older books, some from the late 19th and early 20th century. The complete 11-volume set of the Durants' history has been reduced to $50. Over the last two months we've acquired a number of books on the Kennedy assassination, which are on one of the red carts at the end of the aisle - the other has a wide range of books on exploration. And don't forget to visit the bargain room: we've had so many new books this month that a lot of excellent volumes went there early!

-Linda McAllister


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


We are closed for donations from Sunday December 4 through Sunday December 11 to prepare the Main Room for this weekend's sale. Please hold your donations until Monday December 12.

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.)


We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our book sale. Please email us at

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.

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