USED BOOK SALES
Saturday February 14
Ephemera 8am - 4pm
Bargain and Children's Rooms 10am - 4pm
Main Room Sale 11am - 4pm
Tent Sale 9am - 4pm
Sunday February 15
All Rooms 11am - 4pm
FEATURED IN FEBRUARY
Education & Language
Sports/Hunting & Fishing
4000 Middlefield Road
NE corner of the Cubberley Community Center
Maps and Directions
More information on the sales
Donate your old books
ALL PROCEEDS GO TO HELP PALO ALTO LIBRARIES
Marty's (Main) Room
In our Main Room, prices are way below what used book stores charge.
Hardcover books start at $1.00 and softcover books start at only 50
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
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 and Openings for February
Rinconada Library will have its Grand Opening on Saturday, Feburary
14, which is also the date of our February book sale, so plan
accordingly. More details are available on
the City's web site.
College Terrace and Downtown Libraries will be closed on Saturday,
February 14 so staff can assist at Rinconada Library's Grand Opening.
All libraries will be closed on Sunday, February 15, and Monday,
February 16, for the President's Day holiday. Normal hours
will resume on Tuesday, February 17.
True in 2004 and still true in 2015
"It's truly surprising how many valuable books are donated to FOPAL"
-Marty Paddock, 2004.
This is still true in 2015! 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"
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 at sells books at the
monthly sale but also at the Friends Kiosk (Downtown 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 Gondola are restocked regularly with books for
all interests. Or, shop our on-line book store at
All proceeds from book sales benefit the Palo Alto Libraries.
FOPAL Book Sale Notices Now on Twitter
You can now follow us on Twitter @fopalbooks.
We'll post Sale notices and will reveal the Sunday 50% off
section via our Twitter feed.
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 email@example.com or at (650) 494-1082.
Several dozen organizations benefit from the monthly giveaways,
including local hospitals, homeless programs, senior centers,
schools, and jails, as well as libraries in rural areas and on
reservations, and literacy projects in many other countries.
We're always eager to hear your suggestions for ways to improve our
book sale. Please email us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or mention them to a volunteer at the sale.
What's Special for February?
The rainy weather kept the donation volume down a little bit this
past weekend, but our donors took advantage of breaks in the weather
and came through big-time to bring us great books as usual.... There
is a lot happening this holiday weekend and we hope you'll find some
time to spend at our sale and or stop by and visit our information
table and sale gondola this Saturday 11am-4pm at the grand opening of
the Rinconada Library. As we celebrate President's Day and Valentine's
Day, we also have the weeks of the Black History Month and, for
History lovers, look for Black History Month specials in both
the Main Room and the Children's Room. Books on matters
of love and relationships can be found in our Psychology/Self-Help
section, which is once again brimming with great stuff....
Psychology/Self Help buffs can find books on everything from
finding love to healing a broken heart, discovering your true passion
and how to pursue it to being happy, creating gratitude lists or the
basic practice of mindfulness. We received a very unique donation of
books on Education & Language from a local retired
professor; look for many of these books in the Main Room for
February and to be featured next month as a March Special. There were
many items left from last month's featured books on Hunting &
Fishing so we've slashed prices to move them out this month. They
can be found in the specials bay to the right of the entrance next to
our sorting room.
Preview Our Shelves
Check out some of the thousands of books that will be on sale this
weekend using our
shelf preview photos.
February is Black History Month
The story of Black History Month begins in 1915, half a century after
the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That
September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the
prominent minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the
Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), an organization dedicated to
researching and promoting achievements by black Americans and other
peoples of African descent. Known today as the Association for the
Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the group
sponsored a national Negro History week in 1926, choosing the second
week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln
and Frederick Douglass. The event inspired schools and communities
nationwide to organize local celebrations, establish history clubs
and host performances and lectures.
FOPAL's February Special celebrates Black History Month in the Main
Room and Children's Room.
Black History Month in the Main Room
Don't miss the Black History Month Special on the left wall as you
enter the sale. We have many excellent books written about the
African-American experience. Most of the books are non-fiction but
there are some fiction books as well.
This month we also have a significant number of books about Herbert
Hoover. For anyone interested in Philadelphia we have an unusual
collection of books about it. If you're looking for scholarly books
on Africa also check out our Africa section this month.
-Suzanne Little & Irina Cross
Black History Month in the Children's Room
The Children's Room has a nice selection of books pertaining to black
history geared towards younger readers. Here are but a handful of
titles you'll find offered for Black History Month: Witness to
History: Slavery in the United States, Freedom Train: the Story of
Harriet Tubman, The Life and Words of Martin Luther King Jr.,
Courage Has No Color: the True Story of the Triple Nickels, America's
First Black Paratroopers. Look for these books and many more on
the bookshelf with the picture of Martin Luther King displayed on it.
And, you could own all four of the above books for a mere $6.50!
As usual we offer books on a wide variety of musical topics. This
month look for: Music and Meaning; A Yoga of Indian Classical
Dance; Teen Talk - The Beatles; 128 Beats Per Minute -
Diplo's Visual Guide to Music, Culture and Everything in Between;
Rockin' Out - Popular Music in the USA; Springsteen - No
Surrender; Grateful Dead - The Illustrated Trip; Classical
Ballet Technique; The Roaring Silence - John Cage A Life;
Cole Porter - A Biography; A Heartbeat and a Guitar - Johnny Cash
and the Making of Bitter Tears. Also come to browse our wide
selection of sheet music. -Charlotte Epstein
Humor for February 2015
February is Cartoon Month! We have received at least 150 cartoon
books this month. The 20 or so in the Main Room include Saul
Steinberg's The Inspector plus several New Yorker titles; take
a look at The Rejection Collection, brilliant cartoons that never
made it in the magazine. All the others are in the Bargain Room
and many of them are in pristine condition.
New non-cartoon arrivals include Bossy Pants by Tina Fey, Girl Walks
into a Bar by Cratch, Barbed Wit by Mahoney, Secrets of a Fashion
Therapist and The Snark Handbook. You will also find a first
appearance of the Bumper Book of Bumper Sticker Wisdom and our
largest ever collection of Jewish humor. -Nigel Jones
Health for February
February's Health Section is full of heart, as usual, but we
have a huge number of brand new books covering the body from scalp to
toes. A special collection on Homeopathy, Asian Medicine & Acupuncture
and -- for heartfelt and beautiful last-minute Valentine's gifts --
an abundant crop of Herbal Medicine books, exquisitely illustrated.
Herbalists, natural health advocates and people who love gardens and
floral art will be charmed by any of these classic (and often
romantic) volumes. -Verne Rice
Looking for fun, healthy (and inexpensive) ways to dazzle your
Valentine this weekend? The Bay Area has beaches, redwood forests and
mountain trails a short drive away - pick up a couple of guide books
and have an adventure! For the more athletic, check out our sections
on Rock Climbing in Yosemite and mountain climbing in Nepal. Specials
this month include $1 bird field guides (the Great Backyard Bird
Count is Feb 13-16) and a new section of beautifully illustrated
vintage books -- perfect for collectors, collage artists and bargain
hunters. -Ms. Karen
Look for two shelves of novels by authors affiliated with the famous
Iowa Writers' Workshop...either as students or teachers or both.
These include Bay Area writers Ethan Canin, Ann Packer, and Abraham
Verghese. This display is located directly below books by Pulitzer
Prize winners. -Marian Knox
Philosophy for February 2015
The two philosophy bookcases are arranged so that the left one is
primarily about specific philosophers, their works, and commentaries
on their works, whereas the right is more to do with philosophical
topics, historical overviews and schools of thought. All new
arrivals are on the top shelves of the left bookcase and include
Descartes's Error by Damasio, an excellent OUP edition of Hume's
Human Nature by Nidditch, Diderot's Success in Circuit Lies by
Carrera, Social Reality by Searle, Elements of Argument by
Rottenberg and two books related to Machiavelli, his biography by
Viroli and a very good edition of The Prince published by Banned
Don't forget to visit the Bargain Room for even more philosophy
books. -Nigel Jones
Come to the Judaica section for books on the Jewish religion,
literature, Jewish history, the Holocaust, Israel and other related
subjects. This month look for Leading the Passover Journey; The
Song of Songs - a new translation; The Jewish Study Bible; The
Girls of Room 28 - Friendship, Hope, and Survival in Theresienstadt;
My Promised Land - The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel; Poetry
after Auschwitz; The Lampshade - A Holocaust Detective Story From
Buchenwald to New Orleans; stories from Sholom Aleichem; A
Treasury of Jewish Folk Lore; and the writings of Elie Wiesel.
Individual greeting cards are now only 25 cents each. Boxed cards are
available in the main book room across from the cashiers, just below
postcards. If you miss them at the sale, you can now find boxed cards
for sale in the FOPAL room at the Mitchell Park Library.
Children's Room New Tween Recommendations
Welcome our newest contributor to the FOPAL monthly newsletter, Palo
Alto High School freshman Tristan Wang. Tristan is 15 year old loves
books, volunteering, and has a passion for writing and sharing his
favorite titles available for our February sale. Please take the time
to read and then share Tristan's recommendations with your Tweens.
Thanks Tristan and congratulations on your first submission to the
FOPAL monthly sale newsletter!
Tween Recommendations by Tristan
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak: To start, this novel is told
through a rather unique perspective: the narrator is Death.
Set in Nazi Germany, 1939, the tale's plot revolves around Liesel
Meminger, a 12-year-old girl who steals her first book at her
brother's funeral. It is her first book thievery, and an act that
sparks the beginning of an obsession.
As Liesel begins her new life with a foster family in Molching,
Germany, she becomes a full-fledged book thief, saving them from Nazi
book-burnings and even pilfering them from the mayor's library. But
for Liesel, the Second World War is never far away. As her foster
parents shelter a Jew in their basement and Allied bombing raids set
the country ablaze, Liesel must learn to live a life of vigilance and
secrecy -- and discover the value of books and words.
Ship Breaker, Paolo Bacigalupi: In a dystopian future when
the polar ice caps have melted, ocean levels have risen and engulfed
most of the major cities along America's Gulf Coast. Nailer, a child
laborer employed by a small impoverished community, scavenges
grounded ships along the coast for a living.
With a tiresome occupation and a dysfunctional family, Nailer seems
to have no chance of escaping his fate. That is, until he discovers
by sheer luck an elegant clipper beached after a hurricane. Given
the opportunity to turn the tables, Nailer faces the most crucial
decision of his life: scavenge the ship for its riches and perhaps
make a fortune, or aid the ship's beautiful owner, a wealthy girl
who just might lead him to a better life.
Airborn, Kenneth Oppel: Matt Cruse is a cabin boy on the
Aurora, a magnificent luxury airship that conveys wealthy passengers
abroad. To Matt, the Aurora is both home and the last tie to his
father -- only when soaring through the skies does he truly feel
While crossing the Pacificus, Matt spots and rescues the sole
passenger of a battered hot air balloon. Before dying, the
balloonist rambles to Matt about the mysterious flying creatures
he claims to have discovered. Matt initially dismisses the man's
story, until Kate de Vries arrives on the Aurora, determined to
prove that such creatures exist. So begins a intrepid quest
involving sky pirates, unnerving shipwrecks, and daring escapes,
as Matt finds himself caught up in an adventure beyond his
FOPAL Volunteers Rock!
Here's a big THANK YOU to the dozens of FOPAL volunteers
who make this sale possible. It's in part because of our
amazing volunteers that the FOPAL book sales are a great
success. While attending the sale offer a "Thank You" to
the volunteers you see. If you'd like to become a FOPAL
volunteer please email
or call 650-494-1266.