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Used Book Sales

Read about us in the San Jose Mercury and San Francisco Chronicle articles on Bay Area used book sales.

Keep track of changes in our hours and any upcoming special sales through our free online notices (100% spam-free).
See pictures of some of the 50,000+ books that were offered in April's sale.  We hold regular book sales in Palo Alto:

Cubberley Community Center

Second two-day weekend of each month

May 10, 2014
May 11, 2014
Main Room
11 am - 4 pm

Tickets available at 8 am
Outdoor $1 sale 9 am (weather permitting)

11 am - 4 pm
Children's Room
10 am - 4 pm
11 am - 4 pm
Bargain Room H2-3
10 am - 4 pm
11 am - 4 pm
50% sale / $5 a bag


4000 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA
650 213-8755
Road map

We have over 50,000 wonderful used books, records, videos, magazines, and more at our monthly sale.  These are mostly from donations from individuals, estates, and companies.  We also sell items that the Palo Alto library has removed from their shelves to make room for new purchases.

Our Main Room is along the north driveway, adjacent to the Charleston Shopping Center (see map below).  In this room, hardbound books start at $1 each and paperback books at 50 cents each.  Please bring your large book donations to this room too.

Children's books, music, videos, and toys are in our new room (near the Cubberley track, Pavilion and the Greendell School), where you'll find many items for 50 cents or $1, including picture books, school age fiction and nonfiction, non-English language books, CDs and DVDs, and books for parents and teachers. On Saturday, during the first hour of the sale, please select no more than 12 books at a time, and bring them to the cashiers to hold until you are ready to pay for all your purchases.

Bargain books are in rooms H2 and H3, where hardbound books are all $1, paperbacks are 50 cents each, and children's books are just 25 cents.  On Sunday, prices in the bargain room are half-off, plus you can save even more by purchasing grocery bags from us for $5 each and then filling these with books.  Please note that the Children's and Bargain rooms open one hour earlier than the Main room on Saturday. 

You can purchase gift certificates at the sale in $5 denominations.

Some customers come very early on Saturday to ensure an early place in line.  We hand out a maximum of two numbered tickets per person at the Main Room, beginning at 8 am on the Saturday of the sale.  If you receive a ticket, the number on it reserves your corresponding place in the line, allowing you to go off and get coffee or to visit the Children's and Bargain Book rooms. Please be sure to return to the Main Room a few minutes before it opens to reclaim your spot in the line: if you miss the time when your number is allowed to enter the Main Room you will forfeit your place in line. If you donít arrive in time to get a ticket, please just join the latter part of the line.

Because of our severe space limitations and compelling issues of health and safety, we will only allow 160 customers into the Main Room at a time.  On Saturdays, customers will be originally admitted in the order of their numbered tickets that are given out from 8 to 11 am.  Once inside, customers may take only 12 books off of shelves, after which they should purchase these and exit via the east door.  They may then join at the end of any remaining line at the north door and reenter in that order.  The limitation of 12 books at a time will continue past noon if a line remains outside.


Map of Cubberley Community Center Book Sale Location
4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA 94303
(650) 213-8755
Road map

Our prices are incredibly low, as these examples illustrate:

Hearts in Atlantis
List price: $7.99  new
BarnesandNoble.com $7.99  new
Amazon.com: $7.99  new
Border's (Palo Alto): $5.99  new
Know Knew Books (Palo Alto): $3.98  used
BookBuyers (Mountain View): $3.49  used
Our Cubberley bargain room price: $0.50  used

Beginning ASP.NET
using VB.NET
List price: $39.95  new
Border's (Palo Alto): $39.95  new
BarnesandNoble.com $31.99  new
Amazon.com: $27.50  used
ebay.com: $20.54  used
Our price at Cubberley: $2.00  used

You'll find these same low prices on all the other tens of thousands of books that we have.  While some booksellers may pledge a portion of your purchase to help local libraries, we give 100%.  Plus, we charge no sales tax and we have the friendliest sales people you'll ever find.

Free Newsletter About Book Sales

Keep informed about upcoming sales, changes of hours, and special sales via our free monthly e-mail newsletter.  We held nine special sales in a recent twelve-month period, and the e-mail newsletter will keep you informed of each of these.  We adhere to a strict privacy policy and your e-mail address will not be shared with any other organization and we will only use it to send you this newsletter.  Sign up nowBack issues.

Annual Members-Early Sale

Once a year, we hold a members-early sale, at which members of the Friends of the Palo Alto Library are admitted early to the Main Room sale.  The 2013 members-early sale will be held on December 14, 2013.  At our member-early sales, life members and their spouses enter at 9 am and can purchase up to 50 books (per membership) during that first hour.  At 10 am, the rest of our members are admitted and everyone can buy the usual 12 books at a time.  At 11 am, non-members are admitted.  The limit on purchasing 12 books at a time lasts until there is no longer a line waiting to enter.

Tickets for early arrivers are handled differently at the members-early sale.  Tickets given out are for the 9 am and 10 am lines at the Main Room, since most people who come early are members of the Friends.  Each member will get just one ticket, although members at and above the $30 levels may bring in their families, consisting of one or two adults and children, while life members may bring in their spouses.  No tickets will be given out for the 11 am line.

Regular membership in the Friends is only $20 ($10 for students and seniors, $30 for families) and is tax-deductible.  Members also receive a discount coupon by mail for the sale, a 10% discount at the Books Inc. at the Town and Country Village, and eligibility for the Stanford Federal Credit Union, which has a new convenient Downtown office.  If you're not already a paid-up member, avoid delay at the sale by joining online right now.

Free Books for Non-Profits and Public Agencies

For a number of years, the Friends of the Palo Alto Library have provided free used books to non-profit organizations and public agencies. Eligible organizations come right after the monthly sale closes on Sunday (from 4 pm to 6 pm) and select books from among the thousands of books available in the bargain room. We have distributed vast numbers of books to local hospitals, homeless programs, senior centers, schools, and jails, as well as to libraries in rural areas and on reservations, and to literacy projects in many other countries. What your organization must provide is someone to come to our location after our monthly sale, select books, and remove them. For more information on eligibility, hours, and the types of materials available, please contact Norma Burchard by e-mail or at (650) 494-1082.

Friends of the Palo Alto Library (FOPAL) is a non-profit 501(c)3 public benefit corporation, dedicated to helping Palo Alto's Public Libraries.  Contact us at info@friendspaloaltolib.org or PO Box 41, Palo Alto, CA 94302-0041.  Privacy Policy

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