Open for Shipped Orders!
Our physical store is closed, but you can still get many books shipped to you directly from our warehouse. Here's how:  
1. Only order titles with an inventory status of "Available at the Warehouse" 
2. Select the " UPS/USPS Ground Shipping" option
3. Pay with a credit card

We are happy to fulfill other orders, but will not be able to process them until at least May 4. Other options: try  or - keep it indie!
Shelf Stable: April 14
Being rich is not about how much money you have or how many homes you own; it's the freedom to buy any book you want without looking at the price and wondering if you can afford it. John Waters
Hello friends and fellow green-thumbers,

It’s that time of year again. A yearly occurrence I gleefully anticipate: the renewal of my Somerville Garden Club membership and the start of the spring sowing season. Membership card in hand, I normally sprint over to Pemberton Farms to spend an exorbitant amount of time. I survey every plant, debate about bud-to-leaf ratio, and convince myself we don’t have money to spend on a large, recumbent stone dragon. Then, little old car laden with greenery, head home to assault what little yard we have. This year, while I’m absolutely renewing my SGC membership , there’s not going to be a fun trip to Pemberton’s soon.
When I took the dogs out on Saturday, I had no intention of doing this, but I suddenly found myself holding clippers and cutting away last year’s dead matter. It turned into a multi-hour unplanned gardening session of the Masked Gardener (alas it’s impossible to tell that I’m smiling while wearing a mask AND sunglasses). When I was done and took a step back, I realized how nicely the garden (much of which is from Pemberton’s) is already growing back. My strawberry patch has perked up, my mess of Aster is already a couple inches tall, and several of my bee and pollinator plants have burst forth. I fixed some fences, placed a few shepherd’s hooks, and fed the birds. It was then that I had a thought: even though this spring isn’t going as planned in terms of my garden, it’s enough. Truthfully, that feels like a good mantra for this quarantine period in general. So, I’ll sit outside (masked, away from the sidewalk), read the delightful SGC newsletters (mailed!), and daydream about that first visit to Pemberton Farms.

Yours in seeds and buds,
The Masked Gardener (aka Stacey)
Events We Missed
Need some inspiration?
Katie here, the one behind all the socks, cards, and random gifts that are so fun to browse in the store. I miss seeing you all share a laugh when you point out a funny card to a friend, or find that perfect gift to include with a book for some lucky recipient. Blue Q is a personal favorite of mine (and yours, judging by how many pairs of socks we go through at the holidays). If you’re missing that quirky sock humor, here’s a fun story about the origins of Blue Q along with a ridiculously easy craft to lift your spirits - your very own Flat Cat . This quote from the origin story got us thinking a little bit.

"The Flat Cat was our first and only product, introduced at the New York Stationery Show in May of '88. We rented a 10x10-foot booth, and decorated it as a surreal living room to grab people's attention. Since we had no money, we just painted old chairs, a coat rack, broom, broken TV, and other junk bright yellow."

What business could you start just from what's kicking around the house? What would your thrown together convention booth look like? Can you actually build it without worrying your neighbors and/or housemates? Is it wise to use power tools during a pandemic? OK, that last one is probably "no," but you could easily occupy a day or even a weekend dreaming up and knocking together your very own million dollar idea. Who knows, maybe in twenty years you'll be giving interviews from your villa in the South of France that start with, "We were in quarantine for COVID-19 and this newsletter from my bookstore got me thinking..."

Bedtime Stories
On a dark and stormy night Meaghan read from a classic of quarantine fiction, Frankenstein.
Meet us over at our Instagram story at 8:45pm for tonight's live bedtime story with Meaghan!
Support Cafe Zing baristas!
Although Cafe Zing is its own business separate from ours, we really don't see it that way: Zing workers are part of the Porter Square Books family. They keep us well supplied - very well supplied - with caffeine, kindness, and some great tunes. Sometimes they give us staff picks; sometimes we give them exact change because we've bought the same, perfect, comforting, delicious beverage twice a day five days a week for how long, now?

They're our family, and they could use a hand. If you are able, please considering donating to the Cafe Zing GoFundMe; 100% of proceeds go to baristas. What might you have spent at Zing over the past weeks if it we were in normal times? If that $10 is still in your wallet, consider putting it in their tip jar. We love you, Zing!
Featured Staff Pick For Kids
Sunny by Celia Krampien

A colorful, silly story about a girl who makes the best of everything. A good story for looking on the bright side of things. --Stacey
We Want to Hear from You!
How do you organize your books at home?
Like a library, alpha by author in sections.
I can't explain it, but I know where all the books are
By color
I just kinda pick 'em up & put 'em down
Audio Book Of The Month
Deacon King Kong by James McBride

“Deacon King Kong is a quintessential New York story. Set in the Brooklyn projects in 1969, a perpetually inebriated deacon called Sportcoat aims a gun at the neighborhood’s main drug dealer in the public plaza and pulls the trigger. Incredibly well-constructed and hilarious at times, McBride’s story entwines a number of storylines that are kickstarted by this central event. The local Italian gangster, the veteran cop, the meddling churchgoers, and the drug pushers all have their own agendas, hopes, and dreams that are affected. And though Sportcoat doesn’t remember his actions and is always under the influence of gut-rot moonshine, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading this. His delightful ineptitude and absence of clarity made this book impossible for me to put down. If you’ve never read McBride before, this is a great introduction.”
--Stuart McCommon, Novel.
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
We'll get out our next issue as soon as we can. In the meantime, don't forget about all the other places you can catch up with us from afar, on
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25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140