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 21
“I can survive well enough on my own – if given the proper reading material.” –  Sarah J. Maas
To Binge or Not to Binge

The other day a friend of mine told me she had become addicted to Cheez-It crackers; particularly the Extra Toasty variety. She said she had a case of them delivered and was eating her way through it; plus she found some at Walgreens and Target so she bought their entire stock. Why Cheez-It I asked?  She claims they comfort her when she’s stressed. They’re salty, crunchy and calming to her.  However, she thinks there might be some secret, and addicting, ingredient in them.  But she doesn’t care. She’s blithely Cheez-Iting her way through the crisis. 

On the other hand, I’m not that fond of Cheez-It, but having newly acquired Netflix I decided to binge watch  The Crown  – I watched all three seasons in a matter of days.  The first two series starred Emmy winner Claire Foy and I loved her characterization of Queen Elizabeth II from young princess to her elevation to the throne. Her performance was understated, subtle and discreet. The third series stars Oscar winner Olivia Coleman, who is wonderful, but all too often stares quietly into space, or out of a window, looking trapped.

What I came to realize – I know this is a work of what they call “real” fiction – is how hard Queen Elizabeth II works!  Every day she’s handed those bloody red boxes full of state secrets that she must digest and often comment upon.  Not only does she have her official duties, but she was saddled with a petulant husband, who she made a Royal Highness in order to make him feel important. Her late sister Princess Margaret Rose, was a handful – falling in love with a once-married man, drinking, smoking, hanging out with “Bohemians”…not at all veddy proper indeed.  Plus, both her Uncle David (Edward VIII) and Prince Philip’s uncle, Lord Mountbatten had both entertained the idea of an overthrow.  Yikes!

For me this was a most enlightening, and less fattening, binge and I plan to buy a few books (check out our website for titles) and read more about this remarkable woman, who just recently rallied her nation with a warm and encouraging speech.

Cheerio, Nathan @ PSB
Don't miss our next virtual event!
Speaking of our good friend Bear -- all those horoscope reading suggestions got them thinking! They gazed into their crystal ball, pondered the night sky and charted the position of the planets, all to bring you .. Bearoscopes!
Our sage friend Bear offers some startling insights into your soul - and some pretty good book recommendations, too. Find Bear's reading of your sign in the full thread here.
Coloring Pages
Now seems like the right time to revisit the coloring book craze of a few years ago. Many of our gift and card makers are stepping up with free, printable coloring pages. Here are a few of our favorites.

Abigail Gray Swartz of Rainy Day Studio is offering a  ten page coloring book  as well as a  We Need You to Stay Home  flier. You might recognize her artwork from cards in the store and her February 2017 New Yorker cover. 

Head over to  Badge Bomb ’s website for more stay home themed coloring pages, Coronavirus reward stickers, and activity sheets from their group of artists including Gemma Correll. 

You can download a  seven page coloring book   from Kikkerland featuring drawings of some of their most iconic products, including the Solar Queen (Happy 94th birthday to Queen Elizabeth II!)

From Rifle Paper Co, you'll find  printable greeting cards  in Rifle’s signature floral style to color and send to loved ones.

This one isn’t free, but for $6 you can buy and download a highly detailed  National Parks coloring book   complete with prompts and questions you can explore with the kids to learn more about our national parks. 

Happy coloring! -- Katie
Need some inspiration?
There are plenty of creative things you can do or make on your own during self-isolation. But what about those of us with hobbies that, you know, require interacting with other people?

I’m talking directly to you, theatre kids™. Look, despite the stereotypes of cozy, highbrow introvert versus raucous, spotlight-loving extrovert, I know there’s actually a significant overlap between book people and theatre people. I’m one of them. And as much as I love reading and analyzing playscripts, there’s something so different about speaking the words aloud--and having another human being respond to you. You can find so much more in the text when it becomes a conversation.

My friends and I have had a really great time doing scene readings over Zoom or Hangouts. Shakespeare is always a big hit, with meaty lines, bawdy jokes, and plenty to discuss afterward. We’ve been using the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s database of scenes, which you can sort by play or number of characters. If you want a paper copy, I suggest the Arden Third Series. Here’s their paperback edition of Shakespeare’s complete works .

My voice teacher has been doing a thirty-day song challenge, choosing a song and recording a new video every day. You don’t have to film yourself--you can sing to yourself, in the privacy of your own shower, or just listen to a song that fits the theme every day.

There are also a lot of big theatre companies that are releasing filmed recordings of past shows for free during their closure. You can watch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows on his YouTube channel (although why would you, when you can just watch the beautiful disaster that is the Cats movie instead?). BroadwayHD is streaming shows for free, including the charming hit Kinky Boots and the wonderful Christian Borle in Falsettos. Shakespeare’s Globe , one of my favorite theatres, is releasing 40 shows virtually over the next month, and you can watch the National Theatre’s production of Treasure Island on YouTube right now.

And check out the Porter Square Books twitter account tomorrow, where I’ll be tweeting out book recommendations to go with your favorite musical! -- Kate
Bedtime Stories
Meaghan brought the hype to last night's Bedtime Story - she read from Caitlin Moran's How to Build a Girl. The film, starring Beanie Feldstein, Emma Thompson, Paddy Considine and Alfie Allen, releases next month!
And of course, don't forget to meet us over at our Instagram story at 8:45pm for tonight's live bedtime reading!
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
The Deceivers by Kristen Simmons

Private academy for teenage con artists! What's not to love? Fast-paced, fun, diverting, and there's a sequel once you've finished this one! -- Rebecca
We Want to Hear from You!
What's the ultimate crime against books?
Writing, highlighting, underlining on the very sacred pages!! Why!
Dog-eared pages. Go get a bookmark!
Leaving a book face down and open. Are there chiropractors for book spines??
Borrowing a book and never returning it!!!!!!!
The only great crime against a book is leaving it unread.
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
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube :
25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140