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 26
“Happiness. That's what books smell like. Happiness.” – Sarah MacLean
Porter Square Books at your door!

There is absolutely nothing more satisfying than delivering packages of books during this Covid19 time. The cheers, the thumbs up, the gratitude, the faces at the windows, the dogs barking behind closed doors - it’s all fun and exciting and I have been discovering parts of Cambridge/Somerville that I have never been before. I must admit that sometimes I peek at the books only because I really miss handing your purchases to you in the store.

I especially miss my co-workers (many of whom are published authors) and Dina and David and their sweet dog Maxie.
I miss all our local authors, including Mameve Medwed, Claire Messud (I delivered to her yesterday and heard the sweetest and loudest dog barking), Stephen McCauley (whom we used to see almost every day in the store), Leah Hager Cohen, Celeste Ng (a star in her Netflix Little Fires Everywhere !), Ethan Gilsdorf, Raoul The Third, Margot Livesey, Joan Wickersham, Allegra Goodman, Virginia Pye, and oh so many more.

I miss our loyal and wonderful customers and store friends, including ‘no bag ever’ Carl, and customer #1, and Charles and Mary, and Rose, and Joyce and Paul, and Ophelia, and every customer who walks through our doors (yes, they will open to you again, soon we hope!) Thank you to all of you for your continued support.

I miss your dogs (Bonnita, of course!). I miss the smell of Zing coffee while working and the sight of those mouth watering spring rolls. Heather and staff - can’t wait to be back in the store with you all.

I really miss shelving books, especially sections 920, 800, 891, and 940.* I must admit that I don’t actually miss shelving 400 even though it is one of our most popular sections for finding strollers and Dragons Love Tacos, The Day the Crayons Quit, She Persisted, Last Stop on Market Street, and Julian Is A Mermaid .

I wonder what Randall Munro thinks of this Coronavirus? One of the questions in W hat If is about the Common Cold (page 114) and Munro’s answers are eerily significant! I urge you to read them!

In ending I want to say that I can hardly wait till this Tuesday (new books are released every week on Tuesdays) when The Sea Wife by Amity Gaige is published. That’s when I will curl up on my couch and read!

Take Care,
Megan @ PSB

* Editor's note:
Join our next virtual event!
Stacey's Semi-Satirical Solutions for Sub-cranial Sorcery
Have you also been experiencing headaches in a greater-than-normal frequency as of late? Here are some thoughts and solutions that could help.

1.      Cold compresses feel great on a throbbing noggin. Use a scarf to secure an ice pack to your cranium. Alternatively, cut your partner’s ratty t-shirt from the 90s (you know the one) into strips to use as securing material.

2.      Light sensitive? Use one of your clean face masks over your eyes instead of your mouth while at home. Doesn’t block out enough light? Combine it with a beanie (or other winter hat) pulled low across your eyes. If you were thinking of trying #1, the hat is an excellent way to combine both. Perfect your echolocation skills to get around. Squeak.

3.      Auditory sensitivity? Try wrapping scarves around your head (or scraps of a certain t-shirt) trying to mimic Isabelle’s “hair” from animal crossing. It might work, but if it does not, you’ll look almost as awesome as Blair Imani . (Suggested reading for when you don’t have a headache, Blair’s books! Making Our Way Home and Modern Herstory )

4.      Caffeine can help with headaches, but it can also aggravate your symptoms. Start with a small cup of coffee. No improvement? Add a second, larger cup of coffee. Keep going until you use all the coffee in the house. You might feel worse, but at least you’ll be so caffeinated you’ll see through time. Tell us what happens next… on second thought, don’t.

5.      Sensitive to electronic screens? Have lots of emails in need of responses? Print them. All of them. With everyone staying inside, pollution has greatly decreased, so you don’t have to feel as bad about your ecologically destructive behavior. Write your responses out by hand. When completed, hand them to your kids to type up and send. Enjoy the non-zero chance your emails will be much more entertaining than you intended.

6.      Stop letting the cat bite your scalp (I’m looking at you, Inspector Gadget). If they haven’t been biting your scalp, try encouraging them to do so. Maybe their sharp little teeth will hit a pressure point and cause some relief.

7.      Hair grown so long your ponytail gives you a headache? Cut that sucker off at the base! You’ll be left with a charming “quarantine chic” haircut for whatever season follows The Season of Isolation.

8.      Accept that you were a snake-oil salesfolk several past lives ago - this is just retribution for all the headaches you’ve caused. -- Stacey
Need some inspiration?
One of the things I miss about “normal” life was all of the audiobook-listening time that I had in my day. Typically, about two-thirds of my reading is in audiobook form—I listen on the train, while I’m waiting for my morning coffee at the bakery near my office, while I’m at the gym, while I’m walking home from the bookstore—you get the idea. I find audiobooks peaceful and immersive, and those are feelings I want right now, so I’ve been brainstorming and experimenting with how to incorporate audiobooks while I’m home. 

Here are some of my ideas: while I’m doing the dishes (it seems like I’m ALWAYS doing dishes now), while going for runs or walks around the neighborhood, while coloring in a coloring book ( this one is my favorites ), and while cooking. I’ve found that adding audiobooks into my day is something that makes me happy, and I think a lot of you could find that as well. Now, for how I’m listening: I use both , which is an audiobook service that lets you choose an indie bookstore to benefit from your purchase, and Libby, which lets you access books through your library. I got a Boston Public Libraries “e-card” specifically to use Libby, and it’s been great.

And as for what to listen to: I’ve been listening to a lot of romance novels because I like knowing that a happy ending is coming. Recent favorites include Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev and Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore. I’ve also been listening to two gender-bent Sherlock Holmes series—the Charlotte Holmes novels by Brittany Cavallaro and the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas. These are both mystery series that aren’t too thriller-y or gory, which is a nice break from many mysteries. I’ve also found that re-listening to old favorites can be extra-comforting. 

Happy listening,
Bedtime Stories
Meaghan is back and once again in costume. She reads from Neil Gaiman's classic, Coraline.
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 Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Much like me, the last thing Norris wanted was to move across the country, leaving his friends (and his hockey team) behind to go to high school in Texas. It's hot, it's sticky, and it might as well be another planet. Guess he better find a way to make the best of it...or escape. This book charmed me, in spite of my resistance to go back to the land where football and church are the same thing. 
-- Caleb
We Want to Hear from You!
Where is your favorite place to read in public?
Cafe/Coffee shop
Public park (On a bench, on the grass, etc.)
The beach!
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