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  Book - keep it indie!
Shelf Stable: April 4
"You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend."
– Paul Sweeney
Hello Friends,

As the website's manager, I keep track of our online sales, where those sales come from, how people find the site, etc. With the exception of preorder or signed book campaigns, we don't formally keep track of the titles that are sold on the website, but, when you process orders and run the various reports, you sometimes notice what's selling online and what's not.

One of the things I'm really missing right now, is the opportunity to handsell my April staff pick, Wicked Enchantment by Wanda Coleman, to every single person asking for poetry or even just browsing in the poetry section. Even when I'm not there to make the hard sell, the staff picks display gets a lot of attention and I know even more readers will find her that way.

Obviously, staff picks sell really well at the store, compared to other books, but, not online. In general (or "In the time before COVID-19"), we saw very few online sales for staff picks, no matter how fast they were flying off the shelves in the store. This actually makes a fair amount of sense; when you know what you want, shopping online is easier and when you don't know what you want, shopping in store is easier. And though we've put a lot of working into creating something like a browsing experience online, in the form of our tagged online staff picks archive it isn't close to the ease of walking around the store. And until this very moment, that was fine, probably even preferred.

Is this letter a relatively thin contrivance to push Wicked Enchantment ? Duh. Yeah. But I'd still encourage you to click around our staff picks archive. You can search by genre or by bookseller . It's not the same as walking through the stacks, but it's the best we can do at the moment and "best we can do at the moment," seems like a pretty noble goal to me.

Yours in books,
Josh @ PSB
Events We Missed
Need some inspiration?
In addition to working at the store and running school book fairs, I work as an author, illustrator, and educator. Here are some fun drawing games my students have enjoyed that the entire family can work on together! If you like these, check out Raina Telgemeier's  Share Your Smile Making Comics  by Lynda Barry, and  Maker Comics: Draw a Comic!  by JP Coovert.

Jam Comic
Everyone folds a piece of paper twice, once hamburger-style, once hotdog (also known as once vertically and once horizontally). This creates 4 rectangles. Set a timer to 3-7 minutes. In the top corner, everyone draws the first panel in a comic. When the timer goes off, pass your paper to the left. Set the timer. This person's job is to draw the next panel in the story! Repeat until you have at least 3 panels (see below).
Panel 1: Start the story.
Panel 2: Make something happen!
Panel 3: Give it a cliffhanger or an ending.
Panel 4: Bonus!

3 Line Game
Draw 3 lines on a piece of paper. (I like to fold it as in the jam comic, so you have 4 to work on, but you don't have to.) Give the paper to someone else. Their job is to turn these lines into pictures!
Monster Variation  (from Lynda Barry's  Making Comics ): Draw a big squiggle and give it to someone else. Turn it into a monster! Give it to someone else to color. Someone else gives it a background. Someone else names the monster and draws the monster's family. Pass it again and make a 1 page comic about the monster!
Bedtime Stories
Unless you caught the action live, you may have missed Meaghan's Strega Nona-inspired reading from Calvino's Italian Folktales. . Strega Meaghan. Meaghan Nona. Strega Meghanona?
Meet us over at our Instagram story at 8:45pm for tonight's live reading with Kate!
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
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, & You by Jason Reynolds & Ibram X. Kendi

Jason Reynold's " Stamped Jr" is a great resource for kids and adults who want to talk to kids about the systemic racism rooted in our country's history. Reynolds weaves together historical moments (some that students may have studied in other contexts, others totally new) in a way that connects them to a larger picture and to today. His playful asides make it feel far from textbook reading; perfect for at-home study. Highly recommend the audiobook from - you'll really feel like you're hanging out with Jason Reynolds in your living room! --Leila
We want to hear from you!
*Send your entry by Thursday!* For some reason, we've been thinking about the apocalypse lately, (insert joke about moving dystopian fiction into current affairs) which, of course, got us thinking about the Apocalypse Team game. The rules are simple and presented here in their bookish version. Build a team with three realistically human or animal characters from literature. So no picking characters with magic or super powers or anything like that. Once everyone in your group has assembled their team, each person makes the argument for why their team will survive the longest. Debate until a winner is chosen or you get sick of debating. Rinse and repeat with whatever other rules you want to add.

Respond to this email with your Literary Apocalypse Team and your argument for why you'll survive. We'll pick a favorite and share the winner in next Thursday's shelf. The winner will get a stack o' galleys sent to them via media mail!
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