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 9
Reading is going toward something that is about to be, and no one yet knows what it will be.
– Italo Calvino
One of my favorite things about working in an independent bookstore is receiving new books. Every Tuesday for the last several years, I’ve arrived at Porter Square Books to see carts filled with shiny new stories waiting to be shelved and discovered by readers. The last day I worked in the store (after it was closed to the public) was no different. I still stacked books high, organizing them by section before zooming over to the shelf. I still changed over the displays, setting up new books even though I knew it would be a long time before we would have customers in the store to browse them.

The browsing experience is unique to physical bookstores and impossible to replicate online. Every time I visit a bookstore I walk the shelves, on the lookout for something I didn’t even know I was looking for—a book that caught my attention because of an interesting cover or a gripping first page. I miss discovering new books more than I can say. And I’m absolutely crushed for all the authors releasing books into this maelstrom, books that no one will be able to discover by chance until bookstores are open once more.

Right now it’s easy to find the books you already had on your to-read list, but very difficult to stumble across a brand new treasure. If you’re looking for something new to sink into, might I suggest leaning on your favorite bookstores for recommendations? Here are just a few new releases that have caught my eye over the last few weeks:

We are Water Protecters , by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade (illustrator)
A beautiful picture book about protecting Earth’s water resources.

The Wonder of Wildflowers , by Anna Staniszewski
I was completely enchanted by this lovely middle grade book about friendship, overcoming prejudice, and joining forces for the greater good.

I have loved both of Ahmed’s previous books, and I expect her latest to be just as satisfying.

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea , by Maggie Tokuda-Hall
This is an exceptional young adult fantasy debut. I adored it wholeheartedly and wish it upon all of you. (This book will be released on May 5, but is available to order now!)

Rebecca @PSB
Authors We Miss
Elizabeth Wein Reads from Her Forthcoming Book
We're big fans of Elizabeth Wein, author of Code Name Verity and The Pearl Thief , so when she reached out to see if there was anything she could do to support us during social distancing we jumped at the chance. Here is a video of her reading a passage from her forthcoming middle grade novel The Enigma Game .
The Enigma Game is scheduled for release on May 26, but is available for preorder now! Featuring beloved characters from Code Name Verity and The Pearl Thief , as well as a remarkable new voice, this brilliant, breathlessly plotted novel by award-winning author Elizabeth Wein is a must-read.
Need some inspiration?
I have shelves full of cookbooks in my house. I can’t resist the beautiful photography and mouth watering descriptions, but I tended to spend more time flipping through them than actually cooking. In the time before, I’d see something I felt like eating and run out to the store to get all the ingredients, including some obscure spice I probably wouldn’t use again for a year. Now my approach to cooking has to change, as we’re all forced to get creative with what we have and we’re more conscious than ever of not wasting food. A bad situation was an opportunity for me to become more intentional about cooking and eating, so I brought the cookbooks off the coffee table and into the kitchen, and started from the index this time. 
First was potato skins with crispy chickpeas and lemon-chive yogurt dip from The Modern Cook’s Year . Leftover chickpea filling went into an easy quesadilla for lunch the next day, and a bowl of farro topped with a fried egg the day after. The insides of the baked potatoes became mashed potato pancakes.
I was briefly distracted from my cookbook project by Melissa Clark’s take on mujadara for NYT Cooking, immediately putting my stockpile of onions and the remaining herbs in my fridge to use. Hearty, savory, and comforting, this was my (carnivore) partner’s favorite, and I’ll be seeking out her cookbooks as soon as I’m back in the store.
I’m (clearly) not vegan, but I love Chloe Coscarelli’s cookbook Chloe Flavor . I don’t miss my beloved cheese and eggs in these recipes, and the longer shelf life of plant-based ingredients is a plus right now. I preferred this easy vegan rigatoni vodka to the traditional cream sauce.
Next, my favorite meal of the week. Cacio e pepe is the most wonderful pasta dish in existence, and Alison Roman’s take in Nothing Fancy is no exception. The rich, cheesy ditalini topped with chives and an egg yolk was perfectly balanced by Roman’s suggested accompaniment: bright, super lemony blanched broccoli.
Finally, we took advantage of the beautiful weather early this week to grill for the first time this year. Charred asparagus and lemon with millet-caper pilaf from Love & Lemons was the perfect spring meal, conjuring better days ahead out grilling in the sun. In the meantime, there is a great list of pantry-friendly meals on the Love & Lemons blog
For me, cooking has been an anchor, something to look forward to each day. It keeps my hands busy and occupies the limited amount of mental space I have right now, and at the end I’m rewarded with a delicious meal. Now go break out those old cookbooks, or order a new one to inspire you.

Bedtime Stories
More silly accents in this fun techno-fantasy tale from Kate's childhood, Artemis Fowl . (The author described it as "Die Hard with fairies," so, y'know, you really can't go wrong with this one.)
Meet us over at our Instagram story at 8:45pm for tonight's live reading with the wonderful Meaghan! Wonder who or what she'll be dressed up as tonight.
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
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Ready to be distracted by awkward teenage love? This book is filled with hopes and dreams of real characters and our protagonist, Amelia, glides us through all of it with much charm and comedy. --Sinny
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!
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