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Our physical store is closed, but you can still shop online!

DUE TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF SALES & THE LIMITED NUMBER OF BOOKSELLERS THAT CAN SAFELY BE IN THE STORE WE ARE RUNNING SEVERAL DAYS BEHIND IN PROCESSING ONLINE ORDERS. This is a wonderful problem to have and we are so thankful for your support. Please see the website for more details.
Shelf Stable: June 15th
"Intelligence does enable you to deny facts you dislike. But your denial doesn’t matter. A cancer growing in someone’s body will go on growing in spite of denial. And a complex combination of genes that work together to make you intelligent as well as hierarchical will still handicap you whether you acknowledge it or not." Octavia Butler, Dawn
I have a lot of books.

I know, your mind is BLOWN by that revelation. A person who works in a bookstore?? Having a lot of books?? WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?? I've always been a person who has a lot of books because I love reading, but now, surrounded by them every time I work, constantly taunted with book after book that looks amazing and how can I live with myself if I don't read it RIGHT NOW, well, the problem has gotten worse. And to make things even more of a pain, I moved earlier this year, and my once very organized shelving system became "throw everything somewhere so I can get rid of boxes and not think too hard." It was the right call to make at the time, except now I can't find anything anymore and that's an issue when I'm looking for something, anything, specific. 
So yesterday I decided, enough was enough. I took EVERY SINGLE BOOK off my shelves and put them in a pile, then went through them, sorting them into piles: shelve outside my room, shelve inside my room, and a box that was initially giveaway but then became store in the attic because actually parting with the books was too hard a thought to bear. For now. Maybe I'll convince myself otherwise once I'm actually finished. I try not to hold too tightly to things I know I'm unlikely to read soon, but there's a part of me that wants to believe I'll read every book soon. Even if that's physically impossible. 

Anyway, I'm still not done. My room books got shelved neatly because I was using my bed as an organizing surface and had to finish before I went to sleep, but the ones in the hallway are lined up as out of the way as possible in roughly alphabetical order. Hopefully, I'll get those off the floor and onto the shelves today before my roommates (or I) trip over them. Then I just have to figure out what to do with the millions of old pre-Disney Star Wars books.

Did my obsession with sorting and organizing books come with my bookstore career, or is it why that's the career I drifted towards? You'd have to ask my mom to be sure. But I'm pretty sure my books were alphabetized in high school, so that might give you a hint. 

Anyway, back to work! Hopefully by the time you read this, I'll have beautifully organized shelves surrounding me.

Yours bookishly,

Shana (who may or may not be buried under a pile of books right now)
Join our next virtual events!
A Bookseller's Bloomsday for Binc - June 16th at 7PM
Celebrate Bloomsday with Booksellers from around the country. Join  Loyalty Bookstore 's Hannah Oliver Depp and our own Josh Cook as well as other booksellers as they read their favorite passages from  Ulysses , discuss the book, answers your questions, and perhaps enjoy an adult beverage while they do. A great event for  Ulysses  aficionados, the Joyce curious, and readers who just miss eavesdropping on the booksellers chatting behind the counter.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Binc,  the Book Industry Charitable Foundation , which serves to help booksellers through trying financial times, times like right now!
Jabari Asim with Porsha Olayiwola, Stop & Frisk - June 19th at 7PM
Please join us for a virtual Juneteenth poetry reading to celebrate the release of Jabari Asim's newest poetry collection,  Stop & Frisk: American Poems , with Porsha Olayiwola ( i shimmer sometimes, too ), hosted on Crowdcast.

In  Stop and Frisk , Jabari Asim ruthlessly interrogates entrenched injustice and its insidious echoes. Part rap sheet, part concept album, Asim lays down tracks that add conviction to our collective broken record: What could be more American than pretending truths were self-evident when they seldom were? Drawing defiant inspiration from the news and the Blues, these poems arrest our attention and burn grooves into us. These starkly revelatory poems expose the dark heart of our nation and call for a reckoning—the only way out before everything breaks / into hurt, noise, and ever after. 

This event is part of our Be the Change: Community Action series. A portion of Porter Square Books online sales for June 19th will be donated to Black Lives Matter Boston, along with any direct contributions from the audience via Crowdcast's Donate button.
Antiracism Books: A Place to Start
Digital Audio Books:
A terrific way to support local indies!
The Power of Preorders!
Preorders are a great way to support PSB and the authors you love! You can see all of the books from the future we're excited about here. But you can preorder more than just what we're excited for! Simply look for "Available for Preorder" in the inventory status.
Virtual Bookseller
Want book recommendations, personalized just for you?

Fill out our form with your likes and dislikes, genres and favorites, and we'll crowdsource a bunch of great picks for you with our crack team of real life booksellers. Give it a whirl!
Old Hollywood: From Page to Screen

Les Français Ecivains
Hollywood had no qualms about mining authors for source material and early on they found many French novels to be just what they were looking for. After all, it was the French – the Lumière Brothers – who, along with Thomas Edison, are considered the Fathers of Cinema. 

A national hero, Victor Hugo’s many novels were adapted for the movies; none more than  The Hunchback of Notre Dame .  Starting in 1905 with a short film made in France. Then the British made a silent picture in 1922 and in 1923 Lon Chaney starred in a version produced by the uncredited Irving Thalberg. However, the Hollywood version that tops them all is the extravagant 1939 film with Charles Laughton and making her American screen debut: Maureen O’Hara as the fetching Esmeralda.
Victor Hugo’s  Les Miserables  (1862)  - the Lumière brothers made a short film in 1897 (extant)  - has been produced dozens of times for the screen. William Fox produced a silent feature in 1917 with William Farnum as Valjean. The first talking picture was with Walter Huston in 1929; this was followed by dozens of adaptations. The most important Hollywood version, nominated for the Best Picture Oscar, was made in 1935 and starred Fredric March, Charles Laughton and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. Described by one critic as “a colorful mess”, the most recent  Les Miserables  was a musical version produced in 2012 and starred Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe. 
Camille , based on the novel  La Dame aux Camélies  (1848) by Alexandre Duma,  fils  was first produced in 1915; a 1917 silent starred  vamp du jour , Theda Bara and was shot in Fort Lee, New Jersey.  The most celebrated silent  Camille  starred Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino. Produced by Irving Thalberg, the best-known talking version of  Camille  came from M-G-M and starred the incandescent Greta Garbo and Robert Taylor as Armand. 

Alexandre Duma’s, père adventure,  The Three Musketeers , was first made in 1916 in Hollywood. This popular novel was used as source material for over 40 films.  The most famous is the M-G-M 1948 splashy Technicolor version starring Gene Kelly, Lana Turner, June Allyson and Vincent Price.
Jules Verne provided many novels for adaptation – His novel  From the Earth to the Moon  was made into a short film in 1902 with the title  A Trip to the Moon.  His book  Around the World in Eighty Days  (1873) was first a silent film in 1919 and then a 1956 block buster winning Best Picture Oscar and produced by Mike Todd.  The Mysterious Island  (1875) was made into films in 1929, 1941, 1961. That novel was a sequel to Verne’s book  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,  also filmed many times, including a 1954 version produced by Walt Disney with James Mason as Captain Nemo.

Gustave Flaubert’s classic 1857 novel,  Madame Bovary , has had the Hollywood treatment, as well as many international versions. A French film was produced in 1934; a German version in 1937 starring silent screen siren Pola Negri; in 1947 there was an Argentine production and finally in 1949 Hollywood made its classic and well-received version with Jennifer Jones as Emma and Van Heflin as Charles. Interesting trivia:  Lana Turner was set to star in this M-G-M adaption, but had to withdraw due to pregnancy.
Hollywood first made Author Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel,  Le Fantôme de l’Opera  in 1925 with Lon Chaney as the Phantom and Mary Philbin as his beloved Christine. Chaney did his own ghastly makeup, which many found shockingly gruesome. Interesting trivia:  Universal Studios created a sound version of this film and released it in 1930; it grossed over a million dollars.   The Phantom of the Opera  was remade in 1943, 1962, 1989, 1998 and in 2004 as an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical.

Many French authors have provided filmmakers a treasure trove of novels, short stories and plays to create lasting films for Hollywood and beyond.
On doit dire merci et magnifique!    Nathan
Next Up:  The 1980’s
Audio Book of the Month
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, narrated by Amir Abdullah

Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.

"Tristan Strong is a book about memory & storytelling, a clever reimagining of African & black American mythology, & a fun, fast-paced ride! Boxer Tristan feels he's failed his best friend & let down his family. When he accidentally punches a hole to another world, he'll have to rediscover his strength as he fights alongside legends like John Henry, Brer Rabbit, & Anansi. Tristan's voice is tough, tender, & hilarious; his story will appeal to adventure lovers of all ages."
-- Kate, about the hardcover version
Need Some Inspiration?
We’re nearing the summer solstice and these long days are certainly getting hard to fill. I find myself desperate for inspiration these days, especially as I’m getting bored of some of my favorite activities that I’d normally crave time for. When I need inspiration the most, I go for a long walk. Miles and miles, if possible. I despise running, and will only think curse words when I force myself to jog, but walking brings rumination and thoughtfulness. Yes, I’m basically pretending to be Thoreau. This spring I spent as much time as I could walking around neighborhoods in Somerville and Cambridge, writing story outlines and emails in my head, or picking out houses that I’d live in if I could afford them, and admiring gardens that ranged from precious to extravagant. I’m doing the same thing in Maine now, as well as taking advantage of local hiking spots. A friend on Instagram was posting pictures of every weird or benign thing she found on her walks around the city, and following her travels was entertaining and delightful. 

Earlier this spring the city of Somerville shared a list of self-guided historic walking tours . And of course, the state parks and beaches are open again! But maybe you want to plan a longer walk for the future. The store is stocked with hiking guides for every corner of New England . Or maybe you’d rather gain inspiration from somebody else’s journey. For that I recommend The Salt Path: A Memoir by Raynor Winn about a couple who walked the South West Coast Path in England.
Do you miss chatting with us about books?
Now you can sign up for a time slot to chat with a bookseller! Currently starting on weekends between 10-4. Up this weekend: Josh on Saturday and Meaghan on Sunday!
Shop the store!
Alert! New bookseller bundles available now!
Our 'get 3 paperbacks' bundle options have expanded to include Caleb, Meaghan, and Shana! Get 3 paperbacks handpicked by the bookseller that fit in with their theme. You can find all bundles HERE.
Journals, Stationery & Crafts
Sometimes a new notebook is what it takes to get the juices flowing!

We have now made a much wider variety of notebooks, journals, and even calendars available for order from our website, like this classic Moleskin . Now, along with items with an inventory status of "On Our Shelves Now," you can order journals, notebooks, diaries, calendars, planners, and more with an inventory status of "Available at Warehouses."
Book Bundle Offerings
Father's Day Gifts

Father's Day approaches! We've come up with a great list of gifts for you to browse from - socks, puzzles, books, joke books, oven mitts - all your favorites from the store! Remember to place your order early in order for us to have it ready for you in time for the holiday itself. Hope your dad or the guardian in your life loves it!
Face Masks
Face coverings are going to be with us for a while, so we’re now offering non-medical grade cloth masks (including kid size) from a variety of makers. Right now quantities are limited, but additional styles are on the way. We’ll keep you posted!
Bedtime Stories
An oldie but a goodie: Octavia Butler discussing transcending barriers.
And Shana is on for a bedtime story tonight at 8:45!
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!
June staff picks are live! Please note that many of these staff picks were chosen prior to recent events.
Featured Pick for Kids

Join Chirri & Chirra for a charming and whimsical day riding their bikes under the sea. Beautiful illustrations and a simple, gentle story.
-- Katie
Featured Pick for Adults

At times baffling, at times exuberant, at times your curmudgeonly profession uncle who doesn’t like smart phones, at times breathtaking, The Dreamed Part is less a book and more a mind-altering substance. Fresan writes about and towards that pliable mental state between waking & dreaming. A tremendous literary accomplishment with some of the most amazing prose about books & reading I’ve ever seen in a novel.
-- Josh
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Book recommendations for yourself
Book recommendations for someone else
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See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
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