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Shelf Stable: March 20
"Many times I have written something, and after it was published, I understood what I was saying." - Donald Hall
Hello readers,

I'd like to start by thanking you all again: we've been inundated with orders, recommendation requests, ideas, and well wishes. It's a lot different than having you all here in the store, and we're doing our best to safely keep you stocked with all your reading needs. Your patience and kindness in this time has been so appreciated.

I don't know about you all, but I've been craving creature comforts only: childhood favorites like Eva Ibbotson's The Secrets of Platform 13 ; well-trodden reads like A Prayer for Owen Meany  . I've been listening (again) to The Golden Compass on audio and my thoughts keep drifting to For Colored Girls Who've Considered Suicide (When the Rainbow is Enuf) whose rhythms and dips I have followed with dancing fingertips many times before. I guess it's for the same reason that in winter we crave hearty soups or steaming mugs of honey-scented tea: they are warming, familiar. They speak to cycles we know and understand. I remember who I am without the worries and stress of these current days a little more clearly when I fall into a book I know; I remember that I am more than a pair of eyes scrolling across news tickers trying to consume this crisis. Falling into another person's words, I find I am more myself.

I hope we're helping you find your way back to your own corners of peace, even a little bit.

Stay connected, stay well, and keep reading.
all the best, Leila @ PSB

PS: Next time you wash your hands (for the millionth time today, if you're on our schedule) throw in an extra round of Happy Birthday as you scrub for co-owner, valiant champion of indies, and bookseller extraordinaire Josh, who is 40 today.
Events We Missed
Need some inspiration?
Feeling like you can't concentrate or get anything done? (Us, too.) Maybe you need a soothing art session to calm your nerves. And what would be better than drawing a soothing cup of tea?
The outline of a mug or cup is pretty simple (see above) - you could even find some outlines of mugs and cups online and print them. Then unleash your creativity on decorating them - with markers, gel pens, crayons; stickers or collaged magazine clippings. Have everyone in your quarantine pod decorate one and put them together to see your full set! And ask each other: what beverage would you be sipping on from your vessel? Who might own your cup? Maybe it was hand-painted by an artisan in Eastham going through a divorce; maybe it was found in the estate sale of the little old lady up the street. Maybe it's some sort of teacup genie in disguise! Let your own creativity foster more imaginings.

Kate Reads Mort by Terry Pratchett
We've shared a few of these reading videos already, but you've got to tune into Kate reading from Discworld classic Mort - she pulls out all the stops including some terrific dialect work. If you need to hear more, you can order your copy here.
Shelf Stable Exquisite Corpse
An "exquisite corpse" is a group writing exercise in which a story is built one line at a time. Someone kicks it off by writing one sentence on a piece of paper and handing it to the someone else. That person writes the next line, folds the paper so that only their sentence is visible, and passes it to someone else. This goes on until everyone in the room has added their line and then the "story" is read. With social distancing we ain't passing anything to anybody. So we'll do our exquisite corpse online. Here's your jumping off point:

The door refused to budge until you threw a handful of the beans (for they were the magical sort) and one skittered right into the lock, which clicked open at once.

Respond to this email with your next sentence. We'll pick our favorite and put it in the next newsletter. Rinse and repeat. Eventually, we'll publish the entire story on our blog.
Featured Staff Pick For Kids
Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad #1) by Scott Reintgen

This is a perfect series to tide you over while you wait for the second coming of the Hunger Games. While the "compete for survival" premise might sound familiar, there are plenty of sci-fi twists to keep you frantically turning the pages. And it's in space, where no one can hear you scream! Or CAN they....?  --Caleb
We want to hear from you! What section will you make a beeline for when we reopen?
New fiction!
New nonfiction!
Sci Fi / Fantasy, duh.
I want to browse gorgeous illustrated picture books!
Poetry is all that moves me these days.
Audio Book Of The Month
Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

" Oona Out of Order is a work of fiction that genuinely encouraged me to reflect upon my own mortality and the trajectory of my life. Oona wakes up on her birthday every year in a different part of her life. The difficulty this imposes is fascinating. Pop culture and music is ever-present, as Oona is a musician and chapter titles are taken from song titles or lyrics. What would it be to live your life out of order? To instinctively want to second guess and redo what you saw as failures? At the heart, Oona Out of Order is about mastering the art of living in the moment and it is a terribly fun romp."
-Rachel, Avid Bookshop
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
We'll get out our next issue as soon as we can between fulfilling and delivering your orders. In the meantime, don't forget about all the other places you can catch up with us from afar, on
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