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. Five or fewer books per order if possible.

We are happy to fulfill other orders, but will not be able to process them until at least May 18. Other options: try  or - keep it indie!
Shelf Stable: May 11
 “Love conquers all things; let us, too, yield to Love.” – Virgil *
One of the questions we will face in coming days is how to reckon with loss. How is it to be withstood? What are we to learn from grief, whether that which we share with others, that is only our own, or that we merely observe?

I have wondered how many times hearts can break. How many times, before they can be put back together. I have wondered how much gets lost and cannot be found again, pieces of it remaining behind, living only in memory, half-forgotten in the past. At some point we learn what it means to lose something irreplaceable, for something to go out of the world that cannot be brought back, we who remain behind seeking to hold onto it, our arms stretching out into the dark. And yet no thing so deeply loved is lost entirely.

Having reached Carthage in Book 2 of Virgil’s Aeneid , Aeneas tells Dido of the fall of Troy. He tells her how he lost his wife Creüsa as they fled from the burning city, escorting their young son and his elderly father through the ruin. No longer finding her with him at the gates, he runs back into the city, crying out for her, praying, pouring out his tears, mad with grief. She comes to him, already a phantom, and tells her foolish husband not to grieve; it avails nothing, for he cannot now take her from this place, and it is the will of heaven that she stay. Aeneas speechless, she foretells his lot over the ocean, the coming kingdom of Rome, happier days, a royal marriage – all the things that must be without her. Banish your tears for your dear Creüsa, she says. "And now farewell, and guard safe the love for our common child."

These things said, she leaves him "weeping, and wishing to say many things," and draws back into thin air. And, in lines you carry with you for years before you know them truly, "Three times having tried there to put my arms around her neck, three times the spirit held in vain fled my hands, just like the fleeting wind, or a fading dream.” When he returns to his assembled comrades, they wait for him to guide them. The star of the morning is rising over Mount Ida. He puts his father upon his shoulders, and leads them up into the hills.

In Chichester Cathedral lies the tomb of a countess and an earl. The female figure is dressed in a veil and wimple, a mantle covering her long gown, her legs crossed beneath, a sleeping dog at her feet. The male figure wears a coat of armor, a lion crouched in the dog’s place. His right hand wears no glove; instead, her hand rests in his. Seeing the pair, the poet Philip Larkin observed that it seems at least to prove “Our almost-instinct almost true: What will survive of us is love.”

If you would like, you can find Virgil’s Aeneid and Larkin’s Collected Poems

James @PSB

* “Omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori.” The former phrase is inscribed in my mother’s wedding ring, as it was in those of her parents.
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Old Hollywood:  From Page to Screen
The 1950’s
Despite the on-going Black List and the onslaught of television in the 1950’s, Hollywood continued its run of cranking out countless feature films.

The decade begin with two incredible blockbusters:   All About Eve  (1950) from a story by Mary Orr and starring Bette Davis, and Gloria Swanson’s comeback film  Sunset Boulevard  (1950) – written and directed by Billy Wilder.  Interesting trivia:  Claudette Colbert was the original star attached to  All About Eve , but injured her back and had to drop out.  Fasten your seatbelts indeed. 
Although the title comes from Robert Lindner’s book,  Rebel Without a Cause was inspired by a story by Nicholas Ray, the movie’s director. Starring James Dean and a radiant Natalie Wood in her first adult role – both were nominated for Oscars.  Marlon Brando, much like Dean, was a reluctant movie star, but he had a busy decade starting with  A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) by Tennessee Williams;  The Wild One (1953) based on a story by Frank Rooney;  On the Waterfront (1954) story and screenplay by Budd Schulberg with Brando winning the Best Actor Oscar.  Interesting trivia:  Deemed too much an unknown, Marlon Brando lost the role of Joe Gillis in  Sunset Boulevard to William Holden.
There were many literary adaptations during the Fifties including;  Kim (1950) by Rudyard Kipling; C.S. Forester’s  The African Queen (1951);  A Place in the Sun (1951) based on the novel by Theodore Dreiser;  Peyton Place (1957), best-seller by Grace Metalious; Colette’s  Gigi (1958);  Imitation of Life (1959) based on the 1933 story by Fannie Hurst starring the incandescent Lana Turner and  Some Like it Hot (1959), a comedy directed by Billy Wilder, who adapted the story by Robert Thoeren and Michael Logan.  Marilyn Monroe shined as the glorious Sugar Kane.

Science Fiction was popular during this period so Hollywood offered many films in that genre:   The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) based on the book by Harry Bates. H. G. Wells’s  The War of the Worlds (1953);  It Came from Outer Space (1953) by Ray Bradbury;  20,000 Leagues under the Sea (1954) shot in Technicolor, adapted from the novel by Jules Verne and  Forbidden Planet (1956) loosely based on William Shakespeare’s,  The Tempest.

Alfred Hitchcock had a banner decade, directing such films as:  Strangers on a Train (1951) book by Patricia Highsmith;  Rear Window (1954) based on a short story by Cornell Woolrich;  To Catch a Thief (1955) novel by David Dodge;  Vertigo (1958), considered Hitchcock’s masterpiece, based on the novel  D’entre les mort by Boileau-Narcejac. Interesting trivia:  In 2012 The British Film Institute named  Vertigo the greatest film of all time.

Many films may be found at

-- Nathan

Next Up:  Dickens at the Movies
Need Some Inspiration?
Zoom Tea Parties

My friend, Shirley, suggested that we have a zoom tea party because why not? My original idea was to make one pot of tea and chat. Shirley, on the other hand, had more grand plans! She was bringing matcha tea complete with a bowl and whisk, a sakura tea, and more. So I stepped up my tea game and made: houjicha (roasted green tea), golden buds milk oolong, masala chai, and candy cane crush. And this turned out to be the most fun I've ever had during a zoom chat! I highly recommend making time to have tea and/or coffee zoom parties with your friends and family. I also recommend having the party earlier in the day because the caffeine might keep you up until 3AM if you drink that much caffeine in the evening (ha!).If you need some book inspirations on tea, oh dear, I have so many recommendations.

Tea: history, information, and recipes

Tea: fiction/fun stories and more

- Sinny
Bedtime Stories
Kate's Mom brings us right back to childhood with a reading from Brian Jacques' Mossflower. Is there anything better than a mom reading you a bedtime story???
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
Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

It's rare that I find a book that so perfectly balances the drama of middle school and family problems with the drama of being able to break through the fabric of reality. Add to that the brilliant humor, a fascinating mix of characters, and the mouth-watering descriptions of Cuban food, and you've got this gem of a book. You won't soon forget it. -- Shana
A Porter Square Books Choose Your Own Adventure!
You click on the witch's icon - can't hurt, right?

The call connects immediately, and you, Summit, and his rather flat-affected shipmates immediately clutch your ears: there's howling and shrieking and whistling coming through the speaker at once. "Oookay, I guess it can hurt," you mumble. "What was that?" the Witch yells into the phone. "Where's my rum? Hang on, the baby's crying." You hear a coo that's more curdling than soothing, but the howling abates.

"About that," you say. "The rum - I'm here with some pirates? Uh - so, what next?" "Dear me, you do need hand-holding, don't you? I might've gone to fetch it myself at this rate. You found the X that marks the spot, didn't you? Start digging!" A dial tone reverberates in your ear.

"I thought there was nothing but that phone there," you say to Summit, who looks uncertain. "Best listen to your witch," he advises, and, since no one moves to help you, you kneel to the sand and start to dig. It's mere moments later that you feel something cool and smooth under your fingers, and a little wriggling prises it loose.

It's a tiny bottle filled with amber liquid - seemingly too small for any recipe - and a tag, somehow entirely clean, that reads "DRINK ME."
Do you...
Drink the bottle. We're in this far, right?
Pocket it - it must be some magic rum for the recipe. Back to the book!
Stick with your new pirate crew. Neither witch - nor book - seem trustworthy.
Audio Book Of The Month
The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

Fatima is a concubine of the sultan of the last emirate in the Iberian Peninsula to submit to the Spanish Inquisition. When her dearest friend, Hassan, a mapmaker who can map places he has never seen (and that do not always exist), is singled out by the Inquisition, she flees with him and a jinn, following the trail of the elusive and mythical Bird King, who may or may not be able to grant them sanctuary. Wilson’s latest novel is rich with the historical detail, lush description, and fantastical elements that we have come to know and love from her. A story of resistance, freedom, seeking, and strength, and a true fable for our times.
--Anna Elkund, University Bookstore
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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