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 13
 Like wildflowers; You must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would." E.V. Rieu
Have you ever seen flowers so aggressively gorgeous it affected you emotionally?

Because that's how I've been feeling as I drive around Cambridge and Somerville. How are all these people planting such amazing flowers? Are tulips even real? Because some of those colors are way too deep and clear to exist outsize of an artist's imagination. And the LILACS. Lilacs have been my favorite for so long. I don't have any bushes of my own, but my mother very carefully clipped some for me to put in a vase, and now my entire kitchen smells of them.

I've never been especially into gardening, but I feel like that might change soon. I'm too in love with these flowers and their brilliant colors and amazing smells. How does one become a gardener? As a bookseller, my first instinct is to go to books . There are even ones that just focus on tulips ! I know just enough about the fascinating history behind tulip cultivation and the mania that fueled attempts to create rare and fancy tulips that I WANT to know more. Maybe now, with all this time spent at home, I'll finally try planting some flowers myself.

Or maybe I'll just do a flower themed puzzle . That's almost the same thing, right?

--Shana @ PSB
Gothic Tulips!
Shana's Vase of Lilacs
Join our next virtual event!
Sinny Cooks Panang Curry
Have you been missing your favourite Thai restaurant? One of my fav recipes that I keep in heavy rotation is panang curry. This is a vegetarian version, but it's easy to add meat/seafood as well. I use the store-bought panang curry paste which can be found in HMart, but you can also make the paste from scratch if you've got all the ingredients and tools needed. I'll include a recipe where everything can be made from scratch, but for all intents and purposes, here is my very easy version of panang curry!

  • 2-3 Korean sweet potatoes (or any potatoes you prefer)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1-2 large carrots
  • 2-3tbsp panang curry paste
  • 2 coconut milk cans (cooking not drinking)
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Heat stove to med-high then add oil, once the pan is hot, add the panang curry paste and stir for 3-5 mins
  • Add coconut milk
  • Add all chopped vegetables, bring to boil, then cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked
  • Enjoy with rice!

-- Sinny
Need Some Inspiration?
Today, I read through my backlog of Shelf Stable newsletters (just a few, but if you're interested, you can read through all of them here). I love seeing what everyone is up to, now that we can't chat in the offices or while shelving. Every few days I read about something someone is doing and think, "oh! I'm doing that, too!"

I read Josh's post on vinegars while drinking sparking water mixed with a spicy pineapple vinegar my partner and I made. Josh is correct: shrubs are really good. This weekend, my partner and I spent half a day starting various ferments from hot-sauces to garlic to lacto-strawberries. If you haven't tried lacto-fermenting berries, I highly recommend trying the next time you get your mitts on some! Here's the Noma recipe for lacto-blueberries; if you enjoy it, it's worth getting the book.

In other newsletters, Shana and Heather have posted their knitting. After years of focusing on small projects and making up my own patterns, I started quarantine with a pattern and the resolve to see it through. Okay, maybe the resolve was more an inability to do any creative work, but it meant for once in my life, I was able to follow a pattern. I've therefore been knitting up my stash. After seeing Heather's post on purchasing yarn for a sweater, I gave myself permission to purchase new yarn for a specific pattern, and am now following it, learning new skills along the way.

There have been a few hard days where it feels like I'm incapable of doing anything, but reading about fermenting and knitting I'm reminded that I am making progress on projects. They may not be the manuscripts I want to get to my agent, but they're something, and I enjoy them. And that, especially now, is enough. -- Marika
Bedtime Stories
Whoops, technical issues with last night's bedtime story with Meaghan! We'll have it on our YouTube channel soon, though. In the meantime, let's rewatch Shana's reading from Spindle's End :
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
I'm Sticking with You by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, illustrated by Steve Small 

A charming and fun story of enduring friendship…perfect!
A Porter Square Books Choose Your Own Adventure!
“I mean exactly what I said!” shrieks the cloaked figure. “I should have left you where I found you, in my rising-water-booby-trap! But nooo, I thought, they look so pathetic, I thought. You’ve been  looking  for a new assistant, I thought. So I sent Spot out to get you. Isn’t that right, Spot?” The hidden door to the room once again slides open, allowing someone to come bounding excitedly into the room.

Well, some thing.  It’s the Cerberus, three-headed pup of the underworld, which gambols up to its master, serpentine tail a-wag. “Oh,yes, Spot. Who’s my little hell-hound? Who’s my good widdle flesh-devourer?” They turn back to you, and so does the dog--suddenly you’re fixed in the gaze of eight cold eyes. “But I suppose you  did  get the rum for me, after all. So you’ll do. Hand over the rum, and for heaven’s sake, drop that monkey statue. It’s  very  cursed.”

You hurriedly set down the monkey statue, and with another wave of the witch’s wizened hands, the statue and bemused pirate crew all disappear, sent back to their own time.

You’re pretty sure you glimpsed Summit the Pirate sneak away past the three-headed dog and down the hall to the right--but you keep your mouth shut.

“Well, New Assistant. I suppose it’s been a long day. You can stay here in the kitchen and help me make the pineapple upside-down cake, or you can go to your new quarters and finally finish that book--down the hall to your left. Whatever you do, don’t take the right-hand corridor! It’s off limits. Or,” the figure’s eyes glinted beneath their cowl, “you could always take me up on that game of rummy.”
Do you...
Stay to help--that sponge cake did smell delicious, after all.
Check out your new room and finish the book. It’s been helpful thus far.
Follow the escaped pirate down the forbidden hallway.
Play cards with the witch. What’s the worst that could happen?
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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25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140