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 17
“There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be.” Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
"The time is out of joint,” Hamlet laments in Act I scene v.

He’s referring, of course, to the state of affairs in Denmark--and perhaps, too, of his own mind--having just seen the ghost of his father and learned that the former king was murdered by his own brother. But those words may have been eerily prescient for their own writer: in 1603, a year after Hamlet’s publication, a wave of the black plague hit England that would continue off-and-on until 1613, shutting down theatres for a total of 78 months over that time-span.

The line has come to my mind over and over again during the strangeness of self-isolation. I feel like I’m in that Dali painting, time both stretching out and snapping short, never quite sure of the day or hour. Lately, I’ve been diving into books with that same sense of  weirdness .
I just cracked open  Finna a slim and absorbing novel about a big-box furniture store whose confusing layout has a tendency to create inter-dimensional wormholes. Of course, corporate has defunded the branch of the company who was supposed to deal with the whole wormhole issue, so it’s up to two underpaid retail workers to journey into this bizarre and dangerous multiverse. I’ve been thinking about  The Hike   a lot, a book I read years ago but has stuck with me, a dizzying, time-warping, utterly unpredictable work about a businessman who sets out for a brief walk in the woods. (It features a profanely philosophical blue crab and a number of twists that somehow just  make sense,  in that dream-logic way.) And ironically, the last book I picked for book club before this all started was  Neverworld Wake , which features a murder mystery at the heart of a nightmarish time loop. 
Back to the Bard--Shakespeare, of course, managed to get a lot done during quarantine,   possibly penning King Lear  during the summer outbreak of 1606. As for the rest of us… what day is it? Where did April go? Why am I still in my pajamas? Oh, it’s night again? Guess I might as well live in them.

Yours in books,

Kate @ PSB
Join our next virtual event!
Sinny Cooks "Garry's Stir-Fried Cabbage with Garlic and Chile"
There are days that I want to cook 5-course meals and there are days like today, in which, I want something  simple  and easy. I love Ottolenghi's Simple for that reason. Today's lunch is Garry's stir-fried cabbage with garlic and chile served with rice. I'm sorry I won't be able to share the entire recipe since it's not available online, but I can assure you that the cookbook is worth it, and you'll end up making at least 20 more easy recipes from there. However, I can give you a list of the ingredients I used! Please enjoy with rice, cheers!

-- Sinny
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sunflower oil (I used peanut oil)
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 red chiles, seeded and cut into roughly 3/4-inch/2cm pieces
  • 5 green onions, cut on an angle into 1 1/4-inch/3cm pieces
  • Napa cabbage, leaves separated and roughly torn in half (the grocery store didn't have Napa cabbage, so I used bok choy)
  • salt
  • 1 lime, quartered, to serve
And that's all the ingredients you need (it's super cost-effective too)!
Face Masks: Now Available from PSB
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!

Left: Plaids and Hawaiian flowers
Flowers and fun patterns
Plaids, stripes, and more flowers
Solid colors in pastels and brights
Need Some Inspiration?
A direct and compelling headline
I feel like I should be reading a record number of books right now. I’m home all the time! I can’t see my friends! But somehow—OK, I know why—I have been struggling to read a lot of days. My brain is just too confused and all over the place to focus on a book a lot of days. It’s just easier to go on Instagram for two hours than it is to tune my brain in to a book.

This week’s attempt at getting more reading done (and making myself feel some warm fuzzies inside) was reading graphic novels, and on nice days, reading them outside (and leaving my phone inside while I do). Graphic novels are quicker reads, giving me a sense of accomplishment when I finish one a day, but they can still have substantive, emotional, well developed stories that are able to envelop me. I’ve been especially focusing on YA graphic novels this week, and they’ve brought me a lot of joy.
I read two very sweet romances: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman and Bloom (above right) by Kevin Panetta. They were charming and lovely and squeezed my heart in the best way.
I also finally read Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and while it’s more about self discovery than romance, it’s absolutely wonderful.
If you’re also struggling to read right now, I recommend picking up your equivalent of a graphic novel—maybe for you it’s a stack of comics or a sci-fi novella or a romance (I’ve been reading a lot of these recently too) or a middle grade book—something that can suck you in enough to distract you a bit from everything going on around us. If it’s a nice day, maybe go out on your porch like me, backyard, or front stoop. I hope this week we can all find a way to read a little bit—and hopefully get that warm feeling inside that I found this week.

-- April @ PSB
Bedtime Stories
Meaghan returns with Boy, Snow, Bird!
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 Pick for Kids
I'm Sticking with You by Smriti Prasadam-Halls, Steve Small (illust.)

A charming and fun story of enduring friendship…perfect!

Featured Pick for Adults
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

This is the book I turn to when I need cheering up. Set in a crumbling English castle populated by a quirky and delightful cast of characters, the diary entries of the witty, charismatic, and "consciously naive" Cassandra Mortmain make up a coming of age story so utterly charming that I couldn't stop smiling while reading.
A Porter Square Books Choose Your Own Adventure!
You decide to turn back to the book for advice or so that you can corroborate Roger's story. Remembering he mentioned page 53, that's where you decide to start. "Wow, this page really needs some weeding," you think to yourself as you note the plethora of erroneous semicolons and unnecessary apostrophes. It does seem like Roger - or someone - had been working on that page. As you try to sift through the sea of punctuation and word soup, you happen to notice some words appearing real-time and try to parse the message.

"Oh bloody '''; ' I do think I chose the incorrect SQUID corridor. ; But'' it does not appear BEARS LEMON CAT LITTER that there's ''' a way out of this rather unruly PESTILENCE'';' ''' word garden."

It's hard to tell, but you think you can hear a familiar voice in the garbled language: Summit. So THAT'S where the right hallway goes. This would seem to suggest the Witch could easily appear in the book to seduce unsuspecting characters into a life of ...baking. Something Roger said keeps needling you. "That Witch seems to be many things," you think to yourself, while trying to keep a neutral face for Roger, "but in possession of a clever tongue does not strike me as one of them. They just seem to yell a whole lot."

You're beginning to suspect, not for the first time, that the only trustworthy character in this mess is Summit. You really want to rescue your piratical friend from the pages of a book (that you're strongly beginning to suspect is alive), you're even more curious about Roger and the Witch, but you also just want to read, dang it.
Do you...
Decide to ignore Roger for a bit and keep reading. Maybe there are more answers.
Follow the right hallway and hope you can rescue Summit.
Go help the witch with the cake and pump them for answers while you're at it.
Decide to trust Roger for the meantime and ask how to break the curse.
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
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
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