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 23
"What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die." Anne Lamott
I know that I’m a little ahead of the game, but I've been thinking a lot about how we’re only a little over a week away from Pride month. As a queer young woman, Pride month means a lot to me, and I am truly sad that this year we’ll have to move to virtual Pride events. For me, after I came out—and even before—having queer community around me changed my life. And for me, although Pride isn’t perfect, going to the parade and the festival always made me feel like I was surrounded by love and by people who might be strangers but who felt like friends. Missing out on that this year feels like a big loss to me, especially at a time when community has taken on a new shape and when I have often felt distanced from the communities that bring so much joy and support to my life. (Including my Porter Square Books community of both customers and coworkers.) As a result of all this, I’ve been seeking new ways to connect to queerness in the past few weeks, and books have really helped soothe my soul. 

Last week, I marathoned a grouping of queer (mostly young adult) graphic novels, and it gave me such an intense surge of love and that sense of community I’ve been looking for that my mindset around Pride this year started to shift. I’ve moved into novels this week as well, and I’m starting to feel more optimistic about new ways to connect to queerness this Pride. It’s also important to support queer authors, and especially debut authors this year (two recommendations below!), so here are some of the things I’ve been reading!

The graphic novels that captured me last week and started this reawakening of hope and connection were Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (really sweet love story that squeezed my heart with joy), Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (a lovely not-quite-love story with stunning art), Bloom (Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau ) and Check, Please! Book Two by Ngozi Ukazu (both feature baking and young gay men as they start to figure out life after high school). 

This week’s move into novels included three debut novels. First, the wonderful, completely original and unique The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall. I also picked up two more novels—my new favorite adult romance Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner (this one comes out on Tuesday and may be a staff pick soon…keep your eyes out *wink*) and my current read, The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar (also a good choice because Eid al-Fitr begins tonight!). 

I hope that some of you are able to find community in the books you’re reading this week, and for all of those feeling the absence of Pride this year, I’m sending you love and I hope that some of these books can offer you a sense of the love and community of Pride. 

With love, 
Join our next virtual event!
For Our Community, From Our Community: In Loving Memory
Yesterday, our fearless leader and co-owner Dina Mardell orchestrated something pretty amazing. In memory of her mother, who recently passed away, Dina chose to donate 500 bundles, totaling 1500 books, to Cambridge students receiving meals through Cambridge Public Schools during this time of closure. Dina's mom was an educator who would have loved to see the excitement and joy on these young faces as they became the proud owners of their own set of brand new books. We're all incredibly touched by this wonderful tribute; the generosity of spirit that inspired Dina to honor her mother in this way is a testament to the way she was raised. These values are a part of her mother's legacy, and this is the sweetest reminder that they live on in our community.
Thank you to the City of Cambridge and to Vice-Mayor Alanna Mallon for helping to orchestrate - and thank you Dina for constantly modeling what leadership looks like, even in the most challenging of times.

For those feeling inspired, remember that you too can help give back in so many ways, including by donating your own bundle to local students in Somerville and Cambridge through our website here.
For our community, from our community.
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!
Meaghan's Book Playlist # 2
I’m a sucker for a “Best of” list. Last week, Paste posted a list of the top 25 albums released in 1970 . Spoiler that’s not a spoiler: there were a lot of bangers. Their top album for 1970 was one of the two albums Van Morrison put out that year, Moondance . (The other was His Band the Street Choir , which is a less cohesive album, but gave us tunes like “Domino” and “Call Me Up in Dreamland.”) After the middling pop of his solo debut Blowin’ Your Mind! (1967)—which did give us “Brown-Eyed Girl”—and the hard left into the folk mastery of Astral Weeks (1968), Moondance solidified the Van Morrison sound that was both artistically rigorous and commercially successful and set the standard for later albums like St. Dominic’s Preview (1972) and Into the Mystic (1979). The tracklist on Moondance is too good to really mimic, but if you love Moondance as much as I do, here’s a book playlist that might pique your interest.
- -Meaghan

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
Need Some Inspiration?
It’s a beautiful weekend and all I can think about is going to the beach. I’m sure I’m not alone! But going to the beach isn’t feasible for everyone, so why not recreate a beach scene at home or in a nearby park? Just grab a towel, some sunscreen, and obviously a good book. First lie on your stomach while you read, and periodically flip over and try to find the best reading angle from your back. Sunglasses and sun hat are totally optional.

I once heard a great argument for defining a beach read - for some people it’s the dense book they’ve been waiting to read until they have time, which is often on a beach vacation! That being said, here’s some beach reads that are on my list. -- Heather
All Adults Here by Emma Straub
Sea Wife by Amity Gaige
Beach Read by Emily Henry
(I also just really have a thing for yellow book covers right now!)
Shop the store!
Journals, Stationary & Crafts
Sometimes a new notebook is what it takes to get the juices flowing! Browse our new online selection of journals, diaries, coloring books, and pen sets.
Book Bundle Offerings
Make your shopping easy by buying bundles, handpicked by our expert booksellers!

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!
New style now available:
Bedtime Stories
Meaghan reads from Jane Eyre in this installment of our nightly 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!
Are you missing out on our recommendations, pining for our Staff Pick display?? Our May crop of staff picks is now live on our website! We'll feature titles throughout the month, but you can browse the full list at the link below. As ever, all staff picks are 20% off -- so go crazy!
Featured Pick for Kids
A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

A Wish in the Dark is brilliant - how many Thai inspired fantasies have you read lately? None? I say go for this one!

Featured Pick for Adults
The Golden Age by Roxanne Moreil, illustrated by Cyril Pedrosa

A high fantasy adventure of peasant uprisings, stolen thrones, and secret treasure, The Golden Age is a winner for YA and adult fantasy fans. The artwork is simply magnificent, drawing inspiration from Disney's Sleeping Beauty. The intricate, fluid line-work and astonishing palette will marvel readers. -- Marika
A Porter Square Books Choose Your Own Adventure!
Feeling pretty silly, you start reciting the recipe. "One duck egg. One and a half cups of flour, sifted. A cup of sugar. Eight tablespoons butter..." The duck begins to slow - you read faster and louder. "Melt the butter! Combine wet ingredients! Sift together flour and salt..." The duck has come to a complete stop, looking uncertain, if a duck can look uncertain. Roger scoots uncomfortably closer, until he's virtually underneath the large waterfowl. "Let cake cool on drying rack! Add a duck! And voila... duck cakes. Serve with goose pie."

Looking pleased, the giant fanged duck sits just as you've finished reading the recipe...right on top of Roger's foot. "Ow!" both squawk. Roger pulls his foot free, wincing, but clearly unwilling to disturb the duck overmuch.

"Did we.. did we do it?" you ask.

"Only one way to tell," Roger says grimly. You watch with baited breath as he carefully lifts the bed resting atop his head and--steps out from underneath it. For a moment, you're all quiet, and then you erupt into cheers. "Huzzah!" shouts Summit, still entangled in a length of rope. Even the duck quacks in what seems like approval.

"Roger, you're free!" You watch as he throws his arms around the still-knotted up pirate, burying his many eyes in the man's shoulders. You give them a minute, but -- " we work on freeing Summit, and uh, getting me home now?"

Summit straightens. "Mystical traveler, as wise as you sometimes seem to be - cannot you see that I am bound now not by magic nor trickery, but only by loyalty and admiration? I am set to sail the wildest sea of all: I navigate now the foam-tipped waves of love." He casts a fond look at Roger, and the ropes binding him fall loose around their feet. "I am free."

Of course, just then, a horrible scream rents the air. The Witch is on the way.
Do you...
Run away to find someplace safe, where - you hope - Roger can help you get home.
Send the fanged duck into the hallway as a distraction. Good luck, new friend!
Hold your ground. You can't leave this place without confronting the Witch.
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
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