Open for Shipping, Delivery, & Curbside Pickup!

Our physical store is closed, but you can still shop online!
Shelf Stable: May 27
“Wherever I go, bookstores are still the closest thing to a town square.” ― Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road
I’m so excited. This weekend I’m traveling! I’m going to Maine for a month, and possibly the whole summer. Please know that I’ve just had a COVID test (thanks City of Somerville for the free test!) and I’m not leaving until my results are back. Assuming the results are negative, I’ll be driving up and quarantining myself in the family home for two weeks. I’m incredibly grateful that I’m able to have the flexibility and space to do this. 

Before I got the test I purchased two weeks worth of groceries and put gas in my car. Now I should really be packing clothes and figuring out what I don’t need. I keep telling myself that my essential oil diffuser isn’t necessary but somehow it keeps sneaking onto my packing list. After all, “essential” is in the name of the product!

The one bag I have packed, and will probably continue to repack this week, is my bag of books. I piled in a few too many hardcovers, a couple old paperbacks, and a stack of Advance Reader Copies. I’m not a fast reader, but is it ridiculous to bring ten, or twelve, or fifteen books if I only go for a month? I say no, because I’m also the kind of person who will bring two books on a day trip and only read a few pages of one of them. I’m highly aspirational, and I’ve never been an efficient traveler. 
I will probably change out some of the books I’ve already packed. Should I reconsider bringing Ducks, Newburyport ? (Josh, I know what you’re going to say.) It didn’t make it into my bag on the first round, but I think I’m going to consider it for the second round of packing. One book that will probably come out is Little Weirds by Jenny Slate. I’ve read this several times already because it’s one of my favorites -- if you haven’t read it I implore you to! -- but I have the audio on my phone so I probably don’t need to bring the hardcover with me (I bought the hardcover after listening to the audio because I loved it so much. Seriously, read this book!).

The hardest thing about packing is knowing what I will want to read while I’m away. I’m sure we’ve all been there, when planning for vacations or weekends out of town. My mood changes with the weather and the environment, and sometimes what I’ve packed just won’t work. But I’ve got a pretty good variety of genres, and I know my parent’s shelves are well-stocked too.   

Join our next virtual event!
Hot Tip: Kids' Newsletter
Do you have a young reader in your life, racing through what they've got on their shelves? Maybe you need ideas for your niblings' birthdays coming up. Or maybe you're a "grown up" who loves reading YA (us, too). Sign up for our kids' newsletter to keep up to date with popular new kids' titles, recommendations, activities and event reminders (our next one is with our very own Marika McCoola and features draw-along activities!). All curated just for you, by our children's book specialists.
Your first tip is free: don't forget to pick up your copy of the brand new Hunger Games prequel from Suzanne Collins, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - on our shelves now, each book comes with a Hunger Games patch! (OK, fine, all our tips are free. What a deal!)

Our kids' newsletter now goes out on the first and third Wednesday of each month.
Sign up below to get it delivered to your inbox.
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!
Cats Read Sci-Fi/Fantasy Too
Bookseller Shana's cat has inherited their love of Sci-Fi. Here are some of Mira's top picks!
Mira, like Sal and Gabi, loves breaking things, though she hasn’t managed to break the universe (yet). Plus, it’s her human’s staff pick, so she wants to make sure you know to get it before May ends!
As a fearsome predator who lets all sorts of feathers and pieces of paper and human toes survive every day, Mira can relate to the plight of Murderbot, who could kill the humans it’s supposed to be protecting, but chooses not to.
Mira especially likes this book because it has her name written on it! It’s a book about a zombie pandemic, and Mira’s named after the author, Mira Grant! She’s pretty sure she could take a zombie. She’s FIERCE. But her human really needs to listen to her and stop cutting her claws if they want to be safe! How do they expect to survive without Mira’s protection??
Of course Mira’s already read Gideon the Ninth! But she’s rereading in preparation for the sequel coming out later this year and wanted everyone to admire her cosplay! She’s wearing black robes over white face paint too! Sort of, at least!
Uh, Mira, I love Sandman too, but are you sure you don’t want to start with the first one? Dream Country is the third volume of the comic and… oh, oh right.
Of course you want to read the issue with the cat story in it! Fair enough.
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?
Skincare in quarantine

My go-to facial moisturiser is from MUJI's sensitive line, but unlucky for me, I'm almost out and MUJI doesn't have the product online. Cue 50 hours of researching skincare. There are so many aspects of skincare that I never knew I needed to pay attention to, such as: is this brand created by womxn, which brand is cruelty-free, which brand causes the least waste, which brand will not harm my sensitive skin?? WHY IS SKINCARE LIKE THIS. I just don't think that skincare should be that exhaustive, so I've gathered a few books on skincare for those interested in a more holistic approach, and a happiness recommendation also.
PSB Bookseller Sinny
Shop the store!
Journals, Stationery & 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
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
Bedtime stories will be winding down a bit since we're busy in the store filling all of your online orders for pickup (hooray!). We'll announce on Twitter when we'll have one coming up. Since we didn't have one last night, please enjoy Betty White reading from Harry and the Dirty Dog!
Shana will be back at the usual 8:45 time on InstagramLive tonight!
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
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.

Featured Pick for Adults
Tiny Imperfections by Alli Frank, Asha Youmans

A fantastic blend of romance, family, food, and dance in this send-up of private school admissions. 

-- Sarah
We want to hear from you!
What's the best option to get you your books these days?
I'm so excited for curbside pickup!
Standard shipping to my door in 1-2 days? Yes.
Media mail - I don't mind waiting another day or two for the lower price point.
I'm a Cambridge/Somerville resident - local delivery, baby!
I just can't wait to be able to shop *inside* the store.
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
Did you miss an installment, or want to share with a friend? The Shelf Stable Archive has all our past issues!
And don't forget to subscribe to our Events Newsletter for the full line up of events coming up, and our Kids Newsletter for all the latest on events, new books, reviews, and more for young and young-at-heart readers.
Looking for other ways to keep up with us? Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube:
25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140