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 4. Other options: try  or - keep it indie!
Shelf Stable: May 5
The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story. — Ursula K. Le Gui n
Hello everyone,

I was feeling stumped when trying to come up with inspiration for today’s Shelf Stable intro letter. Nothing has really changed… Whenever I chat with my mom, she usually asks me how my week is going. I pause and respond, “Pretty much exactly like last week, only slightly different.” She nods (we’re on FaceTime so I can see her do this), and I ask her the same question. Then it’s her turn to pause and say, “Pretty much exactly like last week, only slightly different.” Thinking about it, though, that is actually a really great thing to be able to say. It’s not something that applies to everyone. I’m thankful our family hasn’t lost anyone to COVID. I’m also thankful there are so many great medical professionals on the front lines, and my heart breaks for what they and their patients are enduring.

So! Hopefully, next time I talk to my mom, I can continue to say that everything is pretty much the same. In the meantime, we’ll keep texting about books and sharing pictures of our cats (the above picture really doesn't convey how big her black cat Pepper is, but suffice it to say he is LARGE).

Be safe and well!

Until next time,
Join our next virtual event!
Carter's Picks to Stock a Nursery

I can’t believe it, but my wife is three weeks away from giving birth to
our first child (a boy!). We’ve spent the last few weeks setting up the nursery
and fretting about the world that we’re bringing him into. But we’re excited
to meet him and give him the life that we’ve imagined for him.
Another thing that I’ve been thinking about are what books we want to have
for our little one. I get asked a lot at the store for book recommendations for
new parents and newborns. So here are some of the books that we’re looking
forward to adding to our shelves. Some you may know, but hopefully there
will be a new favorite or two in the list. Enjoy!

Thank you,

To Right of Text: Babymoon
by Hayley Barrett, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
It’s all about those first few days with the baby, nesting, cuddling, resting.

I love that you see babies from all kinds of families and situations here.
My wife loves Selena, so she had to include this one on our list.
Really fun text that introduces baby to the parts of his body.
Babies love looking at other babies and this is one of the sweetest books of
this type out there.
A book about the love between father and son? Yes, please.
Inspirational text with inspired design. This is a gorgeous book.
Great introduction for baby and his new world; with simple black-and-white
My wife is a children’s librarian and this is one of her favorite songs to sing,
so of course we have to get the book.
Baby won’t be ready for this for a while, but this is one of the most enjoyable
books to read aloud.
Need Some Inspiration?
Hope you all had a lovely Star Wars Day yesterday!
I’d like to say that I’ve been thinking a lot about Star Wars lately because of this pseudo-holiday, but the truth is I’m usually thinking about Star Wars. It’s the first movie franchise I fell madly in love with, the first that set me dreaming up my own stories to tell. As a kid I often struggled to go to sleep (lots of problems with nightmares, the curse of an overactive imagination (and a way-too-early exposure to Shelley’s Frankenstein )) so I would entertain myself imagining myself in fresh new Star Wars stories.
Even today there’s a dovetailing of my quest for creative inspiration and that galaxy far, far away. I just finished reading The Art of the Rise of Skywalker , and once again loved seeing how the Star Wars story team is so heavily influenced by images. So much of the creative process behind those movies begins with art, whether it’s specific character design or a more “kitchen sink” concept art approach. I’m often the same way when it comes to writing (I tend to be very sensory when it comes to creativity but that sounds like another couple posts so we’ll just focus on sight today). Oftentimes, especially when I’m worldbuilding (or when I’m stuck), I’ll lose myself in art, whether it’s a deep dive into a fantasy artist’s Instagram, an art-of book, or a re-visit to a favorite graphic novel. This never fails to get the creative engine going. It helps me think of what other people see when they look at the world, it helps me imagine how other characters or places might look (especially those outside my own experience), and it usually snowballs in the best way. When I’m working on comic scripts I often expand things to film in order to refresh and restock on camera angles and movement, but it’s just as helpful when I’m working in prose. The point is, if you’re struggling with writer’s block, why not see your way through?

-- Caleb
Bedtime Stories
Shana was back again last night as bedtime story maestro, reading from 'Star Wars: Lost Stars' (there's also a manga edition)!
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
The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton

I've been searching for a book with the same vibe as A Knight's Tale forever, and fellow readers, this one delivers. This fun modern take features a diverse cast and a gutsy protagonist who's ready to smash the patriarchy with a stick. ("It's called a lance... hello!")

-- Kate
A Porter Square Books Choose Your Own Adventure!
You pull the lever with the cake. An overhead door grinds open, and you're suddenly showered with cake. Sponge Cake. Someone has a sense of humor. You take a moment to grab a hunk of cake, munching while you question how all of this was behind a door in your apartment. At the same moment you realize you're suddenly up to your waist in watery sponge cake, you hear the thunderous beat of paws approaching. Suddenly, you're showered in bits of wall as a giant Cerberus comes bursting in, fat tongues lolling and scooping up cake. Caught up in the rush of water, you're swept down the newly opened corridor. The ink inside the book started to smear and...form new words? "Rum and rummy / you'll lose both / beware the one / with the wicked cloak." Perplexed, you come to a ladder and follow it down into a room with several offshoots. One is boarded up. One has a new paw print mark overhead. One you'll have to crawl through. One exudes the wonderful scent of baking sponge cake.
Do you...
You follow the delicious smell. No such thing as "too much cake."
Take a chance with a new animal and go down the hall with the paw print.
Rip the boards down and go through the blocked-off hall. You've had enough.
Decide to crawl, because that definitely won't go badly.
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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