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 8
" What are you reading? isn’t a simple question when asked with genuine curiosity; it’s really a way of asking, Who are you now and who are you becoming? "
 Will Schwalbe
It's started happening more and more frequently: I type in the phone number to text the person I just delivered books to and see that I've texted them before. I visited one house for the third time today. I remembered it because the person keeps getting excellent scifi/fantasy books I like. Specifically The City We Became by N K Jemisin and The Last Emperox by John Scalzi. Highly recommended, this reader has great taste. 

When the shelter in place started, I didn't know what to expect. It was Schrodinger's Quarantine, simultaneously over soon and lasting forever and no way to open the box and find out for sure. I didn't think about if I'd deliver books to the same customers over and over. There were so many other things I was worrying over and wondering about that it didn't even occur to me until it happened for the first time. Now it's been almost two months, and of course people need new books. I mean, reading's one of those few things we can still do, of course we're gonna go through a lot of books.

So I want to say thank you. Thanks for being so nice in your texts. Thanks for planting beautiful gardens that make me smile as I walk up to leave your books at your door. Thank you to the animals that stay still long enough to let me take pictures, though I'd be very surprised if they're reading this. Thank you especially to that dog that licked my hand. Thanks for taking our recommendations on twitter and using the virtual bookseller service. Thanks for reading Shelf Stable every night. And thank you, thank you , for continuing to shop local and support Porter Square Books. We absolutely couldn't do this without you.

- Shana
A Playlist in Books for Fetch the Bolt Cutters
When I write, I often make playlists for my main characters of songs they would listen to. It helps me flesh them out a bit in my head, to give them a sonic persona, and another way to relate to them: we both love one song, they love an artist I hate, a memory I have associated with a particular Van Morrison song gives a little color to the character’s experience. I’m also very good at procrastinating, and wouldn’t you know, making playlists is a great way to do that. In that same vein, I also like to make book playlists, if you will, to pair with certain albums, or vice versa. Today, I’ve got a book playlist for you. I’ll be picking one popular or classic album and recommend a few books that pair well. Today’s album, the one the internet can’t stop talking about, is Fiona Apple’s newest release, Fetch the Bolt Cutters . Apple’s new album ranges from caustic and noisy to moving and lyrical, but beneath the surface is a technical masterpiece and a constantly simmering anger. (That anger frequently boils over.) 

What follows are books by and about angry women, women taking power, resisting the places the patriarchy has made for them, and or just about women being their complex, messy selves.

Need Some Inspiration?
I am not a puzzle person. They’re just not my thing. I understand the appeal, but I’ve never really enjoyed them myself. So, instead of doing puzzles while we’ve been social distancing, my partner and I have been doing Legos. I think that, for me, it’s a particular type of calm to do Legos—it doesn’t take too much mental energy because there are instructions telling you what to do, but it’s still immensely satisfying to see a set come together before your eyes. We started with sets that I’ve had kicking around for a while—ones that I’ve gotten for Christmases and birthdays and never gotten around to put together, and then we bought one large set that will take us a lot of time to finish. 

One enjoyable aspect is deciding on what to have on the TV in the background while we build our Lego sets. In search of fun, lighthearted things to watch, we’ve settled on a few that have been truly delightful. This past weekend, we watched Frozen II while building about a third of our large Lego set, and after starting the new Nadiya’s Time To Eat (yes, Nadiya from Great British Bake-Off!) on Netflix, I think that will be our Lego-building background noise this weekend. I’m also hoping to watch Pixar’s Onward as well. I also made this lemon pound cake from Bon Appetit yesterday and I think it will be the perfect snack for some afternoon Lego constructing this weekend. (So whether doing puzzles or Legos or whatever strikes your fancy, I hope that you’re able to find that calm this weekend and watch something that brings you joy while you do so.

-- April
Bedtime Stories
We're back with Shana reading from Howl's Moving Castle.
It looks like he'll be doing a series of readings, for your listening pleasure. 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
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park

A half-Chinese girl in frontier South Dakota brings a new perspective to the pioneer story.

-- Sarah
A Porter Square Books Choose Your Own Adventure!
You were sent for rum so you decide you might as well ask for rum. "Hullo," you say, "where's the rum at?" "It would please us greatly to be able to provide an answer to your query for that would mean we are in possession of such an answer ourselves," said the pirate closest to you, who followed his statement by sheathing his sword. With a deadly blade no longer in your face, you notice the pirates look to be arrayed in a pyramid and all look, not identical, but as if the pirate at the summit of the pyramid were run through a photocopier several times. "One supposes that an individual so desperate for the acquisition of a potent grog that they would fall from the sky to secure it would not be opposed to an alliance that might prove advantageous for parties involved. Here let me show you what I mean?" Summit the Pirate, turned and, well, all of this is really a lot, you follow. Summit the Pirate leads you to an actual literal giant "X" in the sand on the beach. "Do not be fooled," Summit said, "for it is our firm and educated belief that this X is but the beginning of the puzzle for as you'll see, at the center is an object that utterly confounds our not insubstantial intelligence. Perhaps you can decipher it's meaning and use." You step forward and see phone? It is. You pick it up and turn it on. A number pad appears on the screen asking for the passcode
Do you...
Go with 111111, since it's good enough for Kanye
Use the Emergency Call function
Use the Camera Function
Look through the book for clues
Throw it in the ocean! There's no place for a phone in your magical adventure!
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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