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 9
A man's bookcase will tell you everything you'll ever need to know about him.  Walter Mosley
I’ve finally made a list of projects to accomplish in quarantine. One of them is literally “clean your room”. But others include, “mend jeans”, “re-season cast iron pans”, “oil wooden spoons and cutting boards”, and “get pit stains out of white t-shirts” (sorry, is that gross? But also if you have tips on how to do this, please send them along). I’ve told myself I have to accomplish one of these projects a week. I like these tasks because they’re small, manageable, and things that in a normal world I probably would forget to do in favor of something more fun or relaxing. I’m a natural procrastinator. 

My goal with these projects is mostly to feel like I’ve done something in a particular week. As I’ve normalized to my quarantine lifestyle I’m finally able to look around and see what needs fixing. I find these projects grounding. 

One project on the list is culling my bookshelves. I have an entire bookcase that’s my TBR pile, some titles which have been on there for years. It’s almost shameful the amount of times I’ve moved them from one apartment to the next and still haven’t read them. (But not shameful enough to stop me from purchasing more books!) If there is ever a good time to Marie Kondo my shelves, both of the books I have read and the books I haven’t, it is while quarantining. There are several little free libraries in my neighborhood that I’m sure could benefit from a stock of freshly sanitized books. 

In addition to freeing up my TBR pile, this cleansing act also literally brings to light some books that have been buried behind others and waited patiently for me. I read Where’d You Go, Bernadette in a matter of days, and next up on my list is The Power . After that maybe I’ll finally start Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. And maybe this will be the year that I’ll read Moby Dick . I realized just how aspirational this book is by discovering that I own three copies of it. By the time you read this, two copies will have been distributed to little free libraries of Somerville. 

--Heather @ PSB
Join our next virtual event!
Sinny Cooks: KFC (Korean Fried Chicken)
For the adventurous cook: I give you KFC (Korean fried chicken)!

Unfortunately, the recipe that comes with this photo is not online and can only be spotted inside Korean Home Cooking by chef Sohui Kim, but I can vouch for this recipe. It is the real deal!

The sauce came out to be enough for two batches so I went for it and had KFC twice in one week. IT WAS WORTH IT.
-- Sinny
Need Some Inspiration?
When the shelter-in-place order first came down, I thought that at least this would give me lots of time to work on my embroidery, which I hadn’t touched in months. The guest book at my wedding was a tablecloth signed by all the guests, and I have (very) slowly been embroidering over the signatures. I got married in 2017, and it’s still only about 10% done. Finally, I’d finish the tablecloth!

I still haven’t touched it. I just didn’t feel like it, endless stem stitches did not seem a compelling reason to open the embroidery box. Every day I’d look at it and feel guilty that I wasn’t doing anything. 

Then, a couple weeks ago I was paging through  Embroidered Life: The Art of Sarah K. Benning  and I found myself getting excited again. This led to browsing Instagram accounts (some favorites:  sarahkbenning,   maggiejosstudio gisellequinto ) filled with embroidery, and eventually to Sarah K. Benning’s pattern program. I bought a pattern, then a week later transferred it to fabric. This morning I started stitching. 

I needed that period of passively admiring the work of others, slowly storing up ideas and noticing what I would have done differently, before I could work up the motivation to get started myself. If you’re in a rut, try following artists you admire online and just taking it in, without any pressure on yourself to start. Maybe that’s as far as you get for now, but the seed will be planted and waiting for you when you’re ready. -- Katie
Bedtime Stories
Caleb shares an old favorite, Taran Wanderer. No vocal cords were injured in this reading. Well, not permanently.
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
Eek, You Reek!: Poems about Animals That Stink, Stank, Stunk by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple, illustrated by Eugenia Nobati

This fun, dynamic collection of poems highlights animals that stink! Stellar illustrations featuring expressive animal characters and detailed backgrounds accompany each poem. With actual facts in the poems and strong back matter, this book will appeal to everyone from goofy kids to teachers. --Marika
A Porter Square Books Choose Your Own Adventure!
You toy with the idea of putting in Kanye's favorite security code of 111111, but decide you've got the book - might as well see if you can find any clues. You open to a random page. The page is blank except for six numerals: 111111. "Huh," you say to yourself.

You enter the passcode, and instantly the smartphone unlocks. Summit the Pirate gapes, and his pyramid cohort echo his expression one by one. "Sorcery," Summit says reverently. "A shipmate who can harness such power would not go amiss on our decks. Have you ever considered a life of piracy?" Fellow pirates nod, bobble-necked, around him.

You look more closely at the phone. There are only a few buttons: the Call function, the Address Book, and the Kobo eReader app. Feeling a little like you know where this is going, you click on the Kobo app, and see one book downloaded. It has no title, but you recognize those symbols: it's the ebook of the same tome you're holding.
Do you...
Open the e-version in Kobo - maybe it's easier to decipher in this format.
Click on the address book to see if there are any useful contacts.
Give the phone to the pirates in exchange for rum. Maybe you'll join them!!
Go back to the paper book. It's brought you this far!
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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25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140