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. Pay with a credit card

We are happy to fulfill other orders, but will not be able to process them until at least April 7. Other options: try  or - keep it indie!
Shelf Stable: April 1
“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey.
They are home.” – Anna Quindlen
Hello friends,
It's been a Good News day for us today: we learned this morning that Porter Square Books was named 2020 Bookstore of the Year by Publishers Weekly ! This is the first time in 10 years that a store in New England has won the yearly accolade, and it means a tremendous deal to us. ( Especially as we really respect and admire the other shortlisted stores !) Not only is this a recognition of the hard work that our staff put in on a daily basis, but it's a reflection of the incredible strength of our ties to you, our community.

The reasons that we might've been selected to win--our work with local schools via the Porter Square Books Foundation , the Be the Change and Salon series, the book fairs we put on, our Writers in Residence program , whatever else caught the judges' eye--all of this is inspired by you all. More than that, your support is what makes it possible. Our philosophy and mission all comes down to serving our reading community, to meet your needs and answer your wants and of course to slip that title you didn't know to ask for into your stack - and so you have shaped us from the start. We can't thank you enough.

A good news day is of course extremely welcome right now. We've all had a lot of Bad News days recently, and, in truth, there's still bad news happening out there, even now while we're feeling warm and loved up. Right now, we have to hop onto the islands of comfort as they appear. In the midst of the anxiety and uncertainty we're all feeling right now, allow yourself the small celebrations: the joy of being immersed in a fantastic new read; a moment of pride in the sourdough loaf that rose so tall; even a laugh that catches you by surprise. You deserve these good things. And if you don't have something to celebrate, well: here's your invitation. Share in our good news, because it is truly ours, together.

Raising a toast to you all,
Leila @ PSB
Events We Missed
Need some inspiration?
It's April, and it's National Poetry Month!

I'm a believer that we all have a little poetry in us, waiting to be tapped into. It's not about being a master of the craft - it's about letting yourself feel delighted, stymied, in awe of the ability of words to convey movement, imagery, rhythm, feeling - in such a myriad of ways. If you follow any poets on social media, you might've already heard of the "30 for 30" challenge - write a poem every day of the month - even better if you're willing to share your progress. It's very much about writing practice, without any expectation of perfectly polished final results, so you can dial the pressure way down. A favorite of mine, Sarah Kay , posted a great thread of resources on Twitter.
A few of Sarah's poetry writing prompt suggestions include:

And the Pittsfield, MA-based WordXWord festival has a 30x30 challenge " that, essentially, asks you to take your mind to the poetry gym, everyday for a month." They'll be running daily prompts on their website here , plus there's a Facebook group you can join for support.

Keep Sarah's words in mind with this - she's been performing her poetry for many years , since she was a teen, and she still finds it difficult! Don't beat yourself up if you can't make it happen every day, or try challenging yourself to read a poem a day if writing one seems like a lot. (The Academy of American Poets' Poem-A-Day can help with this.) That's pretty inspiring, too! - Leila
Meaghan Reads "The Speckled Band"
Meaghan, in blue-sideburned splendor, reads Arthur Conan Doyle's self professed best Sherlock Holmes tale: "The Speckled Band." Don't forget to tune into our LIVE nightly Bedtime Story, 8:45pm on Instagram!
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 Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Much like me, the last thing Norris wanted was to move across the country, leaving his friends (and his hockey team) behind to go to high school in Texas. It's hot, it's sticky, and it might as well be another planet. Guess he better find a way to make the best of it...or escape. This book charmed me, in spite of my resistance to go back to the land where football and church are the same thing.  --Caleb
We want to hear from you!
Lots of bookstores are doing really creative things as we figure out how to sell books while our storefronts are closed. Some stores are selling mystery bundles, where you pick a certain value ($50, lets say) and a genre, and the store sends you a bundle of books. Another store has set up a fund where you can donate some money and the store will send a free book to someone else. We've been thinking ourselves about creating a subscription service of books selected by specific libromancers. Would you like to see us do any of those things? Do you have other ideas? Reply to this email to let us know!
Audio Book Of The Month
Deacon King Kong by James McBride

“Deacon King Kong is a quintessential New York story. Set in the Brooklyn projects in 1969, a perpetually inebriated deacon called Sportcoat aims a gun at the neighborhood’s main drug dealer in the public plaza and pulls the trigger. Incredibly well-constructed and hilarious at times, McBride’s story entwines a number of storylines that are kickstarted by this central event. The local Italian gangster, the veteran cop, the meddling churchgoers, and the drug pushers all have their own agendas, hopes, and dreams that are affected. And though Sportcoat doesn’t remember his actions and is always under the influence of gut-rot moonshine, I couldn’t help but root for him as I was reading this. His delightful ineptitude and absence of clarity made this book impossible for me to put down. If you’ve never read McBride before, this is a great introduction.”
--Stuart McCommon, Novel.
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