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 May 4. Other options: try  or - keep it indie!
Shelf Stable: April 8
“I have always imagined paradise will be a kind of library.”
– Jorge Luis Borges
One day at a time.  Take it easy. Stay safe. Breathe. Stay sane. Just a matter of time. Keep calm and carry on. Cambridge/Somerville Strong.  

A cliché (derived from the French meaning to clink, as in the noise that a printing press makes), is defined as a phrase, or expression, that has become unoriginal through repetition and overuse. Or: an opinion that betrays a lack of original thought.

While thinking about the plight the world is now experiencing, and talking to friends and family via FaceTime, Zoom or telephone, I’ve noticed that we all seem to be using the same clichés over and over to describe this unnerving situation. And even though clichés are frowned upon as a lazy way to communicate, I’ve begun to think certain ones can be useful.  For example: One day at a time – sure, the future looks murky, and even grim; we have no idea what the aftermath of this plague will do to ourselves, family, society, country, world.  So, why dwell upon it? Why not just take each day, moment by moment, hour by hour, morning, noon and night?

The author Margaret Mitchell was not a great philosopher or thinker; nor was she, many say, a good writer.  But one thing in her book –  Gone With the Wind   – that stands out is the cliché – when faced with adversity her main character Scarlett O’Hara proclaims:  “I’ll think about that tomorrow, after all tomorrow is another day…”  Let’s face it, that philosophy is brilliant!  If you see something scary and threatening, just look the other way and think about it at another time and sure enough, it very well might not seem so frightening after all.

Nathan @ PSB
Events We Missed
What's your karaoke poem?
Tomorrow night is PSB's first virtual event! In honor of National Poetry Month, we're inviting you to join some of our booksellers for Poetry Karaoke - that works like normal karaoke, where we'd perform some of our favorite songs, except poetry. Now, everyone has a go-to karaoke song - don't bother denying it, we all do - so we asked for some of your favorites and gave you the poetry karaoke equivalent! Check out the full thread here.
Don't forget to tune into our first virtual event on Thursday, April 9th at 7pm! Join us to spend some time with familiar bookseller faces as we read you a sampling of our favorite poems, including:

-Josh reading César Vallejo
-Shana with some Bill Watterson
-Kate bringing the Ocean Vuong factor
And more!

Free and open to all, via Crowdcast. See you there. Pajamas welcome!
Need some inspiration?
As I'm sure you know, it's National Poetry Month. As a writer during national poetry month, I decided to click through my folder labeled "poetry" to see what I wrote way back in 2017 and beyond. I know there are more poems somewhere, but can't seem to find them (of course!). Last April was a very different time, and I found myself jotting down a short poem a least a few days each week, my way of making myself do a little creative work. The one stipulation for myself was that each poem had to begin "This morning."

Another round of poems are list poems, specifically of things I've seen while walking around the neighborhood, though you could easily do one based on things you can spy from your window or porch. Here are two from this week:

Tuesday Run

Flaccid gloves (blue and white)
sunscreen-tinted arms
Barbie sneaker: forgotten pink
daffodil-y blazing yellow
Porch couch (envy)
knees: reddened

Somerville (today, tomorrow, yesterday)

Bathtub Madonnas x4
  and St Francis guarding little gnomes
But the cement poodles pray, too,
looking up to heaven
     (I'm not sure about the lions)
And the pineapple are always in season

Bedtime Stories
We're on a Neil Gaiman roll, folks, and we're leaning into it. Last night, Stacey gave a fantastic reading from Gaiman's Neverwhere - she even inspired some of our own booksellers to pick up a copy!
Meet us over at our Instagram story at 8:45pm for tonight's live reading with the wonderful Kate!
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
Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

Ready to be distracted by awkward teenage love? This book is filled with hopes and dreams of real characters and our protagonist, Amelia, glides us through all of it with much charm and comedy. --Sinny
We want to hear from you!
*Send your entry by Thursday!* For some reason, we've been thinking about the apocalypse lately, (insert joke about moving dystopian fiction into current affairs) which, of course, got us thinking about the Apocalypse Team game. The rules are simple and presented here in their bookish version. Build a team with three realistically human or animal characters from literature. So no picking characters with magic or super powers or anything like that. Once everyone in your group has assembled their team, each person makes the argument for why their team will survive the longest. Debate until a winner is chosen or you get sick of debating. Rinse and repeat with whatever other rules you want to add.

Respond to this email with your Literary Apocalypse Team and your argument for why you'll survive. We'll pick a favorite and share the winner in next Thursday's shelf. The winner will get a stack o' galleys sent to them via media mail!
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
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube :
25 White St. Cambridge, MA 02140