Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Anne’s Tuesday Table

The very first Anne's Tuesday Table
Monday nights, the back office and hallway is stacked with boxes of new releases. Stacks and stacks of boxes all stamped, stickered, and labeled for the following Tuesday. For whatever reason, (let’s go with “magic”) Tuesday is the day most publishers release their new books. Which means that every Monday, Todd, Robert, and Heather unpack all of those boxes and load them onto carts, so the new books will be ready when we open our doors at 7am on Tuesday morning.

Which means when Anne opens the store, she finds herself surrounded by carts stacked high with the newest of the new. Yes, for Anne, it is like Christmas every single Tuesday, if Christmas involved putting all the presents away and not getting to keep any of them. (So for most parents, I guess, exactly like Christmas.)

Over the years, Anne has become something of a connoisseur of the new book cart, so we found a table for her, to display the new books she thinks deserve special attention. Sure, there will be the big books everybody has been expecting, and that book on Fresh Air last week, but there will also be interesting books that have, for whatever reason (probably not “magic” this time) flown under the radar, books Anne herself has been waiting for, as well as whatever catches her eye. We’ll leave table up for the day, so all who stop by can see what Anne has picked out for them. We’ll also find time during all the shelving to post a picture & a list of titles for all of our internet friends on Books From the Future. Pictured is the inaugural table. Here are the books on it:

The Arsonist by Sue Miller (who will be reading with us tomorrow!)

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (In Paperback)

Latitude Zero by Dianna Renn (whose launch party is July 3rd.)

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Family of Bookselling

Eleven years ago several of us realized if we wanted to continue working with our wonderful group of colleagues we would have to start our own bookstore. And that is what we did. Three of us went on the road throughout New England learning what made bookstores successful. Plus, we kept focused on looking for a space in the area we felt would make a good place for the kind of bookstore we envisioned. We found much of what we were looking for in Porter Square, especially the parking lot.

We all worked hard to transform a dress shop into a bookstore. I remember how excited we were when the first shipment of books arrived, but quickly realized we needed many many more books. The neighborhood was patient with us and in less than a year we were on our feet and running. During our first year we found a neighborhood family to start and manage a café, which was something we knew would be important to our continued success.

We were supported by other wonderful bookstore owners, our local trade association NEIBA headed by two bright, fun, and insightful people, and the national organization, ABA, always looking for ways to help and challenge us to become a better business. I have found book people to be a great network for help, but also friendship. The past ten years have flown by. I will miss the customers who became friends talking about books, but also politics and the day’s events. Daily, I miss the “family” we call our staff who make PSB what it is, because they are warm, fun, engaging, and just really good people. But, the drive coming and going on Route 2 I will not miss. Plus, I need time to read all those books stacked everywhere in my house. I feel confident the new owners will bring the same passion for the book business to secure the ongoing success of PSB for many years to come. It was a great ten years. Many thanks to all the lovely people who I met and worked side by side with every day.

Jane Dawson

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Porter Square Books Index: Our Indie Decade by the Numbers

Inspired by the Harper's Index, we’ve compiled some of the numbers that tell the story of our first ten years. Some mark the inexorable march of time, others the changes the world has gone through over the decade, and still others our growth as a store.

Harry Potter Books: 2

Harry Potter Movies: 6

Special Orders Placed: 86,803 (The first order was for this.)

Generations of the iPhone: 7

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Books: 9

HBO Shows Adapted from Books: 6

Movies Adapted from Comic Books: 31

World Series Championships Won by the Red Sox: 3

Books sold in October 2004: 3,520

Books sold in 2004: 20,244

Books Sold All Time as of 5/22: 1,372,776

Customers Signed Up to Our Rewards Program: 56,969

Staff Picks as of 5/27/14: 688

Online Orders Placed as of 6/5: 11,503 (The first was for I’m Off, which is still available to order.)

Number of senators who have represented Massachusetts in the United States Congress including interim: 7

Number of home runs hit by David Ortiz as of 5/27: 317

Number of missions launched to Mars: 8

Broadway performances of Phantom of the Opera, as of 6/1: 4,028 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

10% off on the 10th of the Month

As part of our 10th anniversary celebration we will be discounting sections of the store 10% on the 10th of each month, leading up to our big celebration in late September. (Much more on that later.) For June 10th, the discounted sections will be Cookbooks in the adult section and Hardcover Childrens Picture Books. Here are some great books that will all be 10% off on June 10th.


Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress 

Pickles, Pigs, & Whiskey 

A Family Meal 

Eating with the Chefs 

VB6 Cookbook 

Pok Pok 


The Day the Crayons Quit 

A Lion in Paris 

The Almost Fearless Hamilton Squidlegger 

The Sweetest Fig 

 Three Bears in a Boat 

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