Porter Square Books and COVID-19

In order to continue serving our community during the COVID-19 crisis, we have added a number of services. This page will continue to evolve as things with COVID-19 change and develop, so check this page often. Sign up to receive our emails for the most up to date information.

UPDATE 5/24/2020: Curbside pickup will begin again on Tuesday, May 26, from 3PM-7PM and will continue at that same time, seven days a week. We have also updated our shipping options now that we have more access to the store. Those options are:


Curbside Pickup: Free. (Quick curbside note. You'll get an email from us, signed by one of our booksellers, when your order is ready for pickup. If you think your order should be ready, but you haven't gotten that email yet, please contact us at online@portersquarebooks.com instead of checking in at the store itself. Thank you!)

UPS Ground Shipping: $7 for the first item and an additional $1 for each additional item. This method will get to most addresses in 3-5 business days and often in 1-2 if the items you order are in the store. Choosing this shipping method also gives us the ability to have your order ship directly from the wholesaler’s warehouse which can sometimes be faster.

Local Delivery: $5 flat fee. This option will be available to customers who are shipping to Cambridge and Somerville.

Offset Costs Media Mail: $2.80 for the first item and an additional $.30 for each additional item. NOTE: Puzzles, games, gifts, and bundles are not eligible for media mail. Media mail generally takes 5-7 days to arrive but can take as long as 30 days and is uninsured.  

Providing Access: Free Media Mail on Us: Free. We don’t want the cost of shipping to be a barrier to someone getting a book. We also know that many readers will not feel safe to use the curbside pick up option. So, we will continue to provide a free media mail option. If a shipping fee does not present a barrier to you, we encourage you to use one of the other shipping options, as those fees help us cover the cost of free shipping. NOTE: Puzzles, games, gifts, and bundles are not eligible for media mail.

Cafe Zing

Cafe Zing is selling gift cards as well as running a GoFundMe to help pay their baristas during the shut down. Watch their Instagram for information about their Fresh Roll Tuesdays.


We know we're not just a place where you buy books. We're a place where you browse shelves and chat with friends and neighbors. As people stay home over the next few weeks it can be easy to feel lonely and isolated. So we are going to do as much as we can to make those other aspects of Porter Square Books available to our community. Follow us on InstagramYouTube, Facebook and Twitter for videos of us reading from our favorite books, talking about books, talking about reading, sharing polls and quizzes, storytime for many different ages, and anything else we can think of, so you can see some familiar faces no matter how long you may stay home. We'll also highlight authors whose events have been canceled and continue to have as much fun as we can. We'll also change our newsletter to incorporate a lot more bookish content. Sign up for Shelf Stable, our daily(ish) newsletter of bookish content.

Addition Items Available for Online Ordering

Some puzzles and games will be available for online ordering and delivery to help make the days go by. We're starting to make some puzzles, games, and other fun stuff for kiddos available for online ordes. Click here to see what we have. Please note: Puzzle and board games are not elibigle for media mail. All of our Kobo readers are also available for online purchase and delivery. We will continue to add gifts, items, and other fun stuff as things go along.


We are starting to add virtual events to our calendar. Make sure to check the event calendar for all the latest info.Following the lead of a number of other organizations and bookstores, we are canceling or rescheduling all of our remaining March events. To better support those authors, all of their books will be 20% off for the month. Whenever possible, we'll post videos or other digital media from the authors and try to arranged for signed copies and signed books. Whenever possible, booksellers will also read from canceled event books on our Instagram stories. 

Virtual Book Fairs

Many area schools have book fairs with us this Spring. If you do, we can convert it to a virtual bookfair in which all of the books are ordered online and then delivered to the school. If we are doing your book fair and you would like to convert it to a virtual bookfair, please email Marika at bookfairs@portersquarebooks.com.

Safety at the Store

We are following the lead of many other businesses and organizations by adopting heightened cleanliness strategies for the duration of the crisis. We'll have a sign on our front door listing all of those strategies. Our employees will also have unlimited paid sick leave during the crisis. If they are on the schedule, they will be paid even if they decide to stay home with health concerns. Even though the storefront will be closed, we will continue these protocols.