Porter Square Books has a new edition.
Seventeen years after opening on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, the bookstore has added a second location — in the Seaport District, of all places.
The new store, which opened Monday, occupies the first floor of Fifty Liberty, a 14-story condominium tower that overlooks Fan Pier Marina. (If you know where Anthony’s Pier 4 used to be in the Seaport, nearby is where you can now purchase novelist Colson Whitehead’s latest.)
Called Porter Square Books: Boston Edition, the new store is about half the size of the original location, and includes a selection of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. The bright, sleek space is bisected by moveable bookcases that can be closed like doors, allowing the store to host readings and other events.
“It can be a bookstore by day and a stage by night,” said David Sandberg, co-owner of Porter Square Books.
The bookstore is part of a joint venture with GrubStreet, the nonprofit creative writing center that recently moved its offices to the second floor of Fifty Liberty. A small cafe will open soon in a space adjacent to the bookstore.
While Amazon’s e-commerce expansion over the past two decades continues to pose an existential threat to independent bookstores, there are signs of life. In addition to the new Porter Square Books, Posman Books opened on Newbury Street last spring and another bookstore is set to open on Charles Street next year.
Sandberg, who was a lawyer before he and his wife bought Porter Square Books nine years ago, believes the pandemic has, paradoxically, had a positive effect on his business.
“I think people have been reminded of the value and importance of local retail,” he said.