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Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 52

Liz Cadman
ByLiz CadmanApr 15, 2015 | 27 comments

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 52 Box

Powell’s Books Indiespensable is a book subscription box that ships every 6 weeks. So many readers recommended this box that I had to sign up!

FYI – this subscription is currently sold out, but they open it up every month or so. (If you want an email alert when the waitlist opens, you can sign up for the MSA Powell’s Indiespensable waitlist email).

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).


The Subscription Box: Powell’s Books Indiespensable

The Cost: $39.95 a shipment (every 6 weeks)

The Products: Exclusive books and extras

Ships to: Worldwide

Check out all of my Powell’s Indiespensable reviews!


The box comes with a little booklet that details the items in the box, why they were chosen, and includes additional exclusives, like an interview with author Clair Fuller:



Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller

This is an exclusive hard cover designed just for Powell’s subscribers. I love the back too:


And the book is signed as well:


Synopsis of the book from Amazon:

Peggy Hillcoat is eight years old when her survivalist father, James, takes her from their home in London to a remote hut in the woods and tells her that the rest of the world has been destroyed. Deep in the wilderness, Peggy and James make a life for themselves. They repair the hut, bathe in water from the river, hunt and gather food in the summers and almost starve in the harsh winters. They mark their days only by the sun and the seasons.

When Peggy finds a pair of boots in the forest and begins a search for their owner, she unwittingly unravels the series of events that brought her to the woods and, in doing so, discovers the strength she needs to go back to the home and mother she thought she’d lost.

After Peggy’s return to civilization, her mother begins to learn the truth of her escape, of what happened to James on the last night out in the woods, and of the secret that Peggy has carried with her ever since.

Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Review – Vol. 52 ARC

The New and Improved Romie Futch by Julia Elliot

This book doesn’t come out until October, and this Advanced Reader Copy is another exclusive for subscribers.

Synopsis of the book from Amazon:

From the author of The Wilds, which Publishers Weekly called “a brilliant combination of emotion and grime, wit and horror,” comes a debut novel that is part dystopian satire, part Southern Gothic tall tale: a disturbing yet hilarious romp through a surreal New South where newfangled medical technologies change the structure of the human brain and genetically modified feral animals ravage the blighted landscape.

Down on his luck and still pining for his ex-wife, South Carolina taxidermist Romie Futch spends his evenings drunkenly surfing the Internet before passing out on his couch. In a last-ditch attempt to pay his mortgage, he replies to an ad and becomes a research subject in an experiment conducted by the Center for Cybernetic Neuroscience in Atlanta, Georgia. After “scientists” download hifalutin humanities disciplines into their brains, Romie and his fellow guinea pigs start debating the works of Foucault and hashing out the intricacies of postmodern subjectivity. The enhanced taxidermist, who once aspired to be an artist, returns to his hometown ready to revolutionize his work and revive his failed marriage. As Romie tracks down specimens for his elaborate animatronic taxidermy dioramas, he develops an Ahab-caliber obsession with bagging “Hogzilla,” a thousand-pound feral hog that has been terrorizing Hampton County. Cruising hog-hunting websites, he learns that this lab-spawned monster possesses peculiar traits. Pulled into an absurd and murky underworld of biotech operatives, FDA agents, and environmental activists, Romie becomes entangled in the enigma of Hogzilla’s origins.

Exploring the interplay between nature and culture, biology and technology, reality and art, The New and Improved Romie Futch probes the mysteries of memory and consciousness, offering a darkly comic yet heartfelt take on the contemporary human predicament.


And the extra item for this box is a ceramic coaster!

Verdict: I didn’t put a value on items in this review since you can’t buy them, so estimating values didn’t seem fair. I think they do an excellent job at putting together extras and exclusives for book lovers that separate them from getting values compared to discount pricing on Amazon.

I also love that they included an advanced reader copy in this box – it’s such a fun perk to get in a book subscription box! What do you think of the latest Powell’s Indiespensable box?

Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!

Liz Cadman
Liz Cadman
Liz is the founder of My Subscription Addiction. She's been hooked on subscription boxes since 2011 thanks to Birchbox, and she now subscribes to over 100 boxes. Her favorites include POPSUGAR Must Have, FabFitFun, and any box that features natural beauty products!
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Any ideas when this will open up again. Im losing my mind checking the website all the time lol


Meeeee too! I asked on Facebook when they were going to reveal/ship the next one and they only said “late May” without specifying whether that meant reveal or ship. The whole “every six weeks” thing is way off base. It’s more like every two months, maybe.


I was a teeeeeny bit disappointed about “Our Endless Numbered Days” because of no slipcover, and since the book came shrink-wrapped, I was concerned it wasn’t signed. But, phew, you show that it is! Yay!

I also don’t care for the coaster, and I guess I don’t put as much a premium on advance copies as other people do (but I used to work in journalism, so I was always inundated with advance copies of books, and I guess I don’t value them anymore). So this is probably my least favorite of the Indiespensible boxes I’ve received. Even so, I love this subscription! And i certainly won’t be cancelling any time soon, considering how hard it is to get back on the list!

Jenna Scott

I just started a Facebook group called Indiespensable book discussion. Please ask to join! Let’s get this group going!


“Romie Futch” isn’t the first advanced reader’s copy I’ve received from Indiespensable…so excited to receive another one, though! (They sent an advance copy of “We Are Not Ourselves” last year and it was incredible.)

I’ve already finished “Romie Futch” and I encourage everyone who’s skeptical to give it a shot. I was pretty skeptical at first as it’s not my usual fare, but it was well-written and hilarious!

Disappointed that they didn’t send a slipcase for this installment (it makes my collection look a bit off).

Has anyone figured out a good way to store all the little booklets they send? At first I tried to keep them in the slipcases but they don’t quite fit. I wish there was a good way to store/display them! Like a slipcase for just the booklets.


I collect signed books (which might be a smart thing as they go the way of the cassette tape) and I love this subscription. Signed first editions are always the most sought after, esp. If it’s an author’s debut novel. Try to find a signed first edition of Stephen King’s Carrie and you’ll see what I mean. The value in this type of subscription is not in the Amazon price, it’s in the curation and the love of the feel of a real book in your hands. I think Powells is doing an amazing job! This is my favorite sub by far!


I’m still kicking myself for selling my Indiespensable copy of “All the Light We Cannot See” to a used bookstore. Now that’s it’s won the Pulitzer I really wish I had held on to that signed, slipcover end first edition!


One thing to keep in mind.

This copy of “Our Endless Numbered Day” isn’t a signed first edition (first printing).

Since it came out after the first trade edition had been printed, it’s not even a first printing. It’s relegated to more of a book club printing which aren’t as highly sought after.

Even the ARC isn’t a true ARC.

I’m hoping this is the last time Powell’s decides to make “Indiespensable” editions.


Forgot to mention in my previous comment how much I love getting advanced reader copies. That’s the best bonus in these Indiespensible shipments.


I think the book is beautiful, but I’m a bit surprised it doesn’t have the slipcase like the others have had. I know it’s a bit silly, but I really liked that. Content-wise, I’ll be reading the book this week, but I’ve heard it’s wonderful.


I missed the special slipcase too!

Liz Cadman

I totally forgot to mention that – I wonder if they are doing away with the slipcases or if this box is just an anomaly?


At first look, I was kind of disappointed in the box. However, as I looked a little closer, I’m really excited about the advanced reader copy. I also loved how they included a little postcard in that book where you could give feedback. Incredibly cool.

I’m not super thrilled about the coaster extra, but I really liked the granola from the previous box. I like to have multiples of things, and one coaster that doesn’t match any of my other coasters is a little bit of a miss for me.

Shana in OR

Use it as a trivet in the kitchen for hot pots 🙂 That is what I am doing

Shannon P.

Now, that is a great idea!


This was my first box and I love it. I am super excited about both books. I have never had an opportunity to read an advanced copy of a book and cannot wait to dive in.

PA Anna

I’ll have to check out Our Endless Numbered Days. It’s great that they included an advanced reader copy.


Our Endless Numbered Days sounds like a great book! I love to read but don’t do book subs b/c I like to get all my books for free from the library (now the eLibrary since I read everything on my iPad mini). Not every book is available and some you have to wait months for… but with so many awesome books in the world, I always have books to choose from and I can’t justify spending money on them – right now I feel like I’m spending all my money on beauty subs! And a few snack subs as well. 🙂


I received mine yesterday! I am so thrilled, I had been trying to get subscribed to this for a long time! I like everything in the box and I am a very eclectic reader so I am looking forward to both books.


Powell’s is a fairly big bookstore…I wish (oh how I wish) they would open up subs. I’ve looked a couple of times, always see it is “sold out”. Hmm…


They usually open up the subscription path shortly before the next edition ships. My best guess is perhaps they cap subscriptions at a certain number, and just before they get ready to ship the new edition, they open up slots for however many cancellations they received in the previous period?

I couldn’t get in until the 50th edition, but it’s because I kept timing it wrong. Finally I just bookmarked the page and checked every week, and boom! They opened up a couple weeks before that edition began shipping.

Who knows for sure, but I’d say to check back in a month or so (or do what I did and just check obsessively!), since this sub is delivered every six weeks and they just sent out this box.


I’m really looking forward to reading Our Endless Numbered Days but not the Hogzilla book. And I usually like the extras Indiespensable includes in their boxes but I’m not really feeling the ceramic coaster. I think Trust Fall had a hand-up on Indiespensable this time.

Chelsea c.

So I usually buy my books on Amazon used, it makes book subscriptions seem pricey. Last time powells opened subscriptions, I took the jump. When I opened my box this morning I felt like it was well worth it. Everything feels so special..


I totally buy used books on Amazon, too. Or wait for specials on Kindle where things are like $1.99…

Although, I think the selection here is interesting. And a little outside my comfort zone. Maybe I should go for it.


If it helps any, I was just at Powell’s this past weekend and those coasters are $5.95. I nearly bought a couple, but ended up with one of the shirts instead 🙂

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.