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Powell’s Books Indiespensable Subscription Box Review – Vol. 64

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Powell’s Books Indispensable is a book subscription box by the iconic bookstore in Portland, Oregon.


Every 6-8 weeks, subscribers will receive another box of expertly curated new books with a focus on indie publishers.

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 6-8 weeks)

The Products: Thoughtfully curated new books, with an interest in indie authors, plus fun extras

Ships to: Shipping is free in the U.S. and $12.00 per package outside the U.S.

Check out all of our Powell’s Indiespensable reviews and all of our Book Subscription Box reviews!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!


History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund – Value $15.15 on Amazon (retail price $25)

This month’s book is human, gripping, and engaging from the very first page.


Book Summary from Amazon:

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is arrested, the implications deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong.

And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do—and fail to do—for the people they love.

Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, Emily Fridlund’s propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent.


This hardcover comes inside a sturdy sleeve.


Each box is signed by the author as well:


How cool!


The box also comes with a small booklet of content about the book in the box.


There’s some great insight into why Powell’s picked this book…


…and some fun facts about the featured author!


They include a notes section for you, too!


Bogg’s Trail Butter in Mountaineer Maple, 8 oz. – Value $8.99

There’s a treat inside this box, too! I’ve never seen Trail Butter before, but I love having protein-packed nut butters in my pantry.


This blend of three nuts has the consistency of a slightly chunky peanut butter. It has a strong roasted flavor and a mild maple taste. It’s more savory than sweet.

Verdict: The Powell’s Books Indiespensable box is a great way for book lovers to add to their collections. Not only was the book in this box a compelling read, but the physical book itself was a beautiful, autographed hardcover in a sophisticated sleeve. The value of the products in the box is $33.99, which is a smidge short of the $34.95 price. But when you consider all the special touches, including the booklet and the autograph, I think the cost is more than fair. What a great literary box!

What do you think of Volume 64 from Powell’s Books Indiespensable box?

Written by Anna Reilly

Anna Reilly

Anna loves collecting little treasures, be they pop-culture finds, handmade mementos, or new potions to put in her makeup bag. Beauty boxes got her interested in the subscription world, but now she’s swooning for all things kawaii!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. If you buy something, MSA may earn an affiliate commission. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. Seems very expensive for 1 book you may or may not enjoy. Maybe for a collector not so much but from the comments it doesn’t sound like this is a collectors box either.

  2. I’m building up my book collection, and I”m usually happy with Powell’s choices. However, the cost is getting sad.

    I’m very, very swayed by what Boxwalla’s book box offers. Has anyone tried that one?

  3. Think this box has unfortunately declined in recent months. Not worth the price even for a 1st edition signed if the extras are pitiful. Im a bookseller and just don’t see the value with most of their Recent selections.

  4. I like the idea of this book box, but the value just isn’t there. From what I can see this as $24 worth of stuff for $39 box 😟

    • If you don’t place any value on the custom, exclusive slipcase or the signature, then yes this is $24 for $39 worth of items. However, many bibliophiles seek signed editions and value the protection offered by the slipcase. Also, these two potentially increase the collectability and value of some books.

      • You would be right except for two things Powell’s has inexplicably been doing for a while now.

        The biggest sin to a book lover and someone who does place a premium on signed editions, is that Powell’s has insisted on moving from publishers first editions to “exclusive” editions printed for Indiespensable subscribers.

        What that means is that Powell’s is taking what would have been a signed First Edition and turning it into a book club edition that happens to have an autograph tipped in.

        It massively devalues any “collector’s value” the book would otherwise carry as market demand is always going to prefer first editions, and even subsequent publisher editions over book club editions.

        That alone takes a lot of the value out of Indiespensable for me.

        Add to that their recent trend of not sending along an extra book (sometimes even advance reading copies), and that $40 for $24 of value is pretty lopsided.

        • This is a VERY interesting observation, Jason. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t even consider the fact that these aren’t first edition copies. I think the signature can still be meaningful (it’s always cool to know an artist you admire actually held something in their hands), but maybe not as valuable as it could be.

          Thanks so much for this insight!

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