Indiespensable Book Subscription: Box #56
In October I received my first Indiespensable box, a book subscription service from Powell’s bookstore. You can read that review here. A few weeks ago my second box arrived and I’m happy to announce that I continue to love the service. Keep reading to see what I got and find out why this box was so great.
The Indiespensable subscription is Powell’s subscription club. Boxes ship out every 6-8 weeks at a cost of $39.95 per box including shipping. The website advertises these boxes as featuring “the best new books with special attention to independent publishers.” The boxes include a signed first edition, a booklet that explains the items, and a few extra goodies. Last time the featured book was Billy Clegg’s Did you Ever Have a Family. We reviewed that book on Wednesday and you can read our review here.
Here’s what I got in my box this time:
1. A signed first edition of City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg! Once again, this was a winning selection for me. The book was published in October of this year and has generated a lot of buzz. It’s also made it onto several “best of 2015” lists. It’s a beautiful hardcover book (the photo doesn’t do it justice) that came with a nice cover sleeve to protect it. The little booklet included a fact list about the author and a 27-page interview with him. The interview is very interesting. He discusses his inspiration for writing the book and how he incorporated elements that were relevant to some of his personal experiences.
2. Ranger Tumbes chocolate bar. Ranger is an artisan chocolate company based in Portland Oregon. They produce “small-batch bean-to-batch” chocolates using “ethically-sourced cacao beans. The bar I received with the box was made with cacao beans from the Northwest region of Peru. The chocolate bar retails for $6 on the company’s website. It is described as having tasting notes of “tobacco, leather, coffee, honey, cherry, and raisin.” Not so sure that leather is a tasting note I want in my chocolate, but luckily it didn’t come through for me. The chocolate was good although thanks to the start of cold/flu season I’ve been so congested lately that it was hard for me to fully appreciate it. It’s a really rich dark chocolate so even though it’s fairly small, it goes a long way. If the Powell’s staff is reading this – please feel free to send me more chocolate 🙂
The Verdict? I liked this box although not quite as much as the previous one. It came with fewer items than the previous box but to be fair this book is much longer than last month’s book and it retails for approximately $30 (although now you can find it on sale at Amazon for $18). So fewer items and slightly less bang for your buck this month, but still worth the price of the box. Overall, I’m very happy with my subscription. Coffee and chocolate are my two favorite things outside of books (wine is probably a close tie although I know that won’t be showing up in my box any time soon/ever). Billy Clegg’s book will probably end up making my top 10 list this year and perhaps Hallberg’s book will join it – if I get my act together and manage to read it before the end of year. At 900 pages, it’s probably unlikely that I will finish prior to end of year.
So what do you think of this service? Do love it as much as I do, or would you pass? The downside is that the subscription service is usually full. To get a subscription you need to get on the waiting list. It took me about 2-3 months to go from the waiting list to subscription. You can find out more about the club here.