Powell’s Books in Portland is the best book shop on the planet. The gigantic main store (Powell’s City of Books) is full of great book reading mojo and proud, intelligent employees. They have an app that provides turn-by-turn directions to find books within their store.
I often lurk on their website learning about new books to read. But what I do most of all is lust after their Indiespensable offerings. Subscribe to Indiespensable and you get a semi-monthly shipment featuring a gorgeous, limited-edition printing of a recommended book and some other goodies that the Powell’s staff chooses. Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus came with (among other things) salted caramel corn. Anne Patchett’s State of Wonder came with an advance copy of the new Miriam Toews novel and the first edition of McSweeneys/David Chang’s food magazine Lucky Peach. The packages are always clever and full of well-curated items. It’s book porn, I tell you.
An Indiespensable subscription is $39.99 for each shipment, and while I think it’s worth every penny, I’m having trouble pulling the trigger on buying it. I spend at least that much on books every month and really want to support such a fantastic indie bookseller, but I’m hesitant to start steady flow of physical stuff coming into the house. I wish Powell’s had a way to sell me books for my Kindle - I’d love to give them money that way. I’d totally subscribe to a monthly e-book deal.