Meghan McArdle suggests—as a time capsule—looking back in the order history to see what the first thing you bought from Amazon was. On May 21, 1998, she says, she bought The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Miss Manners’ Guide for the Turn of the Millenium.
An interesting experiment. I looked it up, to find that my first order was June 11, 1997, when I bought four novels: Moo by Jane Smiley, Straight Man by Richard Russo, Speaker for the Dead by Orson Scott Card, and The Dean’s List by Jon Hassler. I think it must have been while I was writing an essay about academic novels for the Weekly Standard.
How about you? What did you first get from Amazon?