I was on Amazon recently, tracking an order, and for no good reason decided to look at my past orders. And I discovered that it’s been a decade that I’ve been doing business with Amazon. Just over, actually: my first order was placed on 31 October 1996. Halloween, though I don’t remember if that had anything to do with it. My first order was for Idoru, which seems somehow appropriate.
The end of 1996, online retailers were a new concept; There may have been others on the web before Amazon, but I can’t think of any. Amazon got there pretty early: incorporated in July 1994, sold their first book in July 1995. My first order was conducted in the spirit of experiment, to see what ordering online was like. Never having been a big catalog shopper up to that point, I didn’t have much basis for comparison. I have since learned to stop worrying and love the online retailer: if there’s a way to order something online, pretty much I’ll do that rather than go to a physical store, or heaven forfend, a mall. Except grocery stores.