Megan McArdle inspires people to go back and identify their first Amazon purchase. Best way I can figure it, my first would be a set of the Beethoven string quartets by the 'Emerson Quartet on May 3, 2001--that would have been for Mrs. Buce, who still has them. And I notice that it seems to come from another seller, was Amazon really making markets back then? On May 12, I bought5 a copy of Opera in History: from Monteverdi to Cage, which is still up there in the music niche; I do remember reading it, though I can't say it was exactly wonderful. Later that summer I stocked up on those Neville Jason readings of Proust which I still cherish. Oh, and here is a copy of Edith Sitwell, Planet and Glow-Worm. A compilation of poems for the sleepless, long out of print. I had been fascinated with it in my youth; what a delight to find that Amazon could churn it up for me second hand. And here's an order for DVDs of Repo Man and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome--I think I contributed them to a student charity auction. And here is The Masters by CP Snow--hm, I loved it as a younger reader; I must have been buying it here as a gift, but I can't remember for whom.
In short, I hadn't really got the Amazon habit then: I only used it for stuff that must not have been readily available nearer to home. These days I use it a lot,though for two sorts of items in particular: one, the Kindle, a gift of Mrs. Buce at Christmas 2008; the other, for second-hand, which has become so second nature that I have forgotten what a novelty it was.
I'm still not doing toiletries and grocieries, though. Doesn't Megan know about CostCo?