The First Book Ever Ordered from Amazon Is Equal Parts Appropriate and Unexpected

By Brian Barrett on at

Above is the first book—and first packing slip—ever to leave Amazon’s online warehouse. Well, other than the ones employees bought on test runs, or beta users. It was purchased by computer scientist John Wainwright on April 3rd, 1995. It’s not a classic, nor was it on any bestseller list at the time. It’s the liner notes to the first Third Eye Blind album. It’s just a terrifically, eye-crossingly nerdy tome about computer models.

How perfect.

Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought is the book Wainwright ordered from the baby bookseller. As he explained on Quora:

I think I ordered the book over a T-1 connection at work, I was working at Kaleida Labs, the Apple/IBM joint venture, at the time.

An Amazon exec went on to confirm Wainwright’s claims to the #1 spot. Not that there was ever much doubt; an entire building on Amazon’s campus is named after him.

Incidentally, you can still order Fluid Concepts from Amazon today for £14. It may be ranked a paltry 215,182 in book sales but it’ll always be number one. [Quora via Brainpicker via Atlantic]