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Tuesday, December 29, 1998

The Never Happens At Amazon.Com

They were surprised. The stock market confirmed it yesterday. $5 billion in Internet shopping sales (all sites) between Thanksgiving and New Years, twice what the experts predicted.

Last night I was in a bookstore (I needed a book to read right away) and I found myself wishing that there was some capability in the store. knows what I like. They have a section where all of the books I might like are listed (they keep track of what I order and extrapolate). They have a section for all of the Nobel and literary prizes in all of the prize categories. And, last but not least, they are a lot cheaper.

The cashier in the store looked bored. That never happens at The store was disheveled and dirty. That never happens at There were other people right in front of where I wanted to browse. That never happens at And that word, "browse," it just doesn't have the same meaning anymore. All the bending down, standing up, leaning over and on things... it's all so uncomfortable and inconvenient and that never happens at, either. Now "browsing" really means sitting in my most-comfortable chair, clicking here, clicking there. And, oh yes, one final thing... perhaps the Internet shopper's greatest secret: no waiting in line when it comes time to buy. At I used the "one-click" system. One click and the book comes the next day. At the store last night there was a long wait (one cashier, six customers). The old cash hand-over-after-waiting-for-five-charge-customers was such a drag. ("Do you have another card? That one didn't go through."). It was all so teeeeeeedious and yesterday. I did run into a friend I hadn't seen in a couple of years and we did have a good time discussing things. As we departed, we exchanged email addresses. "We can catch up on-line," I said.
He gave me the double "thumbs up."

One more thing:'s stock went up 27 points yesterday.
That never happens at the bookstore.

See you next time?

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