The customer who is believed to be the first to publicly buy a book through Amazon.com has revealed what he bought - and that he still has the original packing slip.

As part of the beta test programme, John Wainwright bought a copy of Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies by Douglas Hofstadter on 3 April 1995 and has posted a picture of the book and the packing slip on question and answer forum Quora.

His response comes after one Quora subscriber asked: "What was the first book ever ordered by a customer on Amazon?" To which an Amazon manager replied with the book title above.

This lead to Wainwright himself revealing all. "I think I'm the customer mentioned in the other answers," he said.

"I did indeed buy Hofstadter's Fluid Concepts on 3 April 1995 (it's still in my order history listing). I'd heard that I might be the first non-employee customer, but could not get it confirmed.

"One thing that is uncertain is the beta vs public timing. I was definitely on the beta test, and 3 April 1995 seems to be earlier than the opening date, which I think was in July of that year.

"BTW, I still have the book and the original Amazon packing slip," he added, before posting the picture.

One reply from a purported ex-Amazon employee even suggests that one of the retailer's buildings is named after Wainwright, to commemorate his position as first genuine customer.

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Rik Henderson

Our senior ed of news and features has been a tech and games journalist for more than 27 years, and has been with Pocket-lint for over five. Rik has edited a number of videogame magazines in the past, was deputy editor of Home Cinema Choice, and his TV career included stints as co-presenter of Channel 4's Gamesmaster and Sky One’s Games World.

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