My 20s in Amazon Book Purchases

August 4, 2015 at 12:16 am 3 comments

Inspired by this post on Gawker about Amazon purchases, I decided that I, too, should share some of my Amazon purchases during my 20s. One of the great things about Amazon is that it’s been around so long that this is actually possible, and I literally now have a record of (some of the) books I bought during the past decade. Is this profound and enlightening? Probably not, but it’s a fun little exercise, and I urge you to do the same.

For your edification:


I was in my sophomore year of college when I bought these, and apparently this was my first Amazon book purchase — likely spurred by my first journalism class. I kept that stylebook until 2013.

2006 Amazon

I apparently purchased nothing at all for my junior year of college. To be fair, I was in Ireland for half of that year.


Ah, my senior year. Which meant my thesis, which meant a lot of books I felt really smart buying.

2007 Amazon 1
Plus, my sister started college, and for some reason I bought her books through my account, so I have random books like this one.

2007 Amazon 22008

The end of senior year, and the beginning of graduate school. Ah, dreams. I was so excited to be going to Europe! I had dreams of France, and Germany and the Netherlands and Spain…

2008 Amazon 1I ended up not even stepping off of the island of Ireland once I got there. Big mistake, Huge. Instead, I spent a lot of time reading stuff like this for school.

2008 Amazon 2Let me tell you how much the Comparative Lit kids loved seeing the Popular Literature kids bopping around campus writing papers on Nora Roberts.



I started writing another thesis. So…

2009 Amazon 1I hated that last one with the fire of a thousand suns. These books and about a dozen more made me feel really smart for a while…and then they went by the wayside once I moved.

2009 Amazon 2My purchase of this book is only remarkable because, at the time, I was on a pretty serious diet. Clearly some vicarious eating going on here.



With 2010 came my first real job — at a newspaper, no less, and so I ended up with this:

2010 Amazon
These last two are not books, but they are meaningful. First, that’s the year Corey and I got each other the exact same gift — those postcards. Second, the DVD was the first gift I ever bought for my then-boyfriend. He also got busted by his mom that Christmas for literally sneaking out of his apartment while she was visiting and coming to sleep at my apartment so I wouldn’t be alone for the holiday. It was, and still possibly is, the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me. We’d later buy the book on which this movie was based during our honeymoon.



Not a whole lot of shopping, with the exception of this:

2011 Amazon 1…which was recommended by a well-meaning therapist. Later that year, I bought my still-boyfriend this for Christmas:

2011 Amazon 2I would move in with him around that time, and life started looking pretty good. He got me a Kindle for Christmas and I was thrilled, but that also meant a fall-off in my buying of physical books.



I got a dog, but I apparently didn’t buy anything for her from Amazon. We’ll call this the “lost year.”

I did buy an e-copy of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight, which I thoroughly enjoyed even though a wildfire broke out and I didn’t get to do that interview with Alexandra Fuller that I was supposed to. Happy ending, though, because I did get to hear her speak at the school where I was working the next year.



My then-boyfriend’s mother came to visit, and I wasn’t careful enough to make sure that the dog got enough attention. So, when we were out one night, the dog delicately pulled exactly two books off the shelf and chewed the shit out of them. They just so happened to be books my boyfriend’s mother had given him. (Sorry, Sue.) This is a genius dog. But I had to replace the books.

2013 Amazon 1

I also decided she needed a kennel pad for the kennel she would be shut in when we were gone. That lasted about an hour. Stella remains unkenneled to this day, and she’s never chewed a single thing ever again.

Later that year, though, I ordered this book for a road trip, not knowing we were going to get engaged during the course of it:

2013 Amazon 2Not romance material. I did also buy this, though, which contained a horrible translation of a poem that someone would read at our wedding. Don’t buy this translation. I beg you.

2013 Amazon 3Notably, I also read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series on my Kindle that year. Let’s call that escapist.



I reverted mostly to Kindle books this year. After all, we were planning a wedding — not a lot of disposable income for hard copies! And then, oh no, I switched jobs and we started house shopping and suddenly became very grown up. We starting buying books like these:

2014 Amazon

Sigh. We’ve come a long way from the days when I was buying Nora Roberts.



My book-buying has become fun again! The job switch resulted in more disposable income, and, with the purchase of the house, I started remembering all of the books I’d ever gotten rid of and wishing I had them again. A sampling of my book year thus far:

2015 Amazon 1 2015 Amazon 2What do your Amazon orders say about your past decade? Are they fraught with indecision, divorce and diet and advice books, what? Or were you dedicated to classics? Fantasy? Tell me all!


Entry filed under: Collections and Lists, Musings and Essays. Tags: , , .

“Far from the Madding Crowd” by Thomas Hardy ‘The Siege’ by Arturo Perez-Reverte

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Corey  |  August 4, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I love this! Alas, I have mostly used Amazon only for gifts or school books, so my order history doesn’t provide much beyond clues of who I was buying gifts for and/or which classes I was taking. Funnily, though, I also started buying things in 2006!

    Also, I was surprised at how many books I have no recollection of buying — were they for me? For someone else? And, if the former, what happened to them?

    • 2. Kate  |  August 4, 2015 at 6:38 pm

      I hoped someone would find it interesting! Like you, I think, the vast majority of the things I read are from the library or bought locally, so it’s an arbitrary list.

      I had a bunch of books on there that I didn’t remember buying that were apparently shipped to you! Gifts, clearly…

  • 3. On culling books | Literary Transgressions  |  September 1, 2015 at 1:00 am

    […] started trying to replace some of them, but it’s impossible to replace all of them. I have a vague recollection of a book […]


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