I've never really liked the idea of Amazon.com, and yet I've always found myself shopping there. And the main reason that I shop there is that the technological elements of the site are so far in advance of any other online bookstore. It started simply, with the "If you liked this, you might like these..." suggestions (which I found myself using more for my dissertation research than any kind of academic database), and then when Amazon introduced the "25 books quote this book" and "this book quotes 25 books" it got even handier for research.
Plus the free shipping and steep discounts can't be beat.
But there's always been a slightly guilty feeling, and after reading this interview with Jeff Bezos, I think I finally understand why. Although he gives the "right" answers to the questions about books and reading, they are so obviously stock, and it's obvious to me that whatever it's humble beginnings, Amazon has never been about a love of books, its always been about the technology.
And his final quote is really what sums it up:
Lyons: Do you still read books on paper?
Bezos: Not if I can help it.