If you have concluded the PG has lost his mind, you would probably be correct to some extent.
That said, PG decided a change of pace for TPV was due.
So, today, you will see a series of posts containing the first paragraph or first few lines of a book of at least some renown.
A great many experts (self-acclaimed and otherwise) believe that the first page of a book has a greater importance than the rest of the pages in a book.
If someone is in a physical bookstore, browsing, she/he/they will typically examine the cover of a book, then open it to the first page. If the first page is a dud, the chances the browser will not purchase the book.
The digital analog to such behavior is that a person looking for a book will be bouncing around Amazon (or, less likely somewhere else online), glance at the cover, check out the description of the book, then pull up a sample. Lo and behold, the sample begins with the first paragraph of the book.
PG is more confident that his description of a typical browser in a bookstore is accurate than his description of a browser on Amazon because he believes he has never watched someone other than himself digitally browse around Amazon looking for a book.
He suspects only Amazon knows whether PG is right or wrong about online browsing behavior, but he will stand by his premise that the first paragraph is important everywhere and under all circumstances.