I know one of my favorite things to do is sit in Barnes and Noble at a cafe table with a coffe and read all afternoon. My friend asked me yesterday, "What do you do in bookstores?" I told her "I read books." I don't remember how the rest of the conversation went, but I know that it the end product was that she said that bookstores weren't necessary, because everyone uses them as libraries anyway. I disagreed, but then we (gasp!) actually had to start Language Arts work. My reasoning was that sometimes you just want to buy a book, or need to buy a book.
I found a fantastic article in a college newspaper, The Maine Campus, called Bookstore Readers by Spencer Morton. I would be very interested to know local stores' ideas on 'free reading'.
EDIT: Just called Barnes and Noble in the Valley. Jeff said, when asked what Barnes and Noble's policy on 'free reading' is, that "We have no problem. You can come in, grab a coffee, sit in a chair and read all afternoon."
It got me to thinking: Do you read books in bookstores, without buying them afterwards? Is this an okay thing to do? What is your explanation or opinion on either for my friend's side or mine? In these economic times, have you visited a library more and a bookstore less?