Is it wrong to browse in a bookstore and not buy? This was a question raised on The Simple Dollar. It really made me stop and think, because I never buy books at a bookstore. The person asking had read and article by a small bookstore owner complaining about people who browse but never buy.
Saying that many people would come in and browse, write down titles, then go online and order the books. Or others would go the library to borrow the books, I tend to fall in this category. Anyway, though the owner was complaining about the loss of business.
And people responded that if they didn't buy books, they did use the coffee shop in the store. And that many went online to the same larger book retailer. But for small shops, they didn't have any answer.
Do you think it's wrong to browse and not buy books? And specifically walk out and either borrow the books or buy them online later?
What a moral dilemma. The frugalite in me says it's not wrong, but now I do feel bad for browsing in the bookstore. I love books, and am a passionate borrower from the library. I also do paperback trade, and usually if I do buy a book, it's used and online, never new. So I feel terrible now, but I also don't ever go into a small bookshop. I only go to the conviently located Border's or BN.
But does that justify my browsing? DH loves to go and listen to CDs, but again he'll either buy it used, online, or I'll get it from the library.
So is browsing in a bookstore not frugal, but morally wrong and actually cheap?