Is It Ethically Responsible to Read in a Bookstore?

During a GEN/480, Interdisciplinary Capstone, class this evening, we explored the question of whether it would be ethically responsible to visit a commercial bookstore and read books or magazines, even if one had no intention of purchasing the publication.

This question followed a conversation regarding whether there were an ethical concern if a physical store were used to sample, review, and evaluate products that would actually be purchased online, at a lower retail price.

Does one do a disservice to the bookstore by using it’s retail products for personal satisfaction, without payment? Do bookstores encourage their facility’s being used like a public library?

What do you think? Please describe your opinion; I’m very interested in knowing how you evaluate this question.


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