Smaller independent stores are fun when I want to find something different--when I don't even know what I am looking for. I enjoy supporting local businesses and the unique features they offer. Used book stores are similar, although the prices are generally lower. I also enjoy imagining the previous lives the books have lived before they found a home on my shelves.
I had a wonderful bookstore experience today in Austin at BookPeople. I've been there once before, and can tell I will be there often when I move here. It has the size, selection, and open space of a large store, but the charm and individuality of an independent store.
What do you love about bookstores? What types do you prefer? I didn't even mention Amazon, or other online book-buying options, which do represent a large chunk of my book purchases. Where do you get most of your reading material?