Originally Posted by DiapDealer
To those that see in-store browsing of books as inherently superior/better/more pleasant/whatever, I'm going to make the assumption that you were probably lucky enough to have a quality bookstore relatively close that had a vast assortment of books to choose from. And that you had a convenient way to get there. Some never had that.
I've only recently lived in a city, and I've never lived in a big city, so I've never had a large, quality bookstore within easy reach. For me, though, one area where online bookstores really win out is when looking for unusual non-fiction. Back in the early 1990s, I was in the history section of a large bookstore and bemoaning to my friends how difficult it was to find books about the 1971 Indo-Pakistani war. A clerk cheerily bounded up and asked if he could help, so I asked him. I got a blank look. If I search for "1971 Indo-Pakistani war" on Amazon, I get 195 results. Not all of them are relevant, but that's a lot better than a blank look.