Originally Posted by Laridae
Yes, it's morally wrong but the sad truth is that more and more people just don't care. (Extra, extra, there is a general decline of morality in the West, if not the world - you heard it here first!)
"Showrooming", as it's called, has become a major problem for many types of B&M stores; electronics, clothing, shoes ... etc .. not just books. They have to do something different to survive, so maybe charging to browse isn't such a bad idea, because what they are doing now isn't working and they are rapidly dying out to online competitors.
There are other - better - ways to compete when you can't compete purely on price. You start with offering actual customer service by friendly people who like their jobs. It's not easy, but it can be done.