I know that some of us do not have the opportunity to choose where we shop for books. My parents, for example, live in an area that until recently had no bookstores (now there's the book department at Wal-Mart and a nice, huge Barnes & Noble) so they shopped on Amazon. I tried, with minimal success, to suggest Powells as a better alternative.
That got me thinking. If you could have the choice, which would you choose? For me, it's a no-brainer: smaller is better. Yes, the "collection" might be (often is, in fact) smaller but I've never been in a small bookstore that hasn't offered to order the book for me. And the people are more receptive to my comments (unlike Barnes & Noble, where I was once told that Bronowski's Ascent of Man was definitely a self-help book and that A.N. Roquelaure's Beauty's Punishment was horror and that they wouldn't move the books to the more appropriate sections of anthropology and erotica).
The Littleton Diner touts the following
-- Eat In Diners
-- Ride Trains
-- Put a Porch on Your House
-- Shop on Main Street
-- Live in a Walkable Community
("Recipe For An American Renaissance" by Randy Garbin, publisher of Roadside Magazine, Worcester, Massachusetts)