I do visit bookstores but often times with the fact that a bookstore cannot stock everything that is published I find myself purchasing books online. I have and do cater to bookstores and if I find a book they have I want, I purchase it. Bookstores are an important resource for authors and I feel that when when we visit them we should purchase books from them. Today with the Internet it is easy to buy books online but we must not forget the brick and motar bookstores, especially the small locally owned ones that are not part of a chain. They are trying to make a profit and stay in business like anyone else. There are many fine small bookstores and we must not forget them in our fast paced economy we have today.
Mostly used book stores and Salvation Army's. I also trade with other writers quite a bit. As far as new books(when I can afford them), ONLY from independent bookstores and websites like AuthorsBookshop.com.
I buy most of my books at small indie stores. I try and not support the larger chains, but sometimes they are the only ones who have it. A lot of my books come from used bookstores that I stumble upon during my travels - I've found some real gems.
I live in Iowa and everytime I have found a small bookstore it is not open for business very long as more and more people either buy online or they buy the book used or rent it from the library. I published my first novel in 2006 and much to my disbelief I discovered just how cheap people can be. I sent a copy to my Mother and all my relatives and her friends borrowed the book from her instead of buying it which in turn cost me a minimum of 20 sales of people who should of bought the book and what really annoyed me as all these people read the book but the only ones who ever gave it a review were the ones who bought it. Libraries are great but again, you miss out on sales and I write for more than to just see my work in print, I write for money...it's how I pay my bills.
I am currently working on adding pages to my web site of online bookstores by state. Some pages are already published. The listing will include all types of bookstores when finished. If you let me know in which state you live I will prioritize that state's listing. The information will be taken from numerous sources. I am doing this free to help others, including authors to know where bookstores exist when they go on vacation and/or marketing promotions.
I used to buy most of my books at major booksellers, but these days I am finding more and more gems published by the indy presses. So I try my best to buy directly from the author, indy publisher, or indy bookstore. Personally, I like the idea of buying directly from the author.
I honestly buy most of my books off line. I can not remember when the last time I was in a bookstore. How awful when I am an author seeking to get my books in as many book stores as possible. I write Christian Inspirations so I tend to search out churches that have book stores in them.