My nearest mall had a Waldenbooks and B. Dalton when I moved here 20 years ago. They were the only thing I went to the mall for. I bought most of my film/tv books and assorted magazines there. Then Walden closed, then B. Dalton, then one of the anchor stores left. Then Wal-Mart built a superstore there, but of course they don't sell the kinds of books I want. Then the rest of the anchors and most of the boutique chains disappeared. A CostCo also went in there, but I can't afford to step foot in the place since I don't have the money to blow on a membership.
There are some B&N (the initials remind me of railroads) stores here, but the closest one means at least a two hour excursion using public transportation and walking to the store roundtrip with a mobility handicap. I'd rather examine a book in person than just a few pages (if that) through the internet, so most of my book buying days are over.
There's no local bookstore in my neighborhood except Goodwill.
Do you have a library nearby? If so, they probably have a used book store there, and may have annual (or more frequent) book sales - for instance, mine has quarterly buck-a-bag sales, which I never miss. I find some incredible treasures there from time to time and for practically nothing.
Otherwise, you could always checkout books and sample them that way for possible future purchase. Our local branch is small, but hooked together with our county system and that of our neighboring county's, so I can reserve and have anything that the entire system has to offer sent to my local branch for pickup.