Threads like this one are always leaving me a bit puzzled. Here in Germany, when I go into a bookshop and they don't have the title I'm looking for (Which happens quite often with SF-titles, since that genre isn't that popular anymore), I ask one of the employees and they simply order it for me and I can usually pick it up within 24 hours. And thats not just the case in the big chains like Thalia, Germanys biggest chain of Bookstores, which would be pretty much the equivalent to your Barnes and Noble, you can take that kind of service for granted in even the smallest village-bookstore out in the middle of nowhere. And most stores accept your preorders if you want something exotic they ususally wouldn't order and give you call once you can pick it up.
Aren't services like that not common in the US? If they are, I'm a bit lost of where the problem actually is.