While places like Barnes & Noble may invite customers to sit and try out a novel, most places would probably frown on customers reading their stock for free. In Japan, that’s exactly what people do.
Go by anywhere that sells manga — bookstores, Tsutaya, or any convenience store anywhere — and you’ll very likely bear witness to 立ち読み (tachiyomi, lit. standing-reading), which seems to be part of the culture here. Teens and adults alike will go to these stores and read entire volumes of manga (or magazines) cover to cover, and no one discourages them from doing so. As a Westerner, it’s baffling and vaguely annoying — just buy the damn thing, jerk! — but it’s so prevalent that nobody from here seems to notice or care. The manga industry here seems to be pretty stable, so I guess it’s not really hurting them.
The funny thing is that, in a country where media tends to be more expensive than elsewhere, manga is actually one of the cheapest things you can find.