From my perspective, this brings up important questions about the nature of marketing, and how it seems to emphasize one kind of user experience as superior to another, when maybe there are good things to be taken from both. Books and e-readers can live together in the same world. But the marketing seems to clobber us, shout us down with the idea that they can't or shouldn't. We don't think through the options because we're being driven, literally, to go for that "smart" phone when the phone we have seems plenty smart enough, or that new IPad which is a "must buy" even though the laptop or, God help me, the desktop does the same thing quite well and is just not needed in every setting. Like coffee and a bagel with a friend in a place like Borders with all those books around where you can talk, laugh, dream aloud.
But now, because the beast child's hunger for the new must be sated with blinking android trinkets and toys (from which it will soon turn and cast aside), there is one less space for us to gear down in, one less space to hear oneself think in, one less space to just pause in. That's what Borders was. Not so much a refuge, but a restful stop along the way. Barnes & Noble doesn't quite have that even though you can do the same thing technically: get a cup of joe, read a book, or a magazine article, pause. Borders just always seemed a warmer place to do all that in. You could relax and talk to people who worked there and who loved books just as much as you did, who loved culture and learning as much as you did. The ripples of this bookseller's demise have yet to be fully felt or appreciated, but the ripple I'm feeling now is that, for those of us who stopped by to grab a cup of cappuccino and a bit of human warmth before heading off to... whatever, we've lost something profound, perhaps a bit more of our souls that have been sold off to serve the ends of a technology we barely even understand, or more worrisome, the ends of a marketing strategy that increasingly tells us what we need without allowing us to think that through for ourselves before destroying our perception of our experience in favor of its "new and improved" one.
RIP Borders. You will be missed. More profoundly than you know, I suspect.