I like Border's much better than Barnes & Noble. B&N seems so sterile and unfriendly. Not to mention pricier.
That could vary, market by market. Where I live, I see the reverse of what you observe. The last time we were in Borders locally I commented to my wife: I think they are turning this store into a Waldenbooks! Where I live the managers of Barnes and Noble have created these warm, fuzzy nests where you can go and actually touch the merchandise, grab four books on the subject you want to read about, go get a cup of coffee and sit in comfortable seating while you compare the books to see which one you want to buy first. Borders gives me a straight back chair.
The story of books in our time could be written into some kind of tragic opera. Back when more of us lived in rural America, we who lived out in the hinterlands really didn't understand America's fascination with books and bookstores. We went to our public libraries and checked out books that were 10, 20, 40 years old. Best Seller List? What the hell is that!
As we hayseeds moved into town, Borders lead the way in giving us big, spacious places to actually see current books. Many of us never had the opportunity to know a folksy, owner-in-the-shop book seller before they were wiped out by Borders and Barnes-and-Noble. But Time marches on and maybe both Borders and Barnes and Noble will be wiped out by Amazon and other Internet vendors.It ain't gonna be purty!
How do you sleep in on a Saturday morning and then wander over to Amazon, get a Mocha Latte and then get the smell of printers ink on your fingers?