NEW YORK – The scene this weekend at the last of the remaining Borders bookstores to close was more like a memorial service than a funeral. Shoppers reminisced fondly about their beloved bookseller rather than grieve its loss.

Amid upbeat jazz music and large red-and-yellow signs announcing the “Final Days” of the Borders in the New York City borough of Queens, customers snagged deals on used chairs and coffee machines. At a Borders in Cincinnati, readers were eager to grab book titles for up to 90 percent off. And signs at a Borders in Cambridge, Mass., implored shoppers to haggle: “No Reasonable Offer Refused.”

“I’m glad to get these bargains, but I’m sad at the same time,” said Victoria Florea, 49, who was looking for discounts this weekend at the Cambridge store so she could use her $50 gift card before it closes.

Borders, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based chain that pioneered the big-box bookselling concept and grew to 1,249 stores at its peak in 2003, ceased to exist at the end of the day Sunday.

It’s a victim of a shift in the industry brought on by customers who’d much rather read their favorite titles on an electronic book or tablet computer than turn the page on a paperback. The chain’s demise is expected to have wide-reaching effects on everyone from authors and publishers who will have to find new ways to market their work to competitors like Barnes & Noble that will benefit from losing a big rival.

“The absence of Borders is going to be felt across the industry,” said Michael Norris, a Simba Information senior trade analyst. “The loss of the ‘showroom’ effect of bookstores is not going to be replaced anytime soon.”

Founded in 1971, Borders grew to become a giant in the industry, operating Borders and Waldenbooks bookstores. But the company failed to adapt quickly to the changing industry and lost sales to the Internet, discounters and other competition. It filed for bankruptcy protection in February and has since shuttered stores and laid off thousands of employees.

Borders began liquidating its remaining 399 stores in July when a $215 million “white knight” bid by a private-equity firm dissolved under objections from creditors and lenders who argued the chain would be worth more if it were liquidated immediately.

A few vestiges of Borders will remain. Books-A-Million is taking over 14 stores, including the two in Bangor and Portland, Maine.

And bidders including Barnes & Noble and Malaysian company Berjaya Books (which operated some Borders in Malaysia) will take over $15.8 million in Borders’ intellectual property. That includes trademarks; the Borders, Waldenbooks and Brentano’s trade names; Internet domain names; and the Borders.com e-commerce site.