I don't think that most people who weren't avid Google Reader users have any idea how it was used. Suggesting Twitter or Live Bookmarks as an alternative is absurd. Reader was great for putting feeds into categories and helping you keep track of what has been read. Once you read something, it didn't show up again unless you starred it. You could search your old articles, forward them, share them, or do nearly anything that you needed to do. It was simply the best was to manage large volumes of news/web updates without getting bogged down. I'm working with Feedly and a few of the others now, but the fast and simple interface of Reader will be sorely missed.