In “Why you should quit reading paper books”, Andy Sparks writes:
When you read on Kindle and highlight passages that you find beautiful, interesting, or challenging, you’re sending your future self a hell of a gift
That’s true, but here’s my version:
When you read a paper book and write in the margins or highlight passages that you find beautiful, interesting, or challenging, you’re sending your future self and generations to come a hell of a gift.
My version is better.
I’m 100% certain that the electronic versions of Kindle highlights, no matter how many backups or exports exist, will disappear with my death, or shortly thereafter. Browsing a loved one’s old books and reading the margin notes and seeing the highlights is a wonderful experience, and will remain so for decades to come.
I’ve found that the ability to electronically search highlights is over-rated and seldom used. I peruse dog-eared pages and passages from my real books (I call them “real” books because that’s what they are) whenever I need inspiration or to refresh my memory of a book.
If I think I’ll want to recall some specific fact or quote later, I write it manually on an index card, my commonplace book, and/or type it into DEVONthink. The act of rewriting important passages has the added benefit of helping it stick in my memory.
For me, the benefits of paper books far outweigh any minor inconveniences. There’s a reason ebooks are losing.