if i see something interesting, i sort of burn a memory of where it was on the page, so for me physical books are better for reference!
but it’s not a recallable memory. it’s more like… if i’m looking for a favorite passage or poem, i’ll flip through the book and it’s like warmer (not literally) if i’m closer to it. it feels like when i’m playing piano and if i think logically about what i’m playing, i can’t play it, but if i let go and stop thinking, sometimes it just comes out of my fingers, like my hands remember but i don’t. or like my conscious mind doesn’t.
we have a word for that: muscle memory. it’s interesting, i never really put it together that i activate my muscle memory when i’m stationary and reading a book. but it makes sense.
i’m struck by how important physical space is to my function of writing memories. yesterday i met someone new, asked them a question while they were across the table, and later when they moved to my side of the table i asked them the same question again because i didn’t realize they were the same person for a second. object permanence lol.
and sometimes when i recall a favorite passage or recall reading a book that meant soemthing to me, i feel suddenly transported to where i was when i read it, like in atlas cafe when i read the end of ancillary justice “and if i had wings, i’d be a sailpod” and my room in 4th grade staring at fractals in jurassic park or in the bottom bunk in a big hostel in berlin reading mockingjay.