I have read less than 50 books in my life and probably less than 5 books in the past 10 years.
Growing up with the Internet, I always assumed that everything could be found for free online.
I spend most of my day reading online articles/conversations, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. I have thousands of non-fiction (mostly self-improvement) books in my reading list on GoodReads, but almost never bother to read any. I assume that the best part of the best books will surface in daily conversations, YouTube videos, CliffsNotes, podcasts, Reddit posts/comments, blog articles, etc. I even find myself reading the comments and not reading the article most of the time. I'm fine with bullet point style summaries and don't care much about the fluff that fills most books I've read in the past.
Up until recently, I didn't think I was missing out. I thought that online content was roughly equivalent to 80% of what I'd get from reading actual books for 20% of the effort. I also thought that most books probably don't age very well and that most of the bleeding edge stuff could only be found online. But I'm starting to wonder if that's true. I'm starting to see people online mention that books are infinitely better than online content. I read that millionaires and billionaires read tons of books. I wonder if I'm missing out?
One issue for me is that books are a very big time investment. I read very slowly and I don't remember everything I read either. The last few books I read were mostly filled with fluff, anecdotes, stories, jokes, and trivialities. Even if I wanted to read books, I just don't know which ones I should start with, out of the 1000 "must-read" books in my reading list.
Are books worth it? Is it more true for some fields than others? Is it more true for older books? Isn't most of the information from books freely available online? Am I missing out?
A well-written story, be it fiction or non-fiction can have a long lastig impact and even an emotional connection that I have personally never experienced with anything 'online'.
If you don't read books, you are missing out. Even only 1 or 2 books a year is a world of difference, even if those books aren't the best ones out there. This (as posted before) also has to do with the time investment and realtime one-to-one (you and the book) time.
If you are having a hard time getting started, or keep reading a book to the finish, start with something light and perhaps... generic. Like a Dan Brown book. (and I know opinions vary wildly) Even a smaller book that might be more targeted as a children's book such as Neil Gaiman's 'Ocean at the end of the lane' are perfectly fine to get something going. Not everything will engage you, but making it easier for yourself to get started and enjoy some reading time is all it takes to enrich yourself. (which is perhaps not the best wording... but I'm no writer)