For a long time, I bookmarked pages with information that I wanted to remember. In the last few years, I’ve started to highlight and annotate, something I didn’t do previously in case I decided to sell the book when I was done with it. Eventually, I will have to get rid of some of the paperback and hardcover books that I own.
When I experimented with taking notes on books that I own, I didn’t like the experience. It was chore-like, as you said.
I take notes — typed into Evernote — when I’m reading library books, but that too feels tedious. Sometimes, out of laziness, I photograph the pages with information I want for future reference. I put the photo in an Evernote note, so the information is readily searchable. If it’s a library e-book, I take screenshots. Back before we had this technology I photocopied pages from school library books. Similar principle.
I’ve noticed that when I read several books on the same topic, it helps me learn that topic more than taking notes does. It’s the repetition.