Monday, 12 March 2018

It's A Bit Of A Chuckles Crisis...


Over the weekend I feel as if I've hit a bit of a crisis in my blogging and reading world and I don't really know what to do about it. I actually feel like that depressed looking troll thing on the page. The truth is I'm struggling a bit. This is why there is no sample or prepping post this week and my around the blogs post was cut short. I just have a few issues that are getting me down at the moment.

1) I'm blogging all day 8am-3pm but never seem to get ahead on everything
2) I can't seem to pick up a book even though I have tons I want to read
3) Not sleeping great and feeling stressed about my lack of reading
4) Can't even relax to watch a few films for fun

Why is it that I feel like my favourite things are sucking the life out of me at the moment? I enjoy visiting your blogs and engaging in chat on the comments bit on my blog. I like the posts I'm putting up. I like chatting to other bloggers about books and stuff. Why then is it all seeming to drain me? Why does it take me so long every day to get things done? I don't want to give up my blog. I like my blog. It's the only contact I have with people in the outside world. I need to find some way to cut down the amount of time I spend on it to just a couple of hours a day but the question is how? I don't want to unfollow people! I don't want to drop the regular posts I do. Yet I can't see how I'm going to reduce blogging time any other way. I already feel like I'm playing catch up every day. My dad suggests blogging a certain number of days a week and either mornings or afternoons only, which sounds like a good idea in theory but how do I get all the stuff done in less time? There must be a way! 

Blogging Solutions?
-Cut out time consuming discussion posts? These posts take longer to deal with and it isn't easy to keep thinking up new topics. Trouble is, they are posts that encourage everyone to join in and do I want to lose them from the blog?

-One post per day except when I have reviews or tags to post? It'd cut the workload but do I want to do it? I'd have to drop a few regular posts to do this but do I want to and which would go? I need to keep my Saturday, Tuesday and Wednesday posts. That means I can only have four others. I want to keep Cover Love and Around The Blogs for sure. I could only keep 2/4 from Prepping with Chuckles, Chuckles Goes Sampling, Game of Thrones Gossip and Chuckles Chat.   

-Do I make the Chuckles Chat and Chuckles Goes Sampling posts a monthly thing instead of weekly? That way I can keep them but not have too many posts every week, just one week of harder work every few weeks. Would this actually reduce the workload? I don't know.

I know what the reading problem is. I look at the number of books I own but haven't read yet and it just seems overwhelming. I think constantly about how long it will take to read them all and how much I need to reduce the TBR to a certain number by a certain time. I haven't even put all the books I have onto Goodreads yet as I'm scared what the number will be! That causes me to fret about not reading enough, feeling guilty for doing things other than reading and stopping me having fun with my reading. I can't even pick up a favourite to re-read as I feel I should be reading the unread ones instead. The question is, HOW do I get out of this mindset? I don't watch films as I keep feeling I should be reading but in the end I get stressed and don't do either. I think my brain is in a real mess. How do I stop stressing and learn to do what I want to do each night instead of feeling I have to do a certain thing? 

Reading Solutions? 
-Do a book cull? Trouble is, I did this at the end of last year so do I have many books that I don't care about reading? Probably not. Reducing the TBR by 20 books will not be a massive help and might be a waste of energy.

-Book Buying Ban? Yeah coz that has always worked out so well in the past! 

I don't see any way to solve the TBR issue but to buy less and read more, neither of which are currently happening. If anyone else has a solution, I'd love to hear it!

Do you find blogging stressful and how do you deal with it? How often do you post? How do you make your time more productive? Does your TBR get you down? Are you sometimes stressed by your reading? How do you deal with it?

45 comments:

  1. I had this a few months ago and the only advice I can give you is to take a short break to recharge and find your mojo again! It worked wonders for me. Blogging can be very stressful and the pressure can be too big to handle at times. But it's important you take care of yourself and take a step back if needed.

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    1. It's annoying when this happens isn't it! I think I maybe do need a break but a holiday would be nicer! It's funny how things we enjoy can get so stressful sometimes! I definitely need to have a think about things. Thanks for your imput, it's much appreciated!

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  2. Maybe make a 2018 tbr list? Ignore all the books you own and put together the ones you're most excited about? Read those? And maybe take a break blogging? And only blog when you feel like it? It's supposed to be fun after all!

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    1. Trouble is I do have a list of what I want to read this year. I'm so excited by them...yet I just can't seem to pick them up. It's so frustrating. I swear I don't know what's wrong with my brain! I think I'll be taking a blog break to give me time to think about this book problem...Thanks for your imput! It's been great to have all of you trying to help sort my head out! *giggles*

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  3. Maybe try taking a break? Focus on everything except reading and blogging? We’ll be here when you get back. I try not to stress about blogging because it’s a hobby. Nothing bad will happen if I can’t get posts up on my schedule. If it’s not fun, there’s no point in doing it. I do sometimes get stressed about my unread books. I feel greedy for having so many sitting around. I just try to be REALLY picky about which books I acquire. It also helped when I put myself on a “read 5, buy 1” ban. That was easier than a total ban.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I think I can streamline the blog a bit so I have more time during the day for other stuff or just relaxing. It is the lesser issue though. I need to find a solution to this book stress stupidity I'm landing myself with. I swear I don't know why I let myself get so stressed about reading. I love reading! I think the only way to reduce the stress is to reduce the numbers of unread books. Easier said than done but I think some sort of limited book ban needs to come! I'm thinking read 10 buy 1 might be more realistic for me...a break does sound nice as well. Maybe next week if the weather is better!

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  4. Chuckles! I've been trying to reach you. Please contact me so I can right a wrong.

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  5. While it may seem easier than it actually is, first I would try not to stress about the TBR. I mean, you love to read and will probably always be reading. In addition, unless the bills aren't getting paid, are you really hurting anyone with your book buying? I do think if it's really stressing you out, then cut back on some posts. Allow some of your features to be monthly - like the prepping and discussion ones. And finally, maybe pick one or two days a week and don't blog at all. Give yourself a break. Read, watch TV or sleep. Whatever you want. The important thing is that you are still around because I for one would miss you tremendously!

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    1. The daft thing here is I know you're right about forgetting the actual numbers and just reading! I always tell myself that books are my only real expenditure and it's not like I have kids going without stuff for my booky buying. You're right it's not harming anyone-it's me being stupid! My dad wants me to relax a bit more so I think I'll maybe take Saturdays off as a chill out day...long lie, takeaway food so I'm not cooking, browse the non fiction while my dad yells at his horses...that might work. I might try reading in the mornings before he gets up as I'm more alert then, and chilling out at night with films and TV. If I do that it might recharge the batteries and I won't be stressing about losing reading time at night.

      Don't worry, I'm not giving up my blog! I do enjoy it and I'd miss you and your boys and lots of other people! I'm going to hold back on any big blog changes to give my new routine a chance first. Thanks Barb, as always you rock!

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  6. I blog when I can find the time. I know I should probably post more (and more regularly) but my blog is still small (even though it's growing a little every month). When I take a break from blogging or reading, I can feel guilty about that but I have learned to blog only when I want to, to keep enjoying it. Also, I have come to terms with the fact that my TBR will always be huge. I like having choices in what I should read next too much, to actually diminish the unread books on my bookshelves. I hope you'll figure out how to deal with your slump. It sometimes helps me to quit everything for a week or more.

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    1. It's hard when you are just getting started and trying to gradually grow your blog...I remember when I started in 2013 and I felt compelled to always be posting and doing something and being on the scene to get more followers. It sounds like you are doing the right thing on the blog side of things. I guess I don't really want to reduce my blog as I like the way it is now...I just need to be smarter about time and learn that I can leave stuff for another day!

      The reading stress will only reduce when the book numbers do so it's time to reduce the book spending and maybe deal with the ton of non fiction that takes up lots of space. That might make me feel better and kickstart me again! Thanks for your imut, I appreciate it!

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  7. I have had both these issues before. I stop giving myself expectations. I read when and what I want to read. If I don’t ever get through all my books that is okay. I don’t find book buying band are exceptable. There will always be new books coming out and I refuse to miss out because I have some to read at home. Reading and blogging is for fun. If you are stressing about it then it’s no longer fun. I was the the only one that had reading and blogging expectations. When I took those away it was less stressful.

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    1. Book bans don't work long term. You go without too long and suddenly a huge book buying splurge bursts out of you! That can be fatal! Maybe I should ban that TBR phrase and stop looking at the darn number! It's very good advice you offer here and I know I have to do that to give myself peace. Thanks!

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  8. Wow. That's a lot of blogging stress, and a lot of pressure you're putting on yourself! I sometimes get stressed out over my blog, too, but I try to tell myself it's okay if it's not a perfect review. And it's okay if I take a day off. And it's okay if I don't review every book I read. And it's okay if I skip a certain post that week, or that month. And then I just try to do the posts I love most, the way I want to do them without worrying what everyone else will think, and I try to let the rest go. But that probably doesn't help you at all. Good luck! And give yourself a break once in awhile. :D

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    1. It's dumb to let myself get this stressed but I'm glad I did the post. Having everyone share their problems and offer solutions has actually helped me get my head in order! I'm the only one putting myself under pressure and I don't need to be doing it. Actually what you said does help...I can tell myself that same advice and ignore it but it works better hearing it from other bloggers! Thanks Lark!

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  9. I'm sorry to hear that blogging isn't working out so well for you at the moment. Sometimes it does just get overwhelming. Can you maybe do your regular posts on alternate weeks so you don't have to give them up altogether, just halve their volume for a while to give yourself more time for reading?

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    1. It is certainly an idea to consider if things stay kind of stressful. I guess I've been in a habit of posting 2 and 3 posts a day for so long that I forget I don't have to keep to that schedule now! Cutting the blogging wouldn't really help the reading though as while I blog through the day I'm chatting to my dad but if I manage my time better I can read before he gets up in the morning. That might work. Thanks so much for offering some sound advice!

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  10. Yes, I sometimes find blogging stressful. I think that most of us do at some points. For me, I usually ONLY write up posts on the weekends and when I need a week long break - I take one. I don't have a set in stone schedule but I try to keep a mix of posts or I get bored with myself. LOL! I think that you should do whatever works best for you. If that means you need to do less, do less. Don't put too much pressure on yourself or something you love will become something you hate. I have entirely WAY too many books - more than I possibly will ever read so I know the feeling but I just can't let it get to me or I won't read. Reading is a stress reliever for me so I need it in my life :) Good luck figuring out what works best for you!

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    1. Your advice is spot on. I think I spend too much time thinking about what I need to do instead of what I want to do. I love the posts I do but I need to step back a little from the more time consuming ones and do them when time allows and not stress if I can't fit stuff in on a particular day or week. I like blogging and reading so the last thing I want is to get burned out with both. Letting go of those TBR numbers would be a good start and just try to relax about it as lots of readers have more books than I do! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on this!

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  11. I was finding blogging stressful for a while. I was putting so much time into posts and visiting. Time that I didn't have and lost the reading time. And it brought me to a burnout. I cut back greatly on the posts I do and time spent on the computer for blogging. It's not easy to do because I always enjoyed doing everything. But I do put a post in here and there from what I enjoy doing. And I've created seasons for posts.

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    1. I can understand why your blogging was stressful with how busy things have been for you! I think we all get to that moment when we wonder if things need to change. I'm definitely going to have Saturdays away from the blog to read, chill or whatever. I'll maybe set aside a day or two for preparing posts in advance but then leave the others days without plans and see what I feel like doing. Thanks Mel!

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  12. Blogging can be very stressful. I have had to take days off when it starts to take its toll in the past. I think that everyone has to do what works best for them. Some things that I have done are to limit posts to 1 per day and I try to take 1 day per week off. In regards to stressing over reading, I will never be able to read all of the books that I currently own and that is ok. I will read as many of them that fit into my life and some of them just make me happy being in my library. I like collecting books. Reading and blogging (and book collecting) should be fun!

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    1. I'm going to take the one day off a week and maybe be less structured on the other days and see what I feel like. I'll do the same posts but might not be so strict about doing them on a certain day, or leave one to another week if I feel like it. It might get me more motivated for reviews! I do need to chill about that stupid TBR and stop looking at it! Thinking of it as book collecting is more accurate and that might be useful for changing my mindset. Thanks Carole!

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  13. Honestly, I am right there with you right now. I am having the hardest time balancing everything, reading, blogging, being a mom and wife, work, sleep, house stuff. It's becoming exhausting, and makes wanting to blog so hard. I know right now that we are so behind on posts, simply because we took the weekend off. And it threw everything off.
    Last week I barely read anything. And it sucked.

    I know it doesn't help much, but I love your posts. Your blog is one of my favorites to read, and I know you'll get past this.

    I'd hug you if I could!

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    1. I think you need a hug more than me! I don't know how you fit in work and family with the reading and blogging and everything. I don't think I could cope with all of that so I really admire working mothers. I think we should both tell that pesky housework what it can do with itself! Thanks for your support and your lovely compliments...I'm so grateful to have people like you out there to keep me motivated and I'll be back on track soon! I just wish I could offer some advice to help you out Ashlea or send you a house elf from Harry Potter-how useful one of them would be...

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  14. Sounds like you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself. I know it's easier said than done, but try to cut everything down to what makes YOU happy. If blogging is a hobby for you, it should be enjoyable, not causing you stress! Do what you want to do and don't worry about what others might think - if discussion posts are becoming more trouble than they're worth, it's okay to take a break. Readers like me will keep visiting your blog no matter what, so just do what feels right and what fits your own schedule :)

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. I get annoyed with myself about getting stressed over silly things that I can control! I'm trying to sort my dumb brain out this week and get a grip! Thanks Mogsy!

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  15. I struggle with all of this a lot too. Don't feel alone. I've always thought of my blog as an escape and a place to connect. Now I realize life and stress can bleed into it and take away the fun. Time seems to be the only thing that works. I lose my enjoyment for everything for a time and then it comes back. Nothing I do makes much difference. And I think most people have similar issues. Sorry everything is so hard for you right now.

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    1. I've been whinging to my dad all week so everyone should feel sorry for him! I'm making a few small changes-having a full day off the blog, emptying my bookshelves to weed out the things I won't read again to give me space, tackling the non fiction that has been sitting around for years (which I can leaf through while my dad shouts at his horses on TV all week) and try the Chilled Out Chuckles approach before thinking about any big changes. It sounds like a lot of us are struggling with the same things. I'll be back on track soon! Thanks Laura!

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  16. I've found lately that I follow so many blogs now that I feel like I have to "keep up" and try to visit as many as possible. Which I enjoy doing, but it can be its own stress, because let's face it there's a zillion of us and it's almost impossible to keep up! I think for myself I have to just relax and do what I can and then move on. And I think blogging breaks can be good too, to recharge.

    Good luck with this though whatever you decide to do! I hate to give advice because everyone is different, and who am I lol, but I've found that if I can get a little cushion of scheduled posts it makes a HUGE difference. For me winging it day by day just got unsustainable. And blogging takes so much time it's understandable that wen get burned out from time to time?

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. There are lots of great blogs out there and I like to see what they are posting all the time. One thing I'm not going to do is unfollow good blogs! The irony is that I'm 5 weeks ahead in posts for my cover love, game of thrones, TTT, CWW and 2 weeks on my chat posts yet I still feel overwhelmed at times! I think it's my time management that needs an overhaul, not my blog!

      From now on, I will take Saturdays off to just chill-no plans just whatever I feel like. I am determined to sort my head out and discover what chilled out means! Thanks Greg...and you watch your stress levels too!

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    2. Taking a day off like that sounds like a GREAT idea! I should try it lol. And thanks- you too! Stress just isn't worth it. :)

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  17. My biggest problem is this, visiting all the blogs I follow. I want to keep in touch, but the emails are overwhelming and I spend hours on them every day or I get buried and then delete everything and start over. I too fight the blog all day and can't get ahead. I do challenges for fun and to keep me on target. I also take most weekends off or do very little blogging and have times when I step away completely. After all, vacations are meant to recharge us. We are not superheroes, though we read about them all the time.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I know what you mean. There are so many things I want to read on blogs but I don't always get the time to leave the comments and that frustrates me. Leaving a comment lets the blogger know you are there and I feel bad if I don't do that. I know most of us are in the same boat with that. We just need more time in the day!

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  18. Well, what I did when blogging got to be a little too much, and what I still do during times when I can't keep up, is cut back on the number of posts. I mean, you post A LOT, and I'd never be able to keep up w/ that amount, so it's no wonder you're struggling! I don't think cutting back necessarily means you have to give anything up though. You can just maybe do some types of posts less often. For example, I've started doing the Sunday Post every other Sunday, and I just include everything about the past two weeks in one post. I couldn't do every week cuz those get a lot of comments, and I just couldn't keep up w/ visiting all the other blogs. And I still do things like cover characteristics, but I don't do them every week anymore. Or maybe you could try combining multiple things into one post, then you'd get less comments to have to reply to? Just some suggestions, but obvi you have to decide what's best for you! I understand how you feel though since I've been struggling more lately too.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions Kristen-your imput is much appreciated. I think the real issue has been the I must be reading stress, and the tiredness and stress has kind of bled through into my blogging, making me take much longer to do everything then feel that's out of control too! I am taking every Saturday off from now on as a rest day and I'll not be as rigid in posting stuff on certain days or weeks and see how that goes. If it doesn't work I'll be looking at what you and a few others have suggested about combining posts or posting fortnightly or monthly on some things. I do feel a bit happier that at least I have a plan now!

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  19. I left a comment here! Maybe my computer glitched. So, I'm sorry if this is a duplicate Chuckles.

    Sorry you are feeling this way!

    I think most of us bloggers feel similarly at some point. In my case at least twice a year! You may just need a real break from blogging. Blog ahead a few posts and just forget about it for a few days. We'll miss you terribly but at least we'll have your posts and we know that when you come back you'll feel better. Tnen when you come what you may not care that much about the time you are spending blogging. Your dad's idea is really a good one. That would definitely require you to blog differently. I have a post coming up in April about blogging when you are too busy and merging posts is my top advice. I merge two or three regular posts in one when I can't find the time to blog because I really spend a lot of time setting up posts [images, links etc]

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    1. It's ok, no duplicate found! Computers can be weird like that but it always happens when we're doing a longer or more important reply or something we took ages composing! I think the reading stress has caused most of the issues rather than the blog...I think feeling tired and stressed hit my concentration and made the blog feel out of control too. Still, it has been a chance to look at everything and make changes which is a good thing. I'm still a few weeks ahead in most posts so I'm ok there but I'll be more relaxed in future about getting stuff done!

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  20. Oh, Chuckles, big hugs. I'm so sorry you're feeling this way. I just saw this post now and hope you're feeling a little better. It sounds like you are putting too much pressure on yourself. I've felt this way myself and I do not put out nearly the number of posts you do. Some weeks I call it good if I spit out one review. I've learned to blog at my own pace. If I'm falling behind on visiting and comments I will stop blogging for a few days and focus on doing that. Or I'll step away and focus on reading and catching up on reviews. Or I'll just step away to do whatever the heck I want to do ;) This works for me. I still love my blog, I still have my lovely blogger friends and I'm not forever feeling overwhelmed with it all. I hope you find some balance and joy in blogging. It's not easy but know that your blogging friends will always be here for you.

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    1. Thanks Bark! I know I've been causing problems for myself with the obsession over how many books I need to get to. Looking at blog visits I've done, I've been going on about that a lot. I think the blog will be ok when I deal with the reading stress side of things but I'm taking Saturdays off the computer and being more relaxed about what I post and when I get round to it. Hopefully that'll help but there are plenty other things that have been suggested that I can try. I do feel a bit better after confronting it! You guys have all been brilliant and been better friends than anyone could expect!

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  21. I am in a similar situation. There are times I just want to ignore everything and read. There are times I want to be super active on my blog and get some things lined up to post, so I am ahead. And then of course there is my own book that I am writing. It seems like I always feel guilty for just sitting down and reading, when I should be replying to comments and checking out other blogs that have content that I enjoy. Maybe do make the switch from weekly to monthly? It might make you feel better, and be less stressful. I have tried culling my TBR too, but what difference does even 100 books make when the rest of the list is over 4,000? I don't really have solutions for you, but I feel your pain at least, and understand how you are feeling, 100%.

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    1. Whatever we're doing, I think it's human nature to think we should be doing something else instead! I think with the blog I need to manage my time better more than anything and not get uptight if I don't finish something on a particular day! The TBR just needs to be forgotten I think! I will be looking ay my book collection and weeding out the stuff I won't read again to claim back some space though.

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    2. Yes, I highly recommend just forgetting whatever that number is, because it is always going to grow. There will always be new titles and new authors for all of us to find, and it is on-going. I am getting really good at giving away or selling books that I won't read again. Truthfully, I am not much of a re-reader, unless it is fiction that I enjoyed, classics from my childhood like Anne of Green Gables and Little Women. I don't think I have ever re-read a non-fiction book, except those about Eleanor of Aquitaine that I read before, that I am now using for research.

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    3. I rarely re-read non fiction so it is usually good for a shelf clearance! I do like to keep the books I really like even though I don't get time for reading them again. I am going to look at them in my next clear out and decide which I won't re-read and get them to the charity shop!

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