Boggs Down in Editing- Feels like running out of space

Love the software! Recording my own books for Audible.
I’m using a new Samsung PC, 16 Gb RAM, 1 Tb, 364GB used, 570GB free. I have selected 44100hz at 32 (instead of 16 or 24). As I get to approx 20-minute of editing done on a book narration, every cut or paste takes longer; eventually freezes.
I have already voice-recorded 4 books at this rate and now in the editing process. Have I shot myself in the foot? Should I have chosen lower hz and bit rate settings? Is there any way to salvage the recording I’ve already done? I’m sure I can’t reconfigure what’s already recorded. Your suggestions?

Welcome to “smart” “trimmed clips” … Audacity 3.1 - A Significant Audio Editing Improvement - YouTube

Audacity 2.3.2 … Old Audacity devel versions download
or … ocenaudio

Apologize for my pedantic comprehension – but are you saying I need to go back to Audacity 3.1? Does that mean I lose everything I recorded on 3.3? Are you suggesting that I download a 2.3.2 Audacity devel version? And what do I do with it? Are you telling me that by using “trimmed clips” I won’t be producing such large files? Thanks for pointing me in a certain direction. But it’s very cryptic. I do feel encouraged that you are not telling me to upgrade my hardware to a 32 RAM processor over the 16… though I would understand better how to make application of that idea. IT must be incredibly frustrating for a whiz/professional to have to communicate with someone like me that doesn’t speak the language. Sorry. I do appreciate your help.
Can you tell me how I would use “trimmed clips” (from Devel?) to make these edits?

For any large project, (e.g. audio book), I would go back to Audacity 2.3.2, or use Audacity’s free competitor OCENaudio.

The introduction of “smart” " trimmed clips" in Audacity 3.1 is responsible for project sizes ballooning.
When you paste a “smart” clip, of say 10 seconds, it contains the all of the audio file it was copied from which could be, say, an hour long,
(a.k.a. “non-destructive editing”).

Even if your computer has the memory to deal with this duplication of data, Audacity still only uses 1 CPU, (even if you have four).
So it’s under-powered to perform this task => laggyness, freezing crashing, (and swearing & blasphemy).

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