The Empty Bookshelf

There is an empty bookshelf in my study on which I keep all the books I was going to write but didn’t.


I sit and scan my mind’s eye across their non-existent spines. I smile. I feel nostalgic for the time I imagined I might write them and for the weeks and months that I didn’t patiently work on them, that I didn’t toil over their sentences. I feel nostalgic for the research I didn’t undertake. I also feel nostalgic for the abandoning of them.


Here is a partial list of these non-existent or abandoned past works, in the chronological order of their non-completion and non-publication:


Untitled (fiction, novella)
Untitled (fiction, short story)
Untitled (non-fiction, critical)
Untitled (non-fiction, critical)
The Computer, 1968-2001: A Cultural History of the Present (non-fiction, critical)
Beginning at the End: Science Fiction and the Fin-de-Siècle (non-fiction, critical)
Untitled (non-fiction, critical)
Untitled (non-fiction, critical)
The City: A Critical Narrative (fiction, critical-creative)
The Purple Tie (fiction, short story)
Piano Sonata, Op. 1 (musical score)
Untitled (collection of fragments)



by James Holden



This text is an edited version of one originally published in a blog post entitled 'Text: The Empty Bookshelf' on the HOARD website on Thursday 22nd May 2014. You can read this original blog post here.


Re-published here on Monday 25th August 2014.

© James Holden 2014