As a former resident of Rochester in Kent I love nothing better than returning to the city for a day out (even when it's raining).
It's home to a castle was a fascinating story, a cathedral, a river, and an historic high street that's crammed with interesting boutiques, bookshops and literary history. But I'm not going to get all obvious by writing about Charles Dickens. Instead I'm going to tell you about what I used to consider my local - City Books.
A fairly average-sized bookshop on the high street, this was my go-to place for books when I lived around the corner. And if, for some bizarre reason, books aren't your thing there's also a large collection of medals and glass bottles on sale too. Not forgetting the fish tank, should you want someone other than the bookseller to talk to...
But the thing I love(d) about my regular visits to City Books was exploring the cosy shelves on the hunt for my next sci fi read (I must've mentioned before how great secondhand bookshops can be for science fiction?) And returning to the bookshop recently I was pleased to see - despite a bit of a reshuffle - their selection was as good as I remembered.
Shopping with a friend, I inevitably lost him during my wanderings, eventually meeting up again with our hands full at the till. I'd found a copy of The Hammer of God by one of my favourite writers, Arthur C Clarke, the rest of the purchases pictured were my friend's. Honest (no matter how open-minded I like to be Katy Perry would be a CD too far for me).
But that's part of the joy of secondhand bookshops: the randomness of what you can find when you leave literature on the historic high street and treat yourself to some wonderful guilty pleasures.
41 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LN
Tel: 01634 815565