Our Story

In 1972, Marion Young and Marion Harold opened a small, independent bookstore in Guilford, Connecticut in the space behind the bookstore’s current location. After the first ten years, they had the opportunity to move to a larger space and, thirty six years later, Breakwater Books continues to thrive at its home on the Guilford Green.

The original mission of Breakwater Books was to provide a general selection of books for children and adults, and to always provide the highest level of customer service.

The store has remained true to this philosophy, and continues to serve the Shoreline Community as well as New Haven. Maureen Corcoran took the reins in  2007, and the store flourished under her ownership – defining itself as an anchor in the community.

Liza Fixx, the current and third owner of the bookstore, renovated the space in 2017, opening the front room so as to be able to host author events, and created a dedicated children’s room as well. The store carries books, puzzles, games, children’s toys, as well as calendars, greeting cards and stationery.

Known for our curated selection of books – both new and classics- Breakwater Books has recently started to stretch its legs and add some new features.
The store has hosted an array of book talks and signings, art receptions, and plans to continue to grow this facet of the store in the coming months and years.

Please stop in and visit – we will offer you a cheerful face, a helpful bookseller, and the chance to browse in an iconic store and maybe find a new book or meet a friend!


Meet the Breakwater Books Family!

Liza Fixx, Owner joined the Breakwater Books team in 2015. She holds a Master’s of Education and Bachelor’s degree from Smith College, and spent several years teaching at the elementary school level. In between having her two children, Liza worked at  various independent bookstores, culminating in serving as the assistant to the previous owner of Breakwater Books, Maureen Corcoran. Liza  especially enjoys her time helping children select books, and feels fortunate to be able to carry on the legacy of the store’s forty six years in business. She is the third owner, and plans to spend many wonderful years growing the store and serving the community.

Carol Baugh, Events Assistant is thrilled to be a part of the Breakwater Books team. From having her own catering business at the age of 12 to coordinating events in Monaco, her passion and expertise for the organizational aspect of events goes beyond the ordinary. After spending 10 years in New York advertising, she moved onto Facilities, Operations, and Events with 20th Century Fox Film, Fox Sports, and Fox Broadcasting. 27 years later, she moved to Guilford, CT where – in addition to her work with Breakwater Books – she enjoys fundraising and volunteer.

Nancy Beccia, Bookseller and Receiving




Maureen Corcoran, Bookseller


Louisa de Cossey, Bookseller started working at Breakwater at the age of 15 and has been reading voraciously ever since. Her favorite genres are Historical Fiction, New Fiction, and biography, especially adventure biographies to satisfy her wanderlust. She is currently completing a degree in screenwriting at Vermont College of Fine Art.



Kirsten Dooley, Bookseller


Simone Goetsch, Bookseller has been working at Breakwater for 1 year. She is looking forward to completing her last year of high school and graduating with the Guilford High School class of 2019. She has been a long time supporter of Breakwater, visiting the store often with family and friends as she grew up in downtown Guilford. She loves reading, especially fantasy, fiction, and mystery, and she is very thankful to be a part of the Breakwater family.

Shannon Hearn, Marketing & Social Media Strategist is currently an MFA candidate at Queens College for Poetry. She joined Breakwater Books as their Marketing & Social Media Strategist in 2018. In addition to her work with Breakwater Books, she works as the Website Manager for Blue Flower Arts, a literary speakers agency in New York. Her own writing has appeared or is forthcoming with 3:AM Magazine, Big Lucks, cream city review, Juked, Heavy Feather Review, and others. She currently splits her time between NYC and CT with her partner Emily.

Elaine Lynders, Bookseller has been working at Breakwater Books for 2 years, attending UMass Amherst for 1 year, and living in Guilford forever. She loves books more than almost any other inanimate object, and loves reading them more than most other activities. Her favorite genres are fantasy, mystery, epic sagas full of romance and adventure, and poetry. One day she hopes her own books will be displayed on the shelves of Breakwater Books.

Sue Peterson, Office Manager moved to Guilford in 1979 with her husband Bob and they raised their 3 children here. She joined the Breakwater Books family in 1996 and has enjoyed working here every day. Since her favorite thing to do is read, she felt at home from the start. While her favorite genre is literary fiction, she also enjoys mysteries, memoirs, and non-fiction. She also keeps up with what is new and fun for kids since she is always buying books for her grandkids.


Ellis Riccio, Bookseller



Ginger Swartz, Bookseller has been at Breakwater Books for 3 1/2 years. As a retired Guilford teacher, she loves seeing her kids and parents when they come to the store. Helping readers find a good book or the perfect gift is an absolute pleasure for her!



Jennifer Tucci, Assistant Bookkeeper



Michele Waters, Bookseller and Receiving


Emilie Waters Harris, Bookseller has been working at Breakwater Books since 2003 and has always loved books. She is also a Biology teacher and fencing coach at Hopkins School. Emilie primarily reads mysteries, crime fiction, and scientific non-fiction.



Kathy Wilson, Bookseller