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 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.

Paul Listro and Richard Parent, the fourth and current owners, took the reins in October of 2019 and look forward to many years ahead sustaining and growing the Breakwater Books legacy.

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 carries books, puzzles, games, children’s toys, as well as calendars, greeting cards and stationery. 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!

Paul and Richard

Meet the Breakwater Books Family!


Paul Listro and Richard Parent, Owners, have both had long careers in media, primarily in television and film production, Richard as an attorney and business affairs executive, Paul as an accountant and finance executive.  They are avid patrons of the arts with a keen interest in theater, cinema and literature.  Residing in the Short Beach community of Branford, Connecticut for many years, they have long been fans of Breakwater Books and are thrilled and humbled to carry the torch of this cultural asset of the shoreline community.


Liza Fixx, Bookseller 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 was the third owner, and plans to spend many wonderful years growing the store and serving the community.


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.


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!


Nancy Beccia, Bookseller and Receiving




Elle Petra, Bookseller




Jennifer Tucci,  Bookkeeper