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A Brief History of Breakwater Books

In 1972, Marion Young and Marion Harold opened a small independent bookstore in Guilford, Connecticut in the space behind the bookstore’s current location. Ten years later, an opportunity to relocate to a larger space presented itself.  Today, Breakwater Books continues to thrive in its home on the Guilford Green.


Breakwater Founders, 1972

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 and the Greater New Haven area.

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 allowing more space to host author events and creating a dedicated children’s room.  Richard Parent and Paul Listro, the fourth owners, took the reins in October of 2019 and increased inventory and categories, added new features including e-commerce through this site, and introduced novel rolling bookshelving to facilitate even more event space. We are thankful for all the great work they did to build up Breakwater Books. Beginning in March 2020, they shepherded the store through the pandemic years of 2020-21, keeping it alive and well despite having to close its doors to customers for months. Thanks to Richard and Paul, the Breakwater Books legacy lives on.

Dani and Rob Howard took over the bookstore in April 2023. We want to expand on the prior work and broaden the store’s involvement in the community.  To that end, we will be hosting author events, play readings, music events, open mic nights, and book clubs. One of our goals as we run this store is to give 5% of our sales back to town organizations.  Right now we plan on giving these funds to Guilford ABC and the GFFE.  Please spread the word about this lovely bookstore, as the more people that come here, the more we will be able to give back to the community.

Although Breakwater is known for our curated selection of books, we also carry reader glasses, bookmarks, page marks, puzzles, playing cards, games, plush animals, finger puppets, stickers, magnets, greeting cards, calendars, bookish Christmas ornaments, holiday cards, candles, matches, pens, pencils, journals and stationery as well. Please come in to browse and explore our store - you never know what you might find or learn, and your new favorite book may be right around the corner.