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The Inspiration Behind Barrovian Books Ltd.

In the early 20th century, at King Edward's School in Birmingham, England, a group of young men formed an unbreakable bond with a shared mission: to change the world through their art. This tight-knit brotherhood gathered at the Barrow Stores, and its core included Christopher Wisemen, Geoffrey Bache Smith, Robert Gilson, and J.R.R. Tolkien. They used these meetings to share their creations, be it in writing, poetry, music, or art, and to discuss their thoughts and philosophies.

This group became known as the "Tea Club, Barrovian Society" (T.C.B.S.) and for a brief but transformative period until the Great War separated them, they encouraged and inspired each other, upholding their loyalty to the power of creativity.

Motivated by this profound belief, Barrovian Books Ltd. was born. These books are not just a collection of handmade journals notebooks, and sketchbooks, they are a haven for those seeking a reprieve from the digital world. As a tangible outlet for creativity as well as an homage to remarkable fellowship of the T.C.B.S., Barrovian Books is a pledge to nurture the flame of imagination and the enduring power of art and storytelling.

Barrovian Books Ltd. is a Leeway Studios LLC company.

A pledge to change the world through the power of art.


Ryan Schwalm

As the Owner and Chief Story Officer of Leeway Studios LLC, Ryan brings the magic of storytelling to life through the creation of Barrovian Books Ltd. Fueled by a passion for practical artistry and a relentless pursuit of creative endeavors, Ryan embarked on his journey into bookmaking to fulfill his ikigai—his life's purpose. In a world hungry for creativity, design, and compelling narratives, Ryan saw an opportunity to craft something truly unique.

Akin to a blacksmith who works with metal, a booksmith is skilled in the craft of creating books with a high level of artistry and craftsmanship. They design and craft covers, bind pages together, and have a deep dedication to a hands-on, artisanal approach to book creation, emphasizing the skill and creativity involved in the process.

A true booksmith in every sense, Ryan is the craftsman behind the scenes, meticulously designing and crafting covers, binding pages together, and infusing each creation with a deep dedication to a hands-on, artisanal approach.