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Reading Rituals with Lora Ward

We sat down with Lora Ward to uncover the heart and soul of Bacteria Books and her cherished reading rituals. After returning to Australia from NYC, Lora, a designer and Art Director, identified a need for independent publishing and founded Bacteria Books.

This space is more than just a bookstore—it’s a testament to her dedication to cultural and community connections through thoughtfully curated books.

The magic of Bacteria Books lies in its intuitive curation, deeply influenced by Lora's life experiences and spiritual connections. It’s about fostering unexpected relationships and sparking readers' imaginations. Lora hopes her books serve as companions in daily rituals, offering moments of meditation and transformation. Here, she shares her journey, inspirations, and how her passion for books shapes every aspect of her life. Photgraphed by Ming Nomchong.

Lora, can you please tell us about your background and what inspired you to create Bacteria Books?

I am a designer and Art Director based in the Northern Rivers. After returning to Australia after some years of working in NYC, a place entangled deeply in all aspects of the book, there was a space in the community for independent publishing. Bacteria Books has always been a means to contribute to culture and community, a place of cultivation and connectivity between creatives and artists and has ignited my search and exploration of the unexpected. With what started as a nomadic bookstand in a photo lab and later a gallery, the project became a natural amalgamation, growing into a space of book curation, publishing and now distribution. 

Books have a magical way of transporting us to different worlds. What world do you explore within your bacterial universe?

Most books that I choose to surround myself with focus on the interconnectedness that surrounds us all and the unseen gestures of life. As human beings, we must learn to coexist and live in symbiosis with all living entities for the health and survival of the delicate ecosystem that we inhabit.


Every book has its own unique magic. What special elements do you think makes Bacteria Books stand out in the literature landscape?

From inception Bacteria Books has always been a very intuitive process. I have struggled to define precisely what characterizes and forms it. It has arisen deeply from life experiences, family and influences. I recently had my birth chart read, and a lot came up about connecting back to the source and connections to the spiritual forces of the Cosmos. Themes and characteristics that define my sun sign run acutely in the arts, creativity and healing worlds. These could represent some strong themes that run through Bacteria Books' curation. Perhaps I run a Piscean bookstore?

Books can serve as companions in our daily rituals. What kind of companionship do you hope Bacteria Books offers to its readers?

Books are an entanglement of something much larger than us. I hope that Bacteria Books brings a means of assemblage, collecting, and ongoingness, helping readers explore unexpected relationships and networks. 


The ritual of reading often involves a quiet, reflective space. How do you envision Bacteria Books fitting into the serene moments of a reader’s day?

Reading often induces a meditative and contemplative state. I hope books can induce a transcendental and imaginative experience through the written word and imagery, helping expand the subconscious and carving out space for visceral thinking and creativity in the reader.

Can you share a personal reading ritual of yours that has remained constant over the years? 

I mainly read in the bath or at the beach (Taurus Rising!). A couple of publishers I stock, Isolarii and Ignota Books, publish the most exquisite small pocketbooks. They are a joy to tuck in a pocket and take for a walk, find a perch to read on and stroll home again. 

How do you envision the ritual of reading evolving in the future, and what role do you see Bacteria Books playing in that evolution?

As the world delves headfirst into the digital age, I hope that Bacteria Books helps to preserve the importance of the tactile and tangible. It contributes to knowledge that can be collected and built upon over time, something that is never absolute or a linear experience.

Reading can be a shared ritual, too. How do you use Bacteria to foster community and connection?

I recently launched a symposium called the Seaweed Salon, a knowledge and skill-sharing workshop series that helps connect our community with local artists and thinkers while cultivating a generative space of cultural learning and thinking. We opened the year with a Movement as Medicine workshop with Waangenga Blanco, followed by an Ecological Diorama workshop with Immortal Soil. We finished the season with an Earthen Building demonstration with Dani Wolff. I look forward to launching the second series later this year.

In the spirit of rituals, what daily practices do you engage in to keep your creativity and passion alive?

The physical, the outdoors + matcha!

What has been the most inspiring book you have read recently, and why? 

A book that I have been revisiting most has been Ursula K. Le Guin — The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. This portion of the essay speaks to the linear binary world that we have been handed, leading us in an often singular, monotonous direction. We have to shift the way we understand and approach this world. It was recommended by a friend of mine a few years ago during a time of important synchronicities. The events and experiences during this time altered the course of my life and work’s evolution to this day. 


Top five favourite books?

John Cage: A Mycological Foray 

On the Necessity of Gardening: An ABC of Art, Botany and Cultivation

Judd Spaces

Shelter by Lloyd Khan 

Uncrating the Japanese House

Do you ever dream of publishing another book? If you could, what would it be about?

I co-published an art photo book a few years ago with a local photographer, Ming Nomchong. The project came with its learnings and challenges (printing mid-COVID!), but it was a hugely rewarding project that has cemented our relationship as great friends and collaborators.
I have another book, short stories this time, with another infamous pyramid-dwelling local. We are hoping to get this one printed in the coming months.

I have another book, short stories this time, with another infamous pyramid-dwelling local. We are hoping to get this one printed in the coming months.

What do you feel the world needs more of right now?

Slowing down, reducing consumption, and re-regulating our nervous systems. 

What is on your Lucy Folk wishlist?

I love the Jade Deco Ring, it reminds me of the signet ring my Opa once wore.

Lastly, what advice would you offer to someone who's just beginning their reading journey and wants to dive into collecting and enjoying more books?

Start small and what piques your true interests. This may mean starting with short, digestible essays or novellas. Although sometimes heavy, collecting books on your travels is a way to bring a manifestation home of the place, culture and deep time you have travelled to.

Measurement Guide

Inner Diameter

Use the table below to find your ring size. The most accurate sizing is determined by measuring the inner diameter of your ring in millimetres (mm) using a ruler.

Size Conversion Chart

FR 47¾ 49 50 51¾ 52¾ 55¼ 57¾ 59 60¼
IT 8 8.75 10 11.25 12.5 15 17.5 19 20.25
Millimetres 15.29 15.49 15.9 16.31 16.71 17.53 18.34 18.75 19.15
Inches 0.602 0.61 0.626 0.642 0.658 0.69 0.722 0.738 0.754

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Our team can answer all of your questions about sizing. To learn more contact customer service.


Call Us+61 (3) 9007 0507

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Sizing varies between our items, so we recommend using the graph below to determine your ideal size and comparing these measurements to similar item that you already own. Additional style and fit details are included in the product page ”Size & Fit” tab.

All measurements below are taken of the item lying flat.

Global Size Conversion Chart

Size XS S M L XL
US 2 4 6 8 10
UK 6 8 10 12 14
IT 38 40 42 44 46
FR 34 36 38 40 42
EU 38 40 42 44 46
AU 6 8 10 12 14
RU 40 42 44 46 48
JP 5 7 9 11 13

Still not sure what size?

Our team can answer all of your questions about sizing. To learn more contact customer service.


Call Us+61 (3) 9007 0507

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