When asked what made Terri DeLong decide to open a bookstore during a pandemic, she said it was her passion for books and music, and that the right building became available.
She loves the way the house where the store is located feels, and she has put the various rooms to good use. They are filled with used books, used records, used DVDs, art from local artists and unique gifts.
“My love of books started when I was a child,” said DeLong, “When I had my own children, we read a lot. It is something I’ve always enjoyed.”
DeLong accepts a wide variety of books, but due to the small amount of shelf space, there are some types of books that she does not carry. One of these is romances like Harlequin.
“Since opening,” said DeLong, “the main items we have sold are fiction, especially the classics. And we carry science fiction, fantasy, young adult, Manga, and graphic novels…Our cute kids’ room is filled with children’s books.”
So far, the majority of their customers have found them due to their use of social media, especially Instagram. Families have been finding them, so have lots of college students. But DeLong has seen all ages, from small children and teenagers to seniors.
“We have something for everyone,” added DeLong.
They have a big cookbook section, as well as books for those who are spiritual seekers. And on Tuesdays and Thursdays DeLong offers Tarot reading from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.
On Saturdays, they often provide live music. Check their Instagram or Facebook to see who is playing.
The store’s name was created by one of DeLong’s daughters. Her family loves cats, and they were even thinking of bringing cats into the store, but they were afraid they would get out. Instead, they have filled the walls with all kinds of cat art from local artists.
Besides books, Crying Cat carries new and used vinyl. This includes lots of good old rock, as well as current music. If you don’t want vinyl, they also have CDs.
Want to chill with a movie, but don’t have Netflix or HBO Max? Crying Cat carries DVDs.
If you prefer taking your photos, the store carries 35mm film and mat board for Middle Tennessee State University students.
Other items they carry include candles, incense, mugs, and the occasional surprise item, like a vintage lunch box.
Reading cubbies are tucked into hidden corners, or a book can be taken outside to enjoy while sitting on the front porch.
“I just felt Murfreesboro needed something like this,” said DeLong, “and I love old houses, so when this one became free, I went for it.”
Crying Cat Books and Records
504 Maney Avenue
Phone: (629) 207-3931
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.