Conley’s Books & Music moves to Shane Center

Samantha Hill

Conley’s Books & Music, once a downtown Livingston mainstay, has moved to the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts.

Co-owners Nan and James Conley bought their business over 10 years ago. Since moving, it has slimmed down its inventory to focus less on games, books and toys and more on instruments and music lessons.

“We really wanted to focus on what we do best,” James said, adding that it became too much of a hassle to maintain so much inventory.

Although the book selection is smaller, the business still offers literature, mystery, fantasy, history and Native American genres.

Despite the change, the Conleys think the new space is a great place to be.

“We are really happy to be over here,” James said. “Seems like a better fit.”

When walking into their business, located upstairs in Room 205, there is a section that catches one’s eye — a log cabin-type structure that, in addition to being a neat feature, also serves a practical function: it’s the new location for the store’s music lessons.

Designed by Shane Center Creative Director Russell Lewis, the cabin is fashioned to keep the sounds of music from escaping through the floors to Faye’s Cafe below.

Conley’s Books & Music also has a large wall of guitars and other stringed instruments on display. There are the special Teton guitars made in the region, which Nan said are comparable to Fenders — a well-regarded guitar brand. There are also ukuleles, which she said they have a hard time keeping in stock.

“As soon as put them out, people will buy them up,” Nan said.

Numerous music lessons are still available and are always changing. The lessons include ones for guitar, ukulele, Native American flute and more.

Although the couple has already moved into their new space, they will host a grand opening celebration on St. Patrick’s Day, March 18. The event will be from 5 to 8 p.m. with live Irish music, discounts and a variety of beverages.

The business is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Shane Lalani Center for the Arts is located at 415 E. Lewis St. For more information, call 222-7766.

Samantha Hill may be reached at