Washington in September is now established on the annual book-fair circuit (alongside Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco) of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America. this year's 92 exhibitors in the Mellon Auditorium, five were from Maryland (Antiquarian Bookworm, Marilyn Braiterman, Kelmscott, Quill and Brush, Second Story Books). The show chairman was Allan Stypeck of Rockville.
Here are a few dealer price tags on standard, rare, Maryland books (mostly first editions, mostly in fine condition; the current-era ones, mostly with dust jacket):
* James M. Cain, "The Moth," 1948, $125
* John R. Kenly, "Memoirs of a Volunteer in the War With Mexico," 1873, $275
* Niles' Weekly Register, Jan. 31, 1829, $3
* Anne Tyler, "Searching for Caleb," 1976, $175
* Dan Daniel, "Babe Ruth, the Idol of the American Boy," 1930, $150
* Roger Zelazny, "Lord of Light," 1967, $550
* Brantz Mayer, "Mexico as It Is and as It Was," 1844, $250
* Rachel Carson, "Silent Spring," 1962, $40
* H. L. Mencken, "Happy Days," "Newspaper Days," "Heathen Days," 1940s, signed, the three for $1,000
* Tom Clancy, "The Hunt for Red October," 1984, $400
* James McSherry, "History of Maryland," 1904 edition, $40
* F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Tender Is the Night," 1934, $4,500
* Two-dollar bill, Annapolis, April 10, 1774, $45
* H. L. Mencken, "Vachel Lindsay," 1947 pamphlet, $750
* "U. S. Naval Academy," 1894 picture book, $200
The 31st Bookstore
Cooperative, up against the same wall that confronts most small, independent booksellers in the chain-store age, faces change. It seeks a buyer.
The good news for this 700-member co-op is that several tentative bidders have come forward. Whether the location (435 E. 31st) changes is uncertain, but the mission is fixed: multicultural books for feminists, lesbians and children, plus posters, cards, crafts, music, videos.
RF Meanwhile, a sale is in progress -- at, naturally, 31 percent off.
Bob Allen Of Eldersburg is the editor of "The Blackwell Guide to Recorded Country Music" ($24.95), a series book from an XTC Oxford, U.K., publishing house. Mr. Allen and eight fellow contributors (including Geoffrey Himes of Baltimore) cover country (mostly on CDs) from Roy Acuff to Dwight Yoakum, from chanky-chank to neo-rockabilly.
Mr. Allen, earlier the author of "George Jones: Saga of an American Singer," is editor-at-large for Country Music Magazine.
Scott B. Bennett, since 1989 the director of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at Johns Hopkins University, will go out the door Friday. On Saturday, in New Haven, Conn., Mr. Bennett, 55, becomes university librarian at Yale. At Hopkins, Professor Stephen Nichols moves over from the French Department to serve as interim library director.
Thomas Chastain, author of many murder mysteries, died Sept. 1, age 73. He was born in Canada and settled in New York, but in his formative years (1941-1951), as a pre-Writing Seminars writer at Johns Hopkins University and then as a newspaperman, he was a Baltimorean.
The afternoon turnout for Mencken Day at Pratt Library Sept. 10 was once again S.R.O. A main attraction was the presence of all three editors of Johns Hopkins University Press' new "35 Years of Newspaper Work: A Memoir by H. L. Mencken" (Fred Hobson, Vince Fitzpatrick, Bradford Jacobs).
* Sept. 28, 7:30 p.m. -- Francine Prose, novelist, now on Johns Hopkins faculty, leads off University of Maryland College Park readings series. (301) 405-3820.
* Sept. 30, 8 p.m. -- Towson State's Diane Scharper reads her poetry at Noyes Alumnae House, College of Notre Dame. $12. To register, call (410) 532-6090.
* Oct. 2, 1:15 p.m. -- Edgar Allan Poe Society's anniversary observance of Poe's death, Westminster Churchyard, Fayette and Greene streets; 2 p.m., 71st Poe lecture, this year by Michael L. Burduck of Tennessee Technological University, Poe Room, Pratt Library, 400 Cathedral St.
* Oct. 2, 2 p.m. -- Talk by Nancy Patz, illustrator of "The Family Treasury of Jewish Holidays," Wheeler Auditorium, Pratt Library, 400 Cathedral St.
* Oct. 8, 9:30 a.m. -- Writer's Day, Hagerstown Junior College; sponsors, Antietam Review and HJC. Ellyn Bache, speaker ("How To Sell What You Write"); lunch, workshops. $25. (301) 791-3132.
* Oct. 8, 10 a.m. -- Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Holiday Inn, Hagerstown; lunch speaker, Charles Ghigna. Non-members, $65. (301-724-4486).
* Oct. 8, 2 p.m. -- Talk by W. S. Merwin, poet, Howard County Poetry and Literature Society, Bryant Woods Center, Columbia, $10; 4 p.m., readings by Mr. Merwin at Oakland, in Columbia, $5. (410) 730-7524.