St. Patrick’s Day, at least here in the United States, is the sacred day when we all celebrate our Irish heritage, real or imagined, by drinking an absurd amount and pinching people who do not wear green. Surely this is what the Roman missionary meant when he came to Ireland in the 5th century. But today is not just a day for you to drink suspiciously green-tinted Bud Light and slap on an orange beard. It’s also Irish Arts Center’s annual Book Day, when volunteers pass out copies of Irish novelists’ work at various points in New York, including a corner in Sunset Park and one in Park Slope. James Joyce goes very well with a bender, we promise.
The book handout includes titles by authors like Emma Donoghue, Pete Hamill, Colum McCann, Edna O’Brien, and Joseph O’Neill, among many others. Volunteers will be passing them out in Brooklyn on the Northwest corner of 36th Street and 4th Avenue in Sunset Park and the Northeast corner of 7th Avenue and 9th Street, near the F and G station. In Manhattan, books are available at 23rd Street and 8th Avenue, 110th Street and Lexington, and Quest to Learn Public School at 18th Street. (Other locations in Queens and the Bronx are available here.) So go forth and get some book-learnin’ in your life. At the very least, books are an excellent blunt object to help drive out snakes from the country.