Maybe he wasn't scamming and wasn't answering BECAUSE of stranger danger. Like, he was inwardly weighing the option of whether you were going to molest him vs. how much he wanted those schoolbooks.
@Megano! ME TOO! That is how I do fancy things. I need to touch them. I risked getting kicked out of Versailles for touching EVERYTHING but I just had to. I couldn't not do it. I always wonder if fancy things just feel differently than my things.
@Aunt_Pete I totally agree with this, especially the part about feeling frustrated with constantly being exhorted to spend money on things to support them. And kind of especially on this site, where we're also being reminded to save save save. (No offense to The Billfold, of course--I know it's a site about all things monetary/financial.) But I just do. not. have. the money to buy locally-designed clothes and new books from independent bookstores and organic produce from farmers markets and so on and so forth forever and ever, even though, if I had the cash, I would absolutely support small and/or local business. But for right now, I buy undies at Target and I find not the cheapest grocery store, but the regular one, not the Whole Foods, and I get my coffee for a couple bucks at Dunkin' Donuts. As someone who has very little discretionary income, and who is also an avid reader, I choose to patronize the library almost exclusively for my books. I don't even like buying them used at thrift shops because I think $3 is a lot of money to spend on a used book (thanks mom!), one that I will read once and then give away or spend the rest of my life carting around. And honestly, I do not feel even the slightest bit guilty about that decision. It would financially break me to spend all of my money on used books, and I don't need to have tons of fiction books sitting around, because I don't need them as "objects." BUT. I am also willing to spend a reasonable amount of money to see bands I love, to go to the symphony, to see a comedian, etc. And I will give to charity when I have the money, and even sometimes when I don't. It's just that I, and a lot of/most people, cannot give to all of the causes in the world, no matter how deserving they are. Sorry for the rant!
When I was studying abroad in England, one of my medieval history professors told me the he netted less than £100 for his latest book on Crusades history. He was, at the time, beginning research for his next book. I love buying books. I love buying them from independent bookstores. I appreciate deeply the contributions of writers past and present. As Mike said however, “our pockets are only so deep.” Most of my purchases are done at yard sales and discount sources online. I use the library and I borrow books from friends. Yes, occasionally I buy something at list price at Kramer Books. Or, if there is a release that I am particularly excited about, I’ll run out and get that too. Perhaps this is too tangential, but I have to admit to a general feeling of frustration and discomfort that so much emphasis is currently being placed on monetary support of an ideology. I’m sure this is as old as time, and I’m just more tuned into it now that I balance a checkbook, but sometimes I feel like I can’t win. And of course I get it…put your money where your mouth is. But I have limited resources and infinite demands on it. Fair trade coffee, locally raised sustainable produce, handmade crafts, products from companies with ethical labor standards – all these are things that I support and things that come at a premium. And that’s not to mention charities and foundations that do wonderful, wonderful work that depend on donations to survive. I guess I’m trying to say, we’re all doing our best. So I wish the people with clipboards on the sidewalk would stop asking glaring at me when I decline to donate and hostilely asking me why I don’t care enough about the earth/starving children/equal rights/etc to give them my credit card number and pledge $20.00 per month. Because I do care.
I will forever use student cards at museums and feel vaguely guilty about it because, hello, I work in museums and I know how badly they could use the extra dough. But on the other hand, I work in museums and I know how badly *I* could use the extra dough.