Textbook selection in the United States used to be quite simple. As Nila Banton Smith (1986) reminds us, choices in colonial America were limited to the New England Primer and a Holy Bible. Throw in a slate and a lunch pail and children were fully equipped for the school year!
Schumm, J. S., & Doucette, M. (1991). Improving the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Textbook Selection Procedures: A Smorgasbord of Suggestions and Strategies. Reading Horizons, 31 (4). Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol31/iss4/2