Dear Frank @ITESMenglish,
Thanks for your comment. I understand your concern about books being castrating and taking away teachers' ability to create. I would like to give you my perspective on books and teachers as well. I worked for 2 years and a half for a well-known ELT publishing house (which shall remain nameless) and I could observe many things I was not entirely happy about. One of these things and probably the most upsetting one was the lack of ethics of some decision makers. I know what you said about the "decision facilitators" getting some bonuses for pushing the decision of getting books in one or the other direction is true. I also know those decision makers are not necessarily the most academic person at school, creating an unthinkable situation for teachers. A lot of those people just make the decision of book purchase based on who gives more. Unfortunately, many publishing houses (not the one I worked for) offer more than academic incentives, making competition tough and unfair sometimes. I agree with ou there are lots of political issues around book ´purchases at school, making the book a burden for teachers to bear.
However, sometimes, that decision is made thoroughly and thinking about what's best for students. Unfortunately, this is no guarantee of success either since teacher buy-in sometimes is very low and they don't use the book as it is intended, but they just teach of the page without personalizing learning to their students. Therefore, I see your point about the books being somehow restrictive and conducive to mediocre teaching practices and little learning, but sometimes all those attributions can also be given to teachers.
So, as always, I think it takes a special kind of teacher to offer intentional content to students and to go beyond the book. What do you think?