Over the years of being a student or of being a teacher, it's occurred to me that I've never done every topic in a textbook. If it's a workbook that has a few introductory theory pages and then a few more pages devoted to working on practice problems and has blank space for students to write in, then yes, I've completely covered everything in those books (both as a student, and in assigning it as a teacher). But I've never had such thoroughness when it comes to a textbook.

I'm not asking if you should try and cover everything, but I'm just wondering if any textbooks are have been completely utilized? If so, then which ones and what about them made it so that you could (or would) cover all topics?)

(About level of textbook, I'm referring to post-secondary/high school (so I'm referring to college or university texts))

  • $\begingroup$ Edited it to clarify since I suspect books designed for secondary school would be designed to be done in the semester(s) $\endgroup$ – Robbie_P Oct 1 '20 at 9:59
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    $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer your question, but when I was an undergrad I believe we worked through the entire textbook "Linear Algebra Done Right" with no skipped sections. It fit comfortably in a semester, and the whole book is quite good. $\endgroup$ – Steven Gubkin Oct 1 '20 at 12:14
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    $\begingroup$ For a textbook publisher, adding more material is always a competitive advantage. Teachers don't reject a book because it has a topic they don't teach, they reject books that don't have a topic they do want to teach. $\endgroup$ – Ben Crowell Oct 1 '20 at 12:59
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    $\begingroup$ I wasn't the instructor, but as an undergrad, I believe we covered every page of "An Introduction to the Mathematical Theory of Waves" by Roger Knobel. $\endgroup$ – Nick C Oct 1 '20 at 15:14
  • $\begingroup$ When I was in high school (Aug. 1973 to May 1977), every every section of this edition of Dolciani's text Algebra and Trigonometry 2 was covered in our 11th grade (Algebra 2) and 12th grade (Advanced Math) classes (along with some additional topics not in the book the last few weeks of 12th grade math). In Fall 1978, I took a qualitative theory of ODEs course in which every paragraph of this book was covered in excruciating detail, because some (a lot?) of the material was a bit new to our professor. $\endgroup$ – Dave L Renfro Oct 1 '20 at 17:16

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