Responding to complaints by parents the Turkish government has pulled all used books from their Free Class Books Project.
From Education Minister Nimet Çubukçu:
The course books distributed within the scope of the Free Class Books Project cannot be used, as the schools lack the infrastructure to control and protect the books. As the parents do not find the used books hygienic, giving a group of students new books and others used books does not serve our educational needs
This is one wacky story and I have to wonder if something got lost in the translation. If indeed used books are unsanitary and need to be controlled and protected where does that leave the public library? I can also see the light bulbs going on at Amazon - we can solve this problem by giving them all Kindles!
Stories like this reiterate the challenge that still exists, here in this country and apparently around the world, in making non-new books a legitimate option. For whatever reason, for many, used is still not an option when considering a book purchase. This dilemma has improved somewhat since the advent of the online book marketplaces but by no means has "used" attained equal footing with new. Perhaps if we called them recycled books...
Story at Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review