Besides the 2 mathematicians quoted below and me, who else has touted free dissemination to students of detailed solutions, to EVERY exercise and problem (like in textbooks)? I uphold this wholeheartedly! This free dissemination ought to be the norm!
I do NOT refer to snippety one-line answers at the back of a textbook, student solution manuals that solve merely some or half of the exercises, or solution manuals restricted to instructors.
I rely especially on one of the most useful of all learning devices: the inclusion of detailed solutions to exercises. Solutions to problems are commonplace in elementary texts but quite rare (although equally valuable) at the upper division undergraduate and graduate level. This feature makes the book suitable for independent study, and further widens the audience.
- David Patrick, Introduction to Counting and Probability (2005), page v.
However, if you are using this book on your own to learn independently, then you probably have a copy of the solution book, in which case there are some very important things to keep in mind:
Make sure that you make a serious attempt at the problem before looking at the solution. Don't use the solution book as a crutch to avoid really thinking about a problem first. You should think hard about a problem before deciding to give up and look at the solution.
After you solve a problem, it's usually a good idea to read the solution, even if you think you know how to solve the problem. The solution that's in the solution book might show you a quicker or more concise way to solve the problem, or it might have a completely different solution method that you might not have thought of. [emboldening mine]
If you have to look at the solution in order to solve a problem, make sure that you make a note of that problem. Come back to it in a week or two to make sure that you are able to solve it on your own, without resorting to the solution.