Oh, yes, but
It is annoying, but imo better than previous, particularly when I'm casting 20 or 30 Raise and Lower land spells in a row.
Oh, yes, thus the "step in the right direction".
The reasons it's only a STEP is because
1) It only partly solves the issue of repetitive spellcasting. Having to open the spellbook, click cast, and then cast, is still 1 more step per casting than there should be. A quickbar would only have 2 steps.
2) It does little-to-nothing for the situation of wanting to cast a series of common choice spells in a row. You still have to open the spellbook each time (as with above), find the spell (which is not guaranteed to be on the same page as the last thing you cast), and cast it.