If you want to know where to get free textbooks, then you have come to the right place. Here is a list of the best websites and some detail on what they can offer you:
1. Library Genesis
Library Genesis is one of the better-known free textbook websites as it has been around for some time. The site boasts thousands of textbooks covering a wide variety of subjects. These include Art, Biology, Chemistry, Psychics, Psychology, Medicine, History, and lots more.
An interesting element of Library Genesis is that it includes textbooks from all around the world, in various languages. You are also likely to find a collection of older textbooks as well.
In addition to textbooks, Library Genesis is a wonderful source for all kinds of academic texts. It is an excellent research tool for college students.
The layout and the structure of the website can be a little confusing. However, once you get the hang of it, you will be able to use the advanced filter search function to narrow down precisely what you are looking for.
This is a fairly popular site as it was initially funded by Bill and Melinda Gates. What sets this site apart from the others is that all of the books are peer-reviewed and openly licensed. As a result, you are getting access to textbooks that are completely original.
In addition to this, you have the option of either viewing the material online or downloading the book. Both avenues are free. If you would like a print copy, then you can borrow one for a fairly low price.
You can find textbooks on many different subjects including math, humanities, social sciences, science, and more. There are also lots of great features like being able to search content within textbooks. The layout is great, making it easy for anyone to use.
The only minor issue is that the collection of textbooks isn’t as significant as with other free sites. They are constantly updating books as they become available, however.
This site doesn’t just have free college textbooks, it also contains links for fiction and apps for college students to use. In particular, Mobilism is great for textbooks for niche and unusual subjects. Every aspect of the website is also free to use.
To be able to use the search function on the website as well as have access to all the books, you do have to create a profile and log in. This can be done quickly and easily, however.
The layout of Mobilism can take some getting used to. All of the books are provided in a forum format. As such, you have to keep scrolling down until you find what you are looking for. Once you do get the hang of the website, however, this can become a great resource to college students.
4. Open Textbook Library
This is a great site if you are looking for high-quality college textbooks. The site is run adjacent to the University of Minnesota website. As a result, all of these textbooks are suitable for full courses or semesters, at least.
Many of the textbooks available in the Open Textbook Library have been peer-reviewed. This makes them accurate sources for students. Due to the open license of all the books, they are readily available to you without any loopholes.
The textbooks can also be changed and updated as the source material evolves. You will be able to view the textbooks online or download them as needed. This grants you constant access to textbooks.
This library is quite well-stocked and you can find over a thousand textbooks covering a wide variety of topics.
5. Internet Archive Open Library
This website shouldn’t be confused with the Open Textbook Library. This online library has a vast collection of both college textbooks as well as other fiction and non-fiction writings. In addition to having college textbooks, it also contains academic texts for students of all ages.
The variety of books in the Open Library is quite comprehensive. They also have old and new textbooks alike – as such, you should be able to find exactly what you are looking for here.
Before you can access or borrow the textbooks, you do have to create a profile on the site and log in every time you want to take out a book.
The only hiccup with the Open Library is that once a book is borrowed, it will not be available to you. Therefore, you have to wait until someone returns it before you can check it out.
As the site is quite popular, many of the textbooks are frequently checked. It is a good idea to get a head start on your search if you want to end up with the right book.
6. Project Gutenberg
This is arguably one of the best-known sites for free books. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it is just as good as textbooks.
In particular, this online library is perfect for literature, history, and social science students. Not only are there thousands of books to choose from, but they are some classic editions as well. In addition to textbooks, this website is incredibly useful for resources.
As all of the books are either open sourced or have open licenses, it is completely legal for you to access, download, and utilize these academic texts for your own work.
The only issue with this website is that it can be a bit limited for science and math students. However, books are constantly being donated so this collection may still grow.
7. Saylor Academy
Saylor Academy may not have as many free textbooks as other websites, but they still have a good collection. And, as all the books have an open license, you get access to high-quality textbooks completely free of charge.
On this website, you can find textbooks for subjects for math, science, business, accounting, and more. The layout of the website is really simple and efficient. As such, you can find what you are looking for very quickly.
These textbooks are only available online. However, each textbook is categorized by sections and chapters. The pages are set up professionally and in a clear format. They are also concluded with exercises and other activities for students to use.
8. BcCampus Open Textbooks
This is another free textbook website that is attached to open education platforms. As such, all of the textbooks on this site are open source and completely free. They are also legitimate sources for students to use.
While the library is limited, this website does offer textbooks for subjects such as law, astronomy, and similar subjects that aren’t readily available on other websites. So, if you are taking niche courses, this is a good platform to check out.
The other perk of this website is that the textbooks are frequently updated. This allows you to consistently get access to the latest educational resources.
In addition to textbooks, Lyryx also provides other academic assistance and services. This makes the open source textbooks offered on the site very high quality indeed. They are frequently updated with the help of professionals and experts in the field.
The books can be downloaded onto your computer or other devices. All you have to do is to provide a few details so that the website can create a profile for you.
The only issue with Lyryx is that it only contains textbooks for business, accounting, and economics. Therefore, other students will not have as much success on this site. Still, it can be a great resource for those who are taking certain pre-requisite sources.
10. The Digital Book Index
If you are looking for authoritative and high-quality textbooks, then this is the website to go to. They have an extensive collection covering books from everything to history and agriculture to medicine.
The main thing to be aware of with the Digital Book Index is that not all textbooks are free. Some offer free access while you need to pay for others. Despite this, you can find a considerable number of free textbooks on the site.
Some of the free textbooks are only available in HTML format while others can be accessed or downloaded as PDF files. The HTML books are well organized and tagged, making them easy for students to read and use as a resource.
11. Free Book Spot
This is an underrated site for free textbooks. Despite not having as much exposure as some of the other websites, the Free Book Spot has an enormous collection of textbooks.
It even has textbooks from lesser studied subjects like Biomedical Engineering. One of the perks of this site is that anyone can upload their own textbooks with a link provided. This means that you can find a lot of new versions of textbooks – something that isn’t always available on other sites.
As an added bonus, new titles are constantly being updated and added to the list. It is definitely worth checking out.
12. PDF Grab
This is another website that isn’t well known but is a great spot for college students to find free textbooks. From Humanities to Engineering, you can find free textbooks for a wide variety of subjects.
You also have the option of searching for books by the ISBN number to make it easier to find what you are looking for. Then, you can download the textbooks for free and clear in PDF format.
The only issue here is that the layout isn’t great and it can take some getting used to. Furthermore, there Is a section of uncategorized books that is rather chaotic and, as such, you will have to carefully go through each title to see if your desired textbook is available there.
13. Online Mathematics Textbooks
As the name suggests, this website is only meant for those majoring in mathematics. It can also be useful for STEM students.
Despite having such a narrow field, this website is still quite useful. Not only does it contain many titles – these are used by some of the top universities in the world. As such, the textbooks are incredibly high quality.
What’s more, the textbooks cover a vast number of topics in the mathematics field, ensuring that students have access to all the resources that they need.
14. The Assayer
The Assayer doesn’t just provide textbooks, it also has ties to various educational systems throughout the country. As a result, it is able to give you access to textbooks that are used by some of the top colleges in the nation.
The collection of books in The Assayer selection is quite vast and you can find textbooks based on a variety of subjects.
The only issue is that there are a lot of broken links on the site and these aren’t frequently updated. Due to this, you can often spend a great deal of time sorting the documents that are or aren’t available to you.
Considering the quality of many of the books, however, this may be a good use of your time.
This is another site that is great if you are looking for high-quality textbooks that are in great condition. Here, you get access to PDF files that are beautifully reproduced. As such, it is very easy to use these books for study and research.
Although the collection on Bookboon isn’t extensive, they still have plenty of material for the average college student.
The only thing to be aware of here is that Bookboon does require you to have an account with them. You get a 30-day free trial and then you are charged on a monthly basis. The good news is that you can cancel your subscription at any point so that you don’t get charged.
Even if you were to pay the subscription fees for Bookboon, though, you would find it far cheaper than buying or even renting individual college textbooks.
If you want to know how to get free textbooks, then this is the article for you. Visit all of these sites to determine if any of them have the right text or volume for you. With a little bit of time and luck, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars!