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HomeNews7 Legal Sites to Download Free College Textbooks (And 4 Alternatives)

7 Legal Sites to Download Free College Textbooks (And 4 Alternatives)

As a school student,  you’ve a couple of different options with regards to acquiring textbooks. You should purchase them, in fact, either new or used from the campus bookstore, online retailers, or local bookstores. You possibly can also rent them, though this selection is usually costlier than buying in the long term.

College is pricey enough without having to shell out hundreds of dollars for textbooks every semester. And sometimes, college publishing looks like a racket, with new editions popping out every few years no matter whether the data is definitely new.

The cash you save on textbooks could be put towards other expenses like rent, food, and socializing. All essential in your developing years. Not everyone can afford to splurge thousands on textbooks every semester.

For those who’re looking to avoid wasting money (and who isn’t?), try these great sites at no cost college textbooks.

Are you able to legally download any college textbook on the web at no cost? That is the burning question.

The reply is yes and no. A few of the websites are totally legitimate, while others could be a bit iffy. It’s important to vet any website you’re fascinated with using, especially with regards to downloading files.

The issue here is twofold:

  • You risk downloading malware
  • You would possibly be downloading copyrighted material

The bad news is that sometimes it’s hard to determine which websites are legit and which aren’t.

The excellent news is that there are many websites that supply free college textbooks which are 100% legitimate and safe.

For those who download copyrighted textbooks you’re breaking the law, so we propose avoiding it unless you’re in a desperate situation. And even then, attempt to discover a legitimate method to acquire the textbook.

Now that we’ve gotten the legal disclaimer out of the best way, let’s have a look at some websites where you may download free college textbooks. You’ll find them in a number of formats, including PDFs, DOC files, and ePubs.

OpenStax

OpenStax is a nonprofit organization that gives free college textbooks. The books can be found in both PDF and HTML formats.

It offers a plethora of eBooks in 8 different categories, starting from Math to the Humanities to Social Sciences. The books are peer-reviewed and written by experts in the sector. They’re excellent quality and generally is a great resource, especially for college kids who need to supplement their course material.

But there are 2 big weaknesses with using OpenStax:

  • Your professors might need a specific textbook that typically isn’t on there
  • The textbooks on OpenStax are often introductory textbooks, finding advanced course material there’s improbable.

Now, whether or not OpenStax will be just right for you depends upon lots of things. Is your course professor strictly referring to their textbook of choice?  Or are they open to other resources? If it’s the latter, then OpenStax is a superb option for you.

OpenStax also offers highschool textbooks, in case you realize someone who needs them.

Open Textbook Library

The Open Textbook Library is a project of the non-profit group the University of Minnesota. Like OpenStax, it offers free college textbooks in PDF and HTML formats.

Specifically, its textbooks are distributed with a Creative Commons license, which suggests that they are often freely downloaded, printed, and distributed.

The Open Textbook Library boasts over 1000 titles in greater than 20 subject areas. The books are all peer-reviewed by scholars and professionals in the sector. In actual fact, about 60% of them have been reviewed by the college professors at UNM.

Unlike OpenStax, the Open Textbook Library offers a wider range of advanced course material. So for those who’re on the lookout for something beyond an introductory textbook, this can be a great option.

LibreTexts

LibreTexts comes with an ambitious tag – ‘free the textbook’. And it lives as much as its name. LibreTexts is a large open (and free) digital platform for educational resources. It’s utilized by over 500 institutions worldwide.

LibreTexts is a project out of UC Davis that was started in 2012. It’s much like OpenStax and the Open Textbook Library, however it has a couple of key differences.

For one, LibreTexts offers its textbooks in multiple formats: PDF, HTML, EPUB, MOBI, and Kindle. This makes it a fantastic option for college kids preferring to read their textbooks on a Kindle or another eReader.

LibreTexts also offers a wider range of subjects than both OpenStax and the Open Textbook Library. Along with the usual college subjects, you can too find textbooks on topics like nursing, engineering, and environmental science.

Finally, LibreTexts has a partnership with Chegg, which suggests that you may get printed copies of the textbooks shipped to your door. After all, this costs money (usually around $60 per book), however it’s still a pleasant choice to have.

The resources on LibreTexts are created and curated by students, faculty, librarians, and subject experts from world wide.

E-Books Directory

The E-Books directory is a bit different than the opposite sites on this list. As opposed to hosting the books themselves, it links to over 100,000 free eBooks from around the web. You’ll probably find yourself on the opposite websites on this list after a couple of searches.

The directory is searchable by subject, title, and author.

You can too browse the books by category. The categories range from computer science to business to literature to engineering.

The E-Books directory is a superb option for those who’re on the lookout for a specific book that you may’t find on one in all the opposite sites.

Editor’s note: take also a have a look at sciencebooksonline. It’s another e-books search engine that focuses on scientific topics like physics, math, and computer science.

Saylor Academy

The Saylor Foundation is a non-profit organization that’s dedicated to creating education cheaper and accessible.

One of many ways they do that is by offering free college textbooks. The textbooks are all released under a Creative Commons license, which suggests they’re free to download, print, and distribute.

The Saylor Foundation has over 200 textbooks in a wide selection of subjects. Yow will discover everything from accounting to history to sociology.

Along with the free textbooks, the Saylor Foundation also offers a number of other resources, like course materials, lectures, and exams.

The most effective part about the Saylor Academy is that you should use their materials to earn college credit. The Saylor Foundation has partnered with a number of schools and universities that offers you credit for taking their courses.

So for those who’re on the lookout for free college textbooks and the choice to earn college credit, the Saylor Academy is a superb option.

OpenEd

OpenEd is a bit different from the opposite sites on this list. As opposed to being a repository at no cost textbooks, it’s a search engine for open educational resources.

Which means you should use OpenEd to seek out textbook-like materials on nearly any topic. The resources are all available under a Creative Commons license, which suggests they ‘re free to download, print, and distribute.

OpenEd has a wide selection of resources, including videos, games, quizzes, and assessments. You should utilize these resources to supplement your existing textbook or create your personal custom course.

For those who’re on the lookout for a more comprehensive solution than simply a textbook, OpenEd is a superb option.

Textbook Request on Reddit

If you may’t find the textbook you’re on the lookout for on one in all the opposite sites, there’s always Reddit.

The Textbook Request subreddit is a superb place to seek out free textbooks. Just make a post asking for the textbook you’re on the lookout for and someone will usually come through with a link.

After all, there’s no guarantee that you just’ll find the textbook you’re on the lookout for, however it’s worth a shot.

And there’s no guarantee you’ll be supplied with a legal copy of the book you’re on the lookout for. But for those who’re willing to take that risk, Reddit is a superb place to seek out free textbooks.

Library Genesis

Library Genesis is a bit different than the opposite sites on this list. As opposed to being a repository at no cost textbooks, it’s a search engine for pirated eBooks.

Which means you should use Library Genesis to seek out nearly any book that’s ever been published. The books are all available in lots of formats, and you may always convert them if necessary.

The largest pro of libgen is its incredible database. For those who’re on the lookout for a specific book and also you don’t mind breaking the law, Library Genesis you may’t discover a book on one in all the opposite sites, there’s a great chance you’ll find it here.

The downside is that, because the books are pirated, they’re technically illegal to download and distribute.

So for those who’re on the lookout for a specific book and also you don’t mind breaking the law, Library Genesis is a superb option.

Warning: most of the fabric you’ll find on library genesis is prohibited. Use the web site at your personal risk. Nevertheless it’s such an entire resource that’s widely used that not including it can be a disservice.

Alternatives to Free Online Textbooks

There’s something special about holding a book in your hand. A sense that may’t be replicated by reading a PDF in your computer.

But books are expensive. For those who’re on the lookout for a substitute for free online textbooks, there are a couple of options.

First, you may try renting textbooks from a site like Amazon or Chegg. This may be a fantastic method to get monetary savings on textbook costs – provided it is smart to take action. Let’s say you may get by just fine without the course’s textbook, but absolutely need it for the ultimate exam. Renting the book for every week or 2 can be ideal then, rather then buying it.

Another choice is to purchase used textbooks. Local used bookstores are great on this regard. Alternatively, you may look on websites like eBay or AbeBooks, in addition to your local area on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. This can be a great method to get the physical book without having to pay full price.

You’ll be able to always try your luck with the library. Libraries usually have a fairly good collection of textbooks – although they may not have the most recent edition.

Finally, you may attempt to get your textbook at no cost out of your professor. Many professors are willing to provide away their old editions if you only ask.

So for those who’re on the lookout for alternatives to free online textbooks, there are a couple of options. You’ll be able to try renting, buying used, or trying out the library.

Conclusions

The price of living is rising, and the price of education is rising together with it. Textbooks are a giant a part of that cost. But there are methods to save cash on textbooks. By utilizing one of many sites on this list, you may get free access to varsity textbooks.

There are also alternatives to free online textbooks. You’ll be able to try renting, buying used, or trying out the library.

The most effective site at no cost college textbooks depends in your needs. For those who’re on the lookout for a wide selection of resources, OpenEd is a superb option. If you wish a specific book that’s not available anywhere else, try Library Genesis.

It doesn’t matter what route you select, there are methods to save cash on textbooks. And that’s a great thing.

Also Read: The 8 Best Dermatology Schools within the U.S. 2022 (Ultimate Guide)

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