7 Best Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2023

Best Websites to Download Free College Textbooks Gradehacker
Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega

Study Consultant at Gradehacker

Updated August, 2023

If you want to save hundreds of dollars to get your educational resources, here are the best websites to download free college textbooks, novels, and PDFs.

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Free college textbooks can sound like a dream come true, especially when you’re enrolled in a new class and don’t have classmates or friends to borrow the book from.

It’s a fact that you will get a long list of required textbooks you’ll need to get through your courses, and most likely, they’ll be pretty expensive. 

Here at Gradehacker, the non-traditional student #1 resource, we have years of experience helping online students with their essays and degree programs

We know how important it is to save as much money as you can, so here you have our list of websites to download college textbooks for free:

You can also find our list of best websites to find free college textbooks as a video:

Is it Possible to Get Free College Textbooks?

Absolutely yes! And there is a clear reason on why you should be able to access college textbooks for free.

According to EducationData.org, 83.8% of people attending college receive some type of financial aid to help with the mounting cost of education. While most of the times scholarships can cover a student’s tuition, it does not explicitly cover the expenses of educational resources.

In other words, not all financial aid options cover textbooks, which can be worth up to $300.

Imagine how tragic it would be if you failed a class because you could not afford a book! If you can’t access the class material, you won’t know what the professor is even speaking about.

That’s why you have to change your strategy and seriously consider digital books as a wise choice to save both your pocket and your grade.

And where can you find the online textbooks that will help you get through your academic journey? Here you have a few options:

7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2020

Overall best site to get free college textbooks

This is one of Gradehacker’s favorite sites for college textbooks in a wide variety of subjects.

Library Genesis is a file-sharing website for educational materials and scholarly articles, academic books, peer-reviewed journals, novels, comics, and magazines.

The catalog is enormous. It’s organized in a format similar to a standard  digital library with searches according to the author, ISBN, year, etc.

The download options are easy, and you can either look for a specific title or look at what’s new.

If you want a step-by-step guide on how you can use Library Genesis to download free college textbooks, check out our YouTube video!

Library Genesis Pros and Cons

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Best for English textbooks and novels

This website is a volunteer effort to create and distribute ebooks for free. If you need a text in the public domain, you will find it here for sure, formatted and ready to download at your convenience.

Project Gutenberg primarily offers fiction works from Western culture, but it also has an extensive collection of fiction books.

Project Gutenberg 7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2022

You can see how easy it is to use Project Gutenberg and what other tricks you can use in our video.

Project Gutenberg Pros and Cons

Best for literature, biology, and make requests

Mobilism is a forum where users can share the media they already own with others. There are many categories, but this website truly shines in the ebook section. You can find novels, academic textbooks, comics; you name it.

Whether you’re studying literature, social sciences, or biology, Mobilism’s ebook section has got you covered with its wide range of free college textbooks. From introductory college courses to advanced studies, you can find the resources you need to excel in any of your academic pursuits.

However, what we like the most, is that if you can’t find the textbook you are looking for, you can make your request and wait for someone to share it!

Project Gutenberg Pros and Cons

You can also watch our quick tutorial on how to use Mobilism:

Best for Medicine and Nursing textbooks

VK.com is a Russian social media platform similar to Facebook; however, there is something different about it. While Facebook focuses on social interaction, VK has a vast community of people sharing different media types.

Ebooks are one of VK users’ main attractions, so make an account and start joining various book clubs. We recommend the Free Medical Books page and the Magazine and E-Books community.

VK.com Pros and Cons

Our pro tip, is that you search on Google for the title of the textbook you want and add “VK” at the end.

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Best for old and uncommon textbooks

As its name suggests, Archive.org is an archive for all internet things. You can find deleted YouTube videos, lost documents, and any other media you cannot find anywhere else.

However, many students use this platform to back up their digital textbooks. One thing that makes this website unique is that it offers many different formats for the documents you want to download; that way, you won’t have to convert them yourself.

Archive.org 7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2022

Archive.org Pros and Cons

Best for STEM textbooks

Bookboon is an online publishing company that also offers free PDF Drive textbooks for college students. It focuses primarily on all engineering subjects, so it might not be for everyone. If you’re getting a degree in this field, this website will be perfect for you.

You can find references for the most specific topics like Economics and Business, Computer, Engineering, Law, Mathematics, Medicine, Natural Sciences, and many others. 

Bookboon Pros and Cons

Best for finding academic sources

OpenStax is a non-profit organization that provides free college textbooks written by experts and peer-reviewed by educators.

The material available covers the most common topics in college education, such as biology, physics, chemistry, economics, psychology, sociology, and more.

The online books are completely free to download in PDF format, and you can also purchase a printed version if you prefer.

The only thing you should consider is that you’ll only find their books on their page. Meaning, they offer books made by them that might not be the book you’re looking for. That’s why we recommend them for you to use as an academic source for an essay or any other assignment.

OpenStax Pros and Cons

Before You Download Free PDF Textbooks

No matter the age, college students like you will always try to spend their money efficiently. Here at Gradehacker, we have previously discussed other tips to improve your finances.

Still, textbooks for classes are often overlooked as an aspect of additional college costs. Before spending one more dollar on them, remember this:

College books are necessary for completing your coursework. That is a fact. However, you can look for alternative textbook resources to spend little to no money on by joining online sharing communities or archives.

Library Genesis is a powerful ebook catalog. It works like a digital college library in a way, but you don’t need to have an institutional email.

Websites like Project Gutenberg, Bookboon, and VK.com have communities that are perfect for looking for a range of college textbooks specializing in humanities, engineering, or medical topics.

Archive.org and Mobilism grow thanks to the cooperation between students who want to share their textbooks that will be useful for you. You can also post what you have to give back to the community.

Hopefully, you can now find new ways to access your reading for free without needing to dip into your budget. Search, download, and, when you can, share so others can also have a hand when they are in the same position.

And well, if this is not enough for you, remember that Gradehacker has extensive internal resources with thousands of books we have used to help other students like you.

If you still don’t feel like writing, find out how we can help you with that essay that is driving you crazy. And if you want longer-term help, check out how we can assist you with your classes and accelerate your degree experience.

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Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega is a Study Consultant and Content Creator for Gradehacker. She has a degree in Education and Literature and is currently working on getting a master’s degree in Linguistics. Even though words, languages, and books are her thing, science and psychology were her hidden passion for many years. Luckily, Gradehacker has allowed her to use all that knowledge by helping many clients with everything they need. Javiera considers herself a proud nerd who likes to learn and read about everything she can find. From movies and comics to microbiology and genetics, every topic is interesting for her. Her curiosity has no limits. Find her on LinkedIn

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