6 Best Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2021

Javiera Vega

Javiera Vega

Study Consultant at Gradehacker

When you register and start new classes or semesters, it’s a fact that you will get a long list of required textbooks you’ll need to get through your courses. That’s why free college textbooks can sound like a dream come true when you don’t want to spend $300 on a book that you will end up using just for a few chapters if any at all. 

Free textbooks in PDF or any other formats are now easily found due to students looking for alternatives where they don’t go broke and still get a good grade. Whether you need medical, business, psychology, or literature focused books, it is possible to find everything with just some internet magic. 

As the National Center for Education Statistics  mentions, 85% of people attending college receive some type of financial aid to help with the mounting costs of college. The problem is that most of the time, tuition does not cover specifically the expenses of the materials needed for classes.

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Imagine how tragic it would be if you failed a class just for not being able to afford a book! If you cannot access the class material, you won’t know what the professor is even speaking about. There is even a chance of failing something you would’ve passed if you had the right resources.

That’s why you have to change your strategy and seriously consider digital content as a smart choice to save both your pocket and your grade. The good news is that other students and non-profit organizations are creating a network of shared textbooks that will help you get through your academic journey.

Here you can find the 6 Best Websites to Find Free College Textbooks.

1) Library Genesis: free books for any kind of college students

7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2020

This is one of Gradehacker’s favorite for college textbooks in a wide variety of subjects. Library Genesis is a file-sharing website for scholarly articles, academic books, novels, comics, and magazines. The catalog is enormous. It’s organized in a format similar to standard college libraries with searches according to the author, ISBN, year, etc. The download system is easy. You can either look for a specific title or look at what’s new.

Library Genesis Pros

Library Genesis Cons

2) Mobilism: an entire textbook library in a tiny forum

7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2020

Mobilism is a forum where users can share the media they already own to others. There are many categories, but the ebook section is where this website really shines. You can find novels, academic textbooks, comics; you name it. Also, there is the option of you requesting a title if it is not already available.

Mobilism Pros

Mobilism Cons

3) Project Gutenburg: free ebooks for everyone

7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2020

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 reference books.

Project Gutenberg Pros

Project Gutenberg Cons

4) VK.com: college textbooks meet social media for everyone

7 Top Websites to Find Free College Textbooks in 2020

VK.com is a Russian social media platform similar to Facebook. However, there is something definitely 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 different book clubs. We especially recommend the Free Medical Books page and the Magazine and E-Books community.

VK Pros

VK Pros

5) Archive.org: sharing your college readings with the internet

Archive.org, as its name suggests, 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, a lot of 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 it yourself.

Archive.org Pros

Archive.org Cons

6) Bookboon: science ebooks for overwhelmed students

Bookboon is an online publishing company that also offers free books for college students. It is focused primarily on all subjects related to engineering, 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.

Bookboon Pros

Bookboon Cons

Free college textbooks: a few things to consider

College students like you, no matter the age, will always try to spend their money efficiently. Here at Gradehacker, we have previously discussed other tips to improve your finances. Still, textbooks are often overlooked as an aspect of college costs. Before spending one more dollar on them, remember this:

  • Textbooks are necessary for completing your coursework. That is a fact. However, you can look for alternatives to spend little to no money on them by joining online sharing communities or archives.
  • Genesis Library is a powerful ebook catalog. They work like a college library in a way, but you don’t need to have an institutional email to do so.
  • Websites like Gutenberg Project, Bookboon, and VK communities are perfect to look for specialized books on 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 are able now to find new ways to access your reading for free without needing to break the bank. Search, download, and when you can, share so others can also have a hand when they are in your same position.

When you need to write about what you have read, you can find help to make your writing process easier through our learning resources related to
APA and MLA formatting, and much more.

College is difficult, but together we can make it easier. If still you don’t feel like writing at all, find out how we can help you with that essay that is driving you crazy

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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