Best Legal Sites To Download Free College Textbooks And 4 Alternatives

Best Legal Sites To Download Free College Textbooks And 4 Alternatives

There are many options for college students when it comes to purchasing textbooks. They can be purchased new or used at the campus bookstore, local retailers, or online. Although renting them is cheaper than buying them, it can be more expensive in the long term.

It’s expensive enough to go to college without spending hundreds of dollars on textbooks each semester. Sometimes, college publishing can feel like a scam, with new editions appearing every few years, regardless of whether or not the information has changed.

You can save money on textbooks by paying rent, food, or socializing. These are all important for your development. Every semester, not everyone has the budget to spend thousands on textbooks.

You’ll save money if you want to (and who wouldn’t). These great websites offer free college textbooks.

Is it legal to download college textbooks on the internet? This is the most pressing question.

Yes and no. While some websites may be legitimate, others could be questionable. You should verify any website you consider using, especially when downloading files.

This is the problem:

  • You risk downloading malware
  • You could be downloading copyrighted material

Best Legal Sites To Download Free College Textbooks And 4 Alternatives

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell which websites are legitimate and which are not.

Many websites provide free college textbooks that can be trusted to be 100% legal and safe.

You violate the law if you download copyrighted textbooks unless you’re desperate. Even then, finding a legal way to obtain the textbook would be best.

Let’s now look at some websites that offer free college textbooks. They are available in various formats, including PDFs, DOC, and ePubs.


OpenStax, a non-profit organization, provides college textbooks for free. These books can be downloaded in HTML and PDF formats.

There are 8 categories of eBooks available, ranging in subject matter from Math to the Humanities and Social Sciences. These books have been peer-reviewed and are written by experts in their field. These books are of excellent quality and can be an invaluable resource for students looking to supplement their course material.

OpenStax has 2 major flaws:

  • Sometimes, professors may require a particular textbook that isn’t usually on the shelf.
  • OpenStax textbooks are mainly introductory textbooks. It isn’t easy to find advanced course material.

OpenStax’s ability to work for you is dependent on many factors. Are you sure your professor is strictly sticking to the textbook they use? Are they open to using other resources? OpenStax can be a great choice if it is the former.

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OpenStax also provides high school textbooks if you know someone who might need them.

Open Textbook Library

The University of Minnesota has created the Open Textbook Library. It offers college textbooks free of charge in HTML and PDF formats, just like OpenStax.

Its textbooks come with a Creative Commons License, which allows them to be freely downloaded, printed, and distributed.

Open Textbook Library has over 1000 titles across more than 20 subject areas. All books have been peer-reviewed and approved by professionals and scholars. About 60% of the books have been reviewed and approved by UNM faculty professors.

OpenStax is not available in the Open Textbook Library. However, it offers more advanced course material than OpenStax. This is a great choice if you are looking for more than an introductory textbook.


LibreTexts has a bold tag: ‘Free the textbook.’ It lives up to its name. LibreTexts, a huge open-source digital platform for educational resources, is free and open to all. It is used by more than 500 institutions around the world.

LibreTexts, a project from UC Davis, was launched in 2012. Although it is similar to OpenStax, Open Textbook Library, and OpenStax, there are some key differences.

LibreTexts provides textbooks in multiple formats, including HTML, HTML, EPUB, and MOBI. Students who like to read their textbooks on a Kindle or other eReader will love this option.

LibreTexts offers more subjects than OpenStax or the Open Textbook Library. You can find textbooks for topics such as engineering, nursing, and environmental sciences in addition to those in the usual college subjects.

LibreTexts also has a partnership agreement with Chegg that allows you to have printed textbooks delivered right to your home. This is a costly option, usually around $60 per book.

Students, faculty, librarians, and subject experts around the globe create and curate LibreTexts resources.

Ebook Directory

E-Books are different from other sites on this page. It links to over 100,000 free eBooks across the internet rather than hosting them. After a few searches, you’ll most likely land on one of the other websites listed here.

You can search the directory by subject, title, and author.

You can also search the books by topic. These categories include computer science, business, literature, and engineering.

If you are looking for a book you cannot find on any other site; the E-Books directory can be a great choice.

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Editor’s Note: Also, take a look at Sciencebooksonline. Another e-book search engine that focuses primarily on scientific topics such as physics, mathematics, and computer science.

Saylor Academy

The Saylor Foundation, a non-profit organization, is dedicated to making education more affordable.

They offer free college textbooks as one way to do this. All textbooks are released under a Creative Commons license. They can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for free.

Over 200 textbooks are available from the Saylor Foundation in various subjects. Everything from history and accounting to sociology can be found here.

The Saylor Foundation offers more than just free textbooks. They also offer lectures and exams.

The best thing about the Saylor Academy? You can use their materials for college credit. Many colleges and universities have partnered with the Saylor Foundation to give credit for their courses.

The Saylor Academy is a great choice if you are looking for college textbooks free of charge and the opportunity to earn college credit.


OpenEd is different than the other sites in this list. OpenEd is not a repository of free textbooks. It’s a search engine that allows you to find open educational resources.

Opened can be used to locate textbook-like materials for almost any topic. All resources are available under a Creative Commons license. They can be downloaded, printed, and distributed for free.

OpenEd offers a variety of resources, including videos, games, and quizzes. These resources can be used to complement your existing textbooks or to create your course.

OpenEd is an excellent option if you want more than a textbook.

Textbook Request at Reddit

Reddit is a great place to go if you don’t find what you are looking for on any other site.

You can find textbooks for free on the Textbook Request subreddit. Post a question asking for the textbook you are looking for, and someone will most likely respond with a link.

Although there is no guarantee that you will find the textbook you are looking for, it’s worth trying.

There is no guarantee that you will receive a legal copy. Reddit, however, is a great resource for free textbooks if you are willing to take that risk.

Library Genesis

Library Genesis is slightly different from the other sites on this page. Library Genesis is not a repository of free textbooks. It’s a search engine that allows you to find pirated eBooks.

Library Genesis can find any book published in the past. All books are available in multiple formats. You can also convert them if you need.

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The best thing about libgen is the incredible database. Library Genesis is the best place to go if you are looking for a particular book.

However, the downside is that you can’t legally download or distribute these books because they are pirated.

Library Genesis is a great choice if you are looking for a book you can’t find and don’t mind breaking the law.

Warning! Most of the material found in library genesis is illegal. You use the website at your own risk. It’s a valuable resource that is widely used, so it’s a disservice not to include it.

Alternatives to Free Online Textbooks

Holding a book in your hands is special. It’s a feeling you can’t replicate by reading a PDF from your computer.

Books are costly. There are several options if you want to get a free online textbook.

You can first rent textbooks on sites like Amazon and Chegg. If you can afford textbooks, this can save you a lot of money. Let’s suppose you can do without the textbook but need it for the final exam. It would be better to rent the book than buy it for a few weeks.

You can also buy used textbooks. This is a great option. You can also look online at eBay and AbeBooks. Also, search for your area on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. This is a great way to purchase the book in a physical format without paying full price.

The library is always a good place to start your search. The library usually has a good selection of textbooks, even if they don’t have the most recent edition.

You can also ask your professor to give you your textbook free of charge. If you ask, many professors will give away old editions.

There are many options if you want to find alternatives to online textbooks. There are several options: renting, buying used, or checking out the library.


The cost of living has risen, and so has education. Textbooks make up a large part of this cost. There are many ways to save on textbooks. You can access college textbooks for free by using any of these sites.

You can also find free online textbooks in other formats. There are many options: renting, buying used, or checking out the library.

Your needs will determine which site is best for you. OpenEd offers a broad range of resources. Library Genesis is a great option if you are looking for a book that isn’t available elsewhere.

There are many ways to save money on textbooks, regardless of route. That’s a great thing.


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