11 Websites To Download PDF Textbooks For Free

11 Websites To Download PDF Textbooks For Free

No doubt, attending college is exciting, yet very expensive. In determining how much your college education will really cost, you must put this five categories into consideration:



  • Tuition and fees
  • Accomodation
  • Books and supplies
  • Living expenses
  • Transportation

From the college expenses we’ve listed, you’d observe that textbooks are a necessity. Usually, the price at which students buy college textbooks can be outrageous. Why pay for textbooks when you can easily download them from the internet for free?

By downloading textbooks from the internet for free, you don’t have to worry about carrying big textbooks all around campus. In addition, you will save on the cost of purchasing textbooks for college courses.

In this article, we’ve enlisted 11 websites where you can download college textbooks for free. These books come in PDF formats.

What Are PDF Textbooks?

Textbook refers to a document that gives detailed information on a particular subject or course. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. It’s often used to display documents in electronic form. Thus, PDF textbooks are digital or electronic formats of textbooks which consists of text, images or both. PDFs can be read on electronic devices: desktop computers, mobile phones, laptops and iPads. To open these PDF files, you will need to download PDF reader apps.

Learn More: Tips to Save Money on College Costs

Is It Illegal To Download PDF Textbooks?

Downloading PDF textbooks online is not illegal. As a matter of fact, most of the textbooks on the websites we’re going to see are licensed. This implies that whatever textbook you download is not pirated or illegal.

What Other Document Types Of College Textbooks Exist?

PDFs are not the only formats in which you can download college textbooks online for free. There are other forms which are EPUB or MOBI.

Do I Need To Register On The Website To Download College Textbooks?

It’s not compulsory to register on these websites before you can download a college textbook for free. 

Most of the websites we’ve enlisted in this article can be easily accessed and navigated. On each website, there are search bars where you can easily search the title, author or ISBN of the textbook you wish to download.

Below is the list of the

Top 11 Websites To Download College PDF Textbooks For Free

#1 Library Genesis

#2 OpenStax

#3 Project Gutenberg

#4 Open Textbook Library

#5 ScholarWorks

#6 eBookLobby

#7 PDF Grab




#8 Bookboon

#9 FreeTechBooks

#10 Digital Book Index

#11 PDF Drive

  • Library Genesis

This website is also known as Libgen. Here, you can find journal articles for scholars, academic books, audiobooks, comic books, images, even magazines. You will be granted free access to contents (books) you’d have paid for if it were not digitalized. These contents are obtained from public internet resources or documents uploaded from users. Often times, these documents are in PDF format.

  • OpenStax

It’s a known fact that OpenStax, which was founded in 1999, is part of Rice University. OpenStax is on a mission to improve access to education, and make learning available for all. To a great extent, this has been made possible via its partnership with educational resource companies, as well as philanthropic foundations. It is very easy to use OpenStax. As a student, you can access available online books for free. Simply open the website and download the PDF textbook you need.

  • Project Gutenberg

This is an online library where you can have access to electronic books (eBooks) just for free. Project Gutenberg has been attributed with being the first provider of eBooks for free. Founded in 1971 by an American writer, Project Gutenberg is on a mission to “encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks.”

  • Open Textbook Library

This is a website where you can download college textbooks in PDF format for free. Textbooks found in this library have been licensed by their authors, even publishers, to be freely used and distributed. Textbooks you can find on this website are written on subjects like Business, Computer Science, Engineering, Humanities, Journalism, Media Studies & Communication, Medicine, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences, just to mention a few.

  • ScholarWorks

At ScholarWorks, there are several university textbooks you can download. Navigating the website is quite easy. You can search for any textbook via the title, name of the author, citation or specific keyword. Also, you can checkout the collection section to find a book of your choice. In addition, you have access to a lot of topics ranging from creative writing, medicine, economics to agriculture, arts and sciences, engineering, and other forms of journals.

Learn Also: How to Save Money on College Textbooks

  • eBookLobby

If you are interested in Business, Investing and Computer, there are several volume of books to choose from. As a matter of fact, this is one of the most visited websites to download eBooks. Regardless of your age, you can always find a free textbook to download.

  • PDF Grab

This is another source of free PDF textbooks. On this platform, you can access college textbooks across several categories ranging from Business, Law, Humanities, Engineering, Computer, to Social Sciences. Navigation on this platform is user-friendly. There is a search bar on the website. All you have to do is type the title, name of author or ISBN of the textbook.

  • Bookboon

For the records, they are the largest publishers of eBooks all over the world. It is necessary to point out that Bookboon only gives access to books for 30 days. Afterwards, you will have to pay an affordable fee for monthly subscription. On this platform, you can find free textbooks created by industry experts and professors from some of the world’s best universities. These textbooks can be downloaded in PDF format. Topic covered range from Engineering to Tech, down to Business and Economics.

  • FreeTechBooks

What you will find mainly on this website are tech books (i.e books on computer science, engineering, programming textbooks) as well as lecture notes: which can be downloaded legally in PDF format. Also, all these PDF textbooks are freely available online.

  • Digital Book Index

This platform is one of the numerous free websites for downloading university textbooks in PDF format with access to a multitude of free books. If you are a student of history, there is a research section on the website where you can access several historical texts.

  • PDF Drive

Currently, there are over 77 million eBooks available for download on this platform. As a matter of fact, there is no limits to the number of downloads you can make per day. Regardless of the subject matter, you will find a textbook, article, journal, or magazine that suits you. In addition, the website is easy to navigate. There is a search bar at the top-right corner of the website. Simply input the name of the author, title of book or ISBN.

In conclusion, all websites we’ve listed are legal, and have user-friendly interfaces. These platforms provide a variety of reading and learning resources. With the knowledge you have now (about websites to download free PDF textbooks), you will not fall prey to clickbaits.

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