12 Expert Picks of Free Textbook Sites: A List to Be Aware of

The rising cost of textbooks has become a significant issue for students and educators alike and needs to be addressed. When someone delves deeper into identifying the factors that influence the high prices of textbooks, numerous reasons appear, such as publisher practices, production costs, and other institutional factors.

Considering all these factors, authorities try to reduce students' financial burden by launching free online textbook sites that are easily accessible to everyone. In addition to accessibility, they encourage lifelong learning, support diverse learning needs, and reduce the stress of textbook purchases. However, finding free textbooks online proves challenging, so this article will uncover some sites that can help you.

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Part 1. Top 5 Must-Know Benefits of Free Textbook Sites

When a few major publishers dominate the textbook market, competition reduces, and prices increase, which means students must buy them regardless of price. In this context, the availability of websites for free textbooks eliminates the financial burden associated with expensive textbooks. Not only this, but there are several other benefits of such textbook sites that you can learn from this section.

  1. Accessibility:Textbook sites promote educational equality to all students regardless of their socio-economic background. Besides, it ensures students from any background get the same learning opportunities. The digital format of books also caters to diverse learning needs by allowing adjustable font size and text-to-speech conversions.
  2. Stress Reduction: Eliminating the cost of textbooks reduces students' financial stress, as they often spend hundreds of dollars per semester on books. This way, they tend to focus more on their studies and get less worried about how to afford education. The free textbook sitesalso ensure students experience a balanced and less stressful education journey.
  3. Academic Benefits:Through online sites for textbooks, students get access to a wider range of subjects and resources beyond what is required for their coursework. It fosters a comprehensive educational experience and leads to better overall class performance. Moreover, these sites support the principles of open education and a culture of sharing knowledge within the educational community.
  4. Sustainability: Digital textbooks reduce the need for printed materials, contributing to environmental sustainability when the paper is saved. Despite that, free textbook websiteshelp save carbon footprints associated with the textbook production and distribution process.
  5. Support for Educators:Open educational resources are often customized to align with a course's specific needs and objectives. Therefore, adapting to online textbooks helps educators create more effective and personalized educational material. Most sites facilitate a search function that quickly navigates educators to their desired content, which is a great time saver.

Part 2. Top 12 Free Textbook Websites: Reducing Educational Costs

Digital textbooks are a natural fit for the growing trend of digital learning and online education while providing a flexible way of learning. Are you wondering, with so many free online textbook websites, where you should begin? If yes, you can review the comprehensive list of the top 12 textbook sites offering high-quality textbooks across various subjects.

1. Project Gutenberg

This website for free textbooks is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works while encouraging the creation and distribution of eBooks. On this site, you can access over 70,000 free eBooks from the great existing literature. It even offers older textbooks for which US copyright has expired just to ensure their online presence and availability to everyone.

project gutenberg textbook site

To find a textbook, you can browse and search by inserting the author's name, book title, language, book type, popularity, and other keywords. Also, you can go through various bookshelves related to your desired eBooks and the top 100 frequently downloaded eBooks. Despite eBooks, one can also browse audiobooks, which can be obtained from the human-read or computer-generated categories.

2. OpenStax

OpenStax is a non-profit educational technology based at Rice University, which created peer-reviewed and openly licensed textbooks that are available for free. Beyond just offering textbooks for college students, it offers instructor courses, assessments, and assignable courses. For college students and educators, this textbook download site has business, humanities, computer sciences, math, and nursing-related eBooks.

project openstax textbook site

Since 2012, it has saved students approximately $2.9 billion in education costs, and almost 70% of US colleges and universities trust this website. Moreover, 7 million students from 150 countries access OpenStax for English, Spanish, and Polish textbooks.

3. Library Genesis

If you need free access to millions of fiction and nonfiction eBooks, Library Genesis, or LibGen for short, is the best option. It is a one-stop source for the public domain classic books, research articles, magazines, comics, and academic journals. The legality of this free textbook download site is a complex issue, as in some countries, it is illegal to download copyrighted materials without permission.

library genesis textbook site

Notably, this site is blocked in some countries, such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, due to legal concerns. To access a textbook from LibGen, go to its official site and insert the book's exact title. You can filter the search by author, publisher, year, languages, and ISBN. When you find the desired eBooks, you should carefully download them via mirror sites that distribute the content.

4. Google Books

With over 10 million free books, it is the best free textbook site offering public-domain works. Google Books has made 40 million books universally discoverable in more than 400 languages while respecting publishers and copyrights. It can effectively navigate users to the platform when they use advanced search to browse their preferred books.

google books textbook site

In this regard, they have to insert the type of content they want, such as Books, Newspapers, and Magazines. They must also filter their search with language, publication date, author names, and subject for the nearest results. Despite that, it offers a user library to see their previously browsed history, favorites, read now, and upcoming read textbooks.

5. Internet Archive

It's another non-profit digital library of internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. This website offers more than 44 million books and text for researchers, scholars, and historians. Internet Archive provides free downloads of textbooks in PDF format and even allows you to upload your work. In addition, it offers a wide range of videos, audio, images, software, and books to gain knowledge.

internet archive textbook site

Users can browse content by year, subject, collection, language, creators, and title selections. Additionally, this site has a Wayback machine that allows users to visit archived versions of websites. To begin surfing an archived web version, users must type the URL and pick a date range.

6. Bookboon

This is one of the leading textbook download sites that provides a wide range of eBooks and educational material covering various topics. From academics for students to professional and personal growth for executives, you can find textbooks in almost every genre. With Bookboon, users can explore different categories like IT, business, engineering, and more.

bookboon textbook site

All the books and resources are curated accurately by the expert authors, ensuring credibility and relevance. Additionally, this website provides you with 300+ audiobooks to learn on the go. With this incredible website, you can download and read the eBook in PDF format with ease.

7. PDF Drive

With a vast collection of free eBooks, research papers, and documents, PDF Drive is an online platform that is utilized by many users. This website works as a digital library that allows users to search and download studying material across a vast range of subjects and categories. One of the extensive features of PDF Drive is that it provides free access to its vast collection.

pdfdrive textbook site

Using this incredible platform can help you save time and effort as it lets users filter and sort PDF files according to their page numbers, file size, publication date, and popularity. The consistently growing archive of this platform is efficiently updated regularly enabling the users to access the latest updates.

8. ScholarWorks

ScholarWorks is a dedicated platform showcasing the research and scholarly works produced by the students, faculty, and staff of Grand Valley State University. It is an open-source repository that ensures that the content is free and accessible to everyone worldwide. This platform offers a diverse range of material, including textbooks, open-source journals, theses, and other creative works.

scholarworks textbook site

From Active Calculus to Business Communication, ScholarWorks provides online learning materials and free textbooks on almost all subjects and genres. Along with material search, you can also search for faculty, department members, or university students through the People Finder option provided by this platform.

9. Open Textbook Library

Browse by subject or search for a specific textbook, with Open Textbooks Library, you can easily access high-quality and reliable learning material free of cost. Knowledge sharing and collaboration within the academic community are encouraged by this platform. Users can also provide corrections and feedback, enriching the quality of the content.

open textbook library textbook site

This platform amplifies its reach and impact by building partnerships with different libraries. The Open Textbook Library also contributes to promoting inclusivity by breaking down the access barrier. This textbook download website ensures that educational resources are available for learners from anywhere in the world.

10. LibreTexts

LibreText is a collaborative platform offering a wide range of educational resources from numerous disciplines like chemistry, mathematics, physics, engineering, and more. This platform allows educators from around the world to contribute content to meet the specific needs of the learners.

libretexts textbook site

It increases accessibility by providing free resources and open licenses for students without the financial burden. You can enhance the learning experience by using numerous multimedia tools provided by this platform. These multimedia resources make the content more engaging by offering diverse learning styles and preferences.

11. PDF Books World

It is a free online textbook site that lets you access high-quality resources in PDF formats. Search by genres or authors; you can access a vast library of textbooks for research and educational purposes. Whether you are using a computer or a mobile device, reading books with PDF Books World is hassle-free and convenient.

pdf books world textbook site

One of the key advantages of this platform is the extensive collection of resources and books. From architecture to technology, you can find educational material on almost every subject on this platform. Additionally, stay updated about the newest book launches by accessing PDF Books World.

12. Z-library

With over 12 million books and 80,000 articles, this online platform lets you access the resources completely free. Users can explore and download content conveniently, fostering a culture of intellectual exploration.

z-library textbook site

Whether you are a student looking for textbooks or a scholar who delved into research, Z-library offers a treasure of content at your fingertips. Search for a specific book by title, adding its publication year and language. You can also add your favorite books to the Booklist to access and read them later.

Part 3. What is the Best Format for Reading Textbooks?

Mostly, textbooks are available in PDF format, which is considered best due to the preservation of format, security, and universality. After accessing a textbook from any suitable free online textbook website mentioned above, you must be looking for a platform to read, annotate, and edit the textbook. In this regard, you should try the Afirstsoft PDF editor, which helps you edit, delete, and modify the text in PDF.

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How to Manage and Organize PDF Textbooks

When textbooks in PDF format are considered impossible to edit, the Afirstsoft PDF Editor can annotate the text with highlight, underline, and strikethrough options. Moreover, it lets you add a textbox in PDF documents to prepare your own notes on the books for study. If you have weak eyesight, you can use this software's Zoom function and adjust the PDF proportion.

When you download a PDF from a free textbook site, it may contain irrelevant pages from your coursework that can confuse students. Afirstsoft PDF Editor can delete single or batch PDF pages to eliminate unwanted pages. Besides, it lets you rotate and extract PDF pages to organize the content. Plus, it can convert your PDF textbook into other formats, as some institutions require certain formats for educational resources and vice versa.


In summary, the website for free textbooks is reducing students' stress and financial burden and making learning accessible to everyone. Therefore, this article has explored some of the leading free websites, such as Google Books, OpenStax, and Bookboon, that offer textbooks across many subjects. After accessing these learning materials, if you need to edit or modify them, you should visit the Afirstsoft PDF Editor, which makes PDF editing a breeze.

Emily Davis


Emily Davis is one of the staff editors of Afirstsoft PDF Editor team. She is a dedicated staff editor with a keen eye for detail and a passion for refining content.

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