Why would you opt to spend money on something that wasn’t necessary? Many times, you can find free e-textbooks for the courses you’re taking. Other times, you can’t – and that’s why I recommend you search for cheap textbooks as a last resort. In any case, you’re going to want to search through all of these sites before ultimately deciding “I give up – I’ll just pay for the darn thing!”

Search for cheap textbooks via textbooks.org. (photo by caswell_tom)

Search for cheap textbooks via textbooks.org. (photo by caswell_tom)

#1. Bookboon

The best thing about this website is that all of the textbooks they offer are given through PDF format – which means you can read it on any PDF reader. Tablets, phones, and of course – your computer, all have the capabilities required. A wide range of subjects are available, and it’s all at a college level.

#2. Curriki

I can only assume that their name is a spin-off of “curriculum.” Their site is dedicated to open course materials, which does include some textbooks and free courses – but the textbooks may coincide with the textbooks you need to use for class, which is why it’s important to search.

#3. Flat World Knowledge

Taking a course in business, humanities, or sciences? Flat World Knowledge offers free online textbooks in these subjects – both available to teachers and students.

#4. Flexbooks

Offering a wide range of subjects, Flexbooks allows for free, updated, and customized textbooks for anyone who wishes to use them. Always worth trying to check if the textbook you need is in this database.

#5. Free High School Science Texts

The name might scare you off, as you’re sitting here thinking, “Well, that doesn’t help me – I’m in college. Not high school,” but I would recommend you check the titles they have in their database just in case. You never know if the book you’re needing is going to be in their system. And hey, it won’t kill you to check.

#6. Free Digital Textbook Initiative

The textbook resources available through Free Digital Textbook Initiative are free, open, and specifically for California’s content standards – but who’s to say that a college in California can’t use the same textbook as a college in Missouri? The options aren’t limitless, but they’re definitely vast.

#7. Open Culture

Currently, Open Culture has roughly one hundred and fifty free textbooks ranging in subjects from Art History to Physics. But keep checking, because they’re constantly adding more to their system!

#8. Open Textbooks

Provided by the Community College Consortium, Open Textbooks has roughly more than five hundred open textbooks in many different subjects.

#9. Project Gutenberg

You can download any of the 33,000 free books available to you through Project Gutenberg – including children’s books and classic Literature.

#10. Worldwide Mathematics

This site offers free mathematics-based textbooks, focusing in on Calculus and Multi-Variable Calculus. Bonus: they also provide a free lecture series to complement the textbooks. Even still – I’d check Worldwide Mathematics for other mathematics subjects, like College Algebra.

These are, as according to Curriki’s Blog, some of the sources for free textbooks online. The topics presented are vast, so you may have no problem at all finding a textbook to fit you or your professor’s needs!