Top 10 free college textbook Sources

Getting admission to a new class or a semester not only requires a huge tuition fee but also money to buy textbooks. Now think what if you get a chance to reduce the cost of textbooks? In a world where everything has become expensive, you can help yourself by saving for your textbooks. Yes! This has become possible with online free textbooks. You will get free college textbook sources for yourself. Excited to know more about these platforms? We will help students to know more about these websites.

Quick Takeaways

  • Here is the list of 10 free colleges textbooks sources-
1. Library Genesis
2. Openstax
3. Z-Library
4. Mobilism
5. Digital book index

However, you must read till the end so that you do not miss any of the important facts related to getting free college textbooks. 

Top 10 places of getting college textbook sources

Though there are places where you can get old books at a low cost, you can also get them free. Following is a list of the top 10 sources where you can find free textbooks –

1. Library Genesis

It is also known as Libgen. Libgen is one of the Reddit recommendations that gives access to its users for free online textbooks. These textbooks are available in pdf and other formats. There are various types of books available in different languages and subject areas. There are over 2 million books available on it.

 This is a very user-friendly website and one can search according to the Author’s name, publishing year, title, etc of the book. It also provides many types of articles to users.


  • This is a perfect place for graduates and undergraduates, as it mainly focuses on academic material
  • You can easily find out any kind of book, as its search engine is amazing. 


  • The layout is very simple which may lead the new users to think that this platform is not updated.

2. Openstax

Openstax is another platform that provides users with free online books but just in pdf format. It was founded by Rice University, a Non-Profit Charitable Corporation. The books over here are available in English and Spanish. The mission of Openstax is to provide quality educational online books to everyone.

Textbooks available on this platform satisfy the standard scope of the students. Along with it this platform also has several free textbooks for high school. More than 5 million students are using Openstax. It also has Institution Partner Program, where various institutions join with Openstax. Almost 48% of colleges in the U.S. have joined Openstax.


  • It only provides students with peer-reviewed content.
  • It also has a tutor flagship program, that gives personalized material and college homework to the students at just $10.
  • There are some additional resources like test banks, review questions, enhance lecture slides, etc available on this platform. 

Drawback –

  • Although it offers a lot more than just free books, the drawback of using it is that this platform has very less books as compared to Libgen.   

3. Z-Library

This is a great website where you can find amazing scholarly articles. Traditionally it was a shadow library, but with time it expanded to other areas. According to the latest report, it has more than 10 million books and 84 million articles. It also considers itself a Non-Profit Organization. It is very easy to navigate on the Z-library website. 

Benefits –

  • It has a user-friendly interface that helps users to get the best book according to their needs.
  • You will also find a good number of audiobooks on it. 
  • There are many books in different kinds of languages available on the website.


  • Sometimes it becomes difficult in finding the right book for yourself.

4. Mobilism

Mobilism is more like a community or a forum. Users could share their resources with other users. You can find various categories like games but it outshines in the e-book section. There are different kinds of novels and magazines available on this forum. Around 20 million users are active on this platform. Also, it has almost 3 million topics along with 6 million total posts. 


  • There are very fewer chances that you may not get what you are looking for. 
  • Most of the links to download are updated.
  • If the title is not available, then you can request it. 


  •   You need to create an account for accessing the search function. 

5. Digital Book Index

Digital Book Index is another platform where students can find various online textbooks. There are so many links (around 165,000) to textbooks from different authors and private sites. Out of which, more than 140,000 books available are free to download. The books available are for different subjects – from Philosophy to Science. 

Benefits –

  • You can easily search for the required textbook by the name of the author or the title.


  • Some of the online textbooks are not free.

6. Sci-Hub

Sci-Hub was founded in 2011 by Alexandra Elbakyan. It is a platform where you can get a lot more science-based articles and peer-reviewed journals. Although it is just limited to the science subject, it has such vast content that may not be available anywhere. This platform mostly includes papers and books. Sci-Hub claims that it has over 85 million pdf files. Their main motive is to give scientific knowledge to everyone. 

Benefits – 

  • There is free assess to all the publications on their site.
  • Users could get a lot of information regarding their study on one platform only.

Drawbacks –

  • It is only restricted to scientific study. If your subject is not related to science then this platform is not for you.

7. PDF Drive

PDF Drive is a great asset to find for a lot of reading choices. There are a lot of the latest books available in the form of PDFs on this platform. There are more than 75 million ebooks available on the platform. There are no limits to downloading e-books. Also, there are no types of advertisements on this platform.


  • If you are looking for some interesting novels to read, this is a platform for you. There are so many recommendations depending on the past week’s searches. 
  • They regularly keep on updating the database on their website.


  • Sometimes it takes time to download the pdf. To avoid this there is a premium version, but most users don’t use it.

8. V.K Com

This is a Russian platform, just like Facebook, but it works in a different manner. V.K. has a community that has various media types. There are different book clubs on this platform. The two most common communities are – Free Medical Book Page and Magazine and E-Books Community. There are about 100M monthly active users on the platform.


  • Users do not need to create an account to access the E-Books. 
  • Students recommend books that they have used themselves. 


  • It does not have a Centralized Search Engine on the platform. You need to do a direct search on Google and add VK to it to get the desired results.

9. ScholarWorks 

ScholarWorks is a platform where you can find a large number of online textbooks. This platform is supported by Systemwide Digital Library Services and is in collaboration with CSU Libraries. Users can find a lot of CSU faculty publications and students’ dissertations on this platform. There are more than 9 million views in the past year. 


  • It includes publication that is peer-reviewed. 
  • You can also submit your publications on this platform. 

10. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg includes books that fall under United States copyright Laws. Every book on this platform is distributed free and with permission. It includes a lot of fiction work from western culture. There are a lot of reference books also available on this platform. There are over 60,000 free textbooks available on the platform.

Benefits –

  • This platform is very easy to use and download.
  • Almost every public domain research is available. 


  • There is a variety of publications done on the Humanities subject. This makes it restricted to Science and Mathematics research.


Textbooks are the most important part of a student’s life. With every new class or semester, a student needs to get their subject-related books. Most textbooks are expensive and can add a lot of expense for the student. But with the current changing patterns, it has become easy to access free textbooks online. Although there are a lot of online platforms available where we can get free E-books, this article gives reference to the top ten such websites.

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