Top 15 Free Textbook Resources According to Reddit

Textbook prices can be extremely high and make access difficult for some people. This article lists the top free textbook resources according to Reddit.

Top 15 Free Textbook Resources According to Reddit

Paying for textbooks in college can add up to a huge expense. On top of books, you often need access codes, software, and course specific materials. There are several ways to try to reduce the cost of textbooks. This may be by buying from another student, renting from your bookstore or Amazon, or seeking an electronic version. If you opt to find an ebook, Reddit has several threads dedicated to providing free textbook resources. Here are the top 15 recommended textbook resources on Reddit.


1. Library Genesis 

Library Genesis, also known as LibGen and Genesis Library, is the classic Reddit recommendation to find textbooks, articles, journals, books, images, magazines, comics, general-interest books, you name it, online. It’s one of the larger online library websites and usually will have what you’re looking for. It has easy download options and tends to be a top choice for most people seeking online books from Reddit.

2. Z-Library

Z-Library, or zlib, is a great source for books and scholarly articles. This site was originally created on the basis of being a shadow library for peer-reviewed journals, but it’s content eventually expanded to several other areas. Now, a lot of newer, popular reads are usually on this site. 

3. Project Gutenberg

This site is a really well known source for books that have been released under United States copyright law and fallen under public domain. Everything on this site is distributed with permission. Not every book is on this site, but it’s a great resource for older texts and easy download. Lots of professors and librarians tend to recommend Project Gutenberg since it is the oldest digital library.

4. Sci-Hub

Moving towards more precise content, Sci-Hub is a great resource for science focused articles, peer reviewed journals, and anything science related you may be searching for. This is a more specific resource but really has a lot of content that may not be found elsewhere. It includes mostly books and research papers.

5. The Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine, also known as internet archive, is a service that preserves archived content from the internet, including pdfs, ebooks, and sites that are no longer live. Internet Archive has millions of ebooks that are used from public libraries digital inventories. It has books, movies, software, music,  websites, and pretty much any media that could be uploaded on the internet. 

6. The Assayer

The Assayer is a large database of content that authors have released for free use. The library likely doesn’t have the most current materials, but is great for content that doesn’t change year to year. Users can also leave reviews and engage in book discussions with other people on the platform.

7.  PDF Drive

PDF drive is a great resource for popular reading choices. They have most of the newer books and even recommend different titles each week. Sometimes there may be a wait to download certain titles based on how requested they are. There is a premium option available to avoid this issue, but most users do not. 

8. Open Library

This site operates most like an actual library and is connected to The Wayback Machine/Internet Archive. You are able to borrow a book and then give back access. It has a large art section and has almost all of the classic books. The site is translatable to several languages.

9. PDF Magazine

This site is catered towards magazines and has over 565,000 available for PDF download. Every kind of print magazine is in digital format on this platform. You can also browse by language and they currently offer issues in 40 different languages.

10. Every Poet

Similar to PDF Magazine and Sci-Hub, Every Poet focuses specifically on poetry. This site would be very helpful for anyone taking an English class. Beyond classics like Robert Frost and Sylvia Platt, you can also submit your own poetry and read submissions from other users. 

11. Ocean of PDF

This site has a very extensive category list so you should be able to find what you’re looking for in specific subjects. The site also has the option to request they add a book if it is not already available, which could be helpful for tricky titles. 

12. bioRxiv

This site is another source focused on science. It offers a great breakdown of different subjects like epidemiology, ecology, cancer research, etc. You can also subscribe to the site using RSS feed so you have a constant refresh of new articles and information. They also tweet when papers in certain subjects are published to the site.

13. Cite Seer X

This site works well for content published before 2000 and created by Penn State University. You can search by author and title, but you should know what you’re looking for since there isn’t a browsing tab. They also have premade citations for the content you use.

14. Mobilism

Mobilism offers apps, games, and reviews on top of books. This site acts as a community of resources with lots of guidance and different areas. Individual users upload content to this site so there’s more variance. 

15. Bookshare

This site has a lot of lesser-known titles and different genres to choose from including topics like cooking, graphic novels, and literary criticism. The site also has SAT, LSAT, MCAT, and GRE prep books that tend to be updated with recent versions.

Other Ways to Find Cheap Textbooks

  • Sometimes professors have textbooks donated by previous students, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask.
  • Renting is a great way to save some money, especially if you don’t intend to continue studying a subject after a class. Amazon and student stores usually have this option for most textbooks.
  • Buy used! Used textbooks are another fantastic option because they have the same content you need but can sometimes be hundreds of dollars cheaper.

Finding ways to save money in college is necessary for a lot of people. Saving on textbooks is a great way to start but not a foolproof solution. Financial aid, including grants, scholarships, and loans are a nice start to cover all of your expenses in college.

Many people have to take out student loans to pay for school. If a private student loan is your best option, Juno can help guarantee you the best rates by including you in a large group of students and negotiating on your behalf with lenders. 

Juno can help you to find a student loan or refinance a loan at the most competitive possible rate. We get groups of buyers together and negotiate on their behalf with lenders to save them money on private student loans and private student loan refinance loans. 

Join Juno today to find out more about your options for affordable private student loans to help fund your degree.

SmarterCollege Team
Written By
SmarterCollege Team

SmarterCollege came into existence to help students and families save money through scholarships, student loans and other financial products. The SmarterCollege Team has worked with tens of thousands of students and families to help them save money.

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