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Textbooks

There are multiple ways to get textbooks at no cost. Some are older versions, some written with licences such as Creative Commons and GNU Free Documentation. It is simply knowing where to look.

Included are both Free Online, and Free Downloadable texts in various formats e.g. ebooks, PDF, Word, … . Listed books are at Tertiary or senior secondary level unless otherwise indicated.

They are listed under Major Learning Areas, then Specific Areas in these. The Other Subjects section includes the remainder. Areas such as Mathematics, Sciences and Computing have larger offerings.

This page looks at major sources for free textbook and textbooks for Education, Mathematics and Technology & Computing.

The Second Page looks at Language, Science, Social Sciences, Other Subjects and Preprints.

No Outright Recommendation is given for any textbook. Individuals must make their own decision.

Major Sources

  • 170 Free Textbooks [Open Culture]
    ‘Free textbooks written by knowledgeable scholars are a relatively new phenomenon. Below, find a list of 170 free Textbooks’.
  • 2020ok
    Covers areas from Art & Photography through to Travel and includes most academic areas.
  • Alex Catalogue of Electronic Texts
    ‘Public domain and open access documents with a focus on American and English literature as well as Western philosophy’.
  • Bibliomania
    Reference books, classic fiction/drama/… , literature book notes, study guides, articles, interviews.
  • Bookboon
    ‘Download free online textbooks. All our books are available in PDF and you can download them directly without registration’.
  • Bookshelf
    ‘Free access to over 700 texts in life science and healthcare. Bookshelf enables users to easily browse, retrieve and read content, and spurs discovery of related information’.
  • CK-12 Foundation
    ‘CK-12 provides open-source content and technology tools to help teachers provide learning opportunities for students globally’.
  • College Open Textbooks
    ‘COT is not a repository of open textbooks; our listings point to textbooks on many repositories. About half of the textbooks we list are on the copyright holder’s own website’.
  • Digital Book Index
    ‘Links to more than 160 000 title records from more than 1 800 commercial and non-commercial publishers, universities, and various private sites. More than 140 000 of these are free’.
  • Free Business eBooks
    ‘Sites that legally offer free books relating to business, for reading and listening [audio]’.
  • Free Mathematics ebooks
    ‘Ebooks and guides on Mathematics, which can be viewed online or downloadable in PDF, CHM, RAR or ZIP’ formats.
  • FreeScience.info
    ‘FreeScience.info provides more than 2 000 free scientific books’. Also theses, student notes, other links.
  • Gradesaver
    Free Online Study Guides. Extensive listing grouped alphabetically. Download as PDF documents.
  • Jekkle
    ‘Uni Text Books Online. Rent, Buy and Sell Australian Uni Textbooks’. Not free, but the next cheapest method for gaining textbooks [while also being able to sell them here].
  • Major Online Text Collections by Language
    ‘Links to a number of these sites, organised according to language and/or subject are provided. Also references to specific texts, in particular for unusual languages and unusual texts’.
  • OER Commons
    Search by subject area, level, material type, more. News, information, recommended resources, … .
  • Online Textbooks & eBooks
    ‘Free sources for academic textbooks, reference literature and education eBooks’. Annotated listing in subject areas.
  • Open Book Project
    ‘Seeks to encourage and coordinate collaboration among students and teachers for the development of high quality, freely distributable textbooks and educational materials on a wide range of topics’.
  • OpenStax College
    ‘OpenStax College offers students free textbooks that meet scope and sequence requirements for most courses. Free online and low-cost in print’.
  • Oxford Scholarship Online
    ‘Access to online monographs in the core areas of : Biology, Business & Management, Classics, Economics and Finance, History, Law, Linguistics, Literature, Maths, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, Religion and Social Work’. Access through a subscribing institution.

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  • Perseus Digital Library,
    ‘An evolving digital library, … . Our primary goal is to bring a wide range of source materials to as large an audience as possible’.
  • Pink Monkey
    Study Guides, Booknotes, Online Textbooks for 15 subjects, Literature summary, more.
  • Project Gutenberg
    ‘20 000 free books in the Project Gutenberg Online Book Catalogue. Project Gutenberg is the oldest producer of free ebooks on the Internet’. Also try the Australian version, which has options unavailable at the US site.
  • Samizdat Press
    Textbooks, lecture notes and software available for free download. Most in the sciences.
  • Science Books Online
    ‘Free science ebooks, textbooks, lecture notes, monographs and other science related documents. All texts available for free reading online, or downloading in various formats’.

Second-Hand Books

Australian

Other

  • AbeBooks.com
    ‘Booksellers on AbeBooks offer a vast selection of new and used textbooks’. USA but with free shipping.
  • BooksIntoCash
    ‘Buying textbooks on the internet since 2000’. USA. No free shipping to/from Australia as far as we can see.
  • Sparknotes
    Study guides [in booklet form] covering many areas, predominantly Language based.
  • TextBookGo.com
    ‘Find free etextbooks available for immediate download, by entering title, author, or key words for the textbook’.
  • TextbookRentals.com.au
    Not free but certainly cheaper than complete purchase. ‘We offer semester- and year-long rentals of hundreds of the most popular texts assigned at Australian universities’.
  • Textbook Revolution
    ‘The web’s source for free educational materials. TBR’s mission is to drive the adoption of Free textbooks by teachers and professors. We want to get these books into classrooms’.
  • The Assayer
    ‘The web’s largest catalogue of books whose authors have made them available for free. The site is a particularly good place to find free books about maths, science, and computers’.
  • The Global Text Project
    ‘Open content electronic textbooks that will be Freely available from a website. Distribution also possible via paper, CD, or DVD’.
  • The National Academies Press
    ‘We offer more than 4 000 titles in PDF format. All can be downloaded for free by the chapter or the entire book’. Accounting to Transportation & Infrastructure.
  • The Online Books Page
    University of Pennsylvania. Browse by subject term, call number [often Library of Congress] or an alphabetical listing of all subject terms.
  • Wikibooks
    ‘With [a] mission to create a free collection of open-content textbooks anyone can edit. Volunteers have written about 24 986 modules in a multitude of textbooks.

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Education

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Mathematics

  • 2020ok Mathematics
    Select sub-categories from Applied Maths to Trigonometry.
  • Free Mathematics Books
    ‘Alphabetical list of online mathematics books, textbooks, monographs, lecture notes and other documents freely available on the web’.
  • Free Online Textbooks, …
    Plus Lecture Notes, Tutorials, and Videos on Mathematics. Extensive listing. Each entry is clearly annotated.
  • Mathematics : Online Texts
    About 60 texts compiled by the Open Directory Project. Basic, introductory works, more esoteric examples.
  • Online Mathematics Textbooks
    Nearly 70 links to online texts Free to use. Mathematics from Calculus to an Introduction to Vectors.

Algebra

Calculus

  • Advanced Calculus
    Lynn Loomis and Schlomo Sternberg. Harvard University.
  • Calculus
    Online text by Gilbert Strang, 2005. MIT Open Courseware. Instructor’s manual and student Study Guide.
  • Calculus on the Web
    Done by Temple University. 7 books in this group from Precalculus to Number Theory and Abstract Algebra.
  • New ! Precalculus [Collingwood, Prince, Conroy]
    2011. ‘The basic theme of this book is to study precalculus within the context of problem solving’.

General Mathematics

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Technology & Computing

Computing

  • A Practical Theory of Programming
    ‘Download the book in four parts, in PDF format. Download the lecture visuals, in PDF format’. Also in Chinese.
  • Building Accessible Websites [Joe Clark]
    Revised in 2008 and only online.
  • New ! Free ebooks from Microsoft Press
    ‘From technical overviews to drilldowns on special topics, these free ebooks are available in PDF, EPUB, and/or Mobi for Kindle formats, ready for you to download’.
  • New ! Foundations of Computation [Critchlow, Eck]
    2011. From logic, sets and functions to theoretical computer science.
  • Green Tea Press
    ‘Publisher of How to Think Like a Computer Scientist : Learning with Python. Readers are Free to copy and distribute the text’.
  • How To Design Programs
    An Introduction To Programming and Computing. ‘Places computer science in the core of a liberal arts education. Unlike other introductory books, it focuses on the program design process. Includes the environment, teacher guides, exercises for all levels, solutions, and additional projects’. MIT, 2003 version.
  • Introduction to Machine Learning [Nils Nilsson]
    Stanford University. Available as a full PDF download.
  • Python Bibliotheca
    ‘Aims to be a library of educational materials using Python to teach computer programming’. Includes textbooks for beginners, tutorials, multimedia, more.
  • Software Engineering for Internet Applications
    MIT Press 2006. ‘The textbook for the MIT course Software Engineering for Internet Applications for juniors and seniors in Computer Science’.

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