How to Find Free Textbooks Online

Four Methods:Search for TorrentsSearch on GoogleOther eBook WebsitesUniversity Library Website

Buying textbooks can be outrageously expensive for students. Fortunately, it's often possible to find free downloads with some searching.

Method 1
Search for Torrents

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    If you are new to torrents, read up on how to use them first. It may sound complicated, but it's really not bad, don't be scared! You can either search on a torrent website or use a search engine that checks multiple torrent websites.
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    Search carefully. Torrent search engines aren't great. If you search for "third edition", a result with the word "3E" might not show up, for example. So search for words that would be in the result. For example, if you're looking for Introduction to Electrodynamics by David Griffiths, search for "Electrodynamics Griffiths". If this gives too many results, add 1-2 keywords at a time to thin out until you find what you need.
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    Alternatively, try a Google search for your torrent like "Introduction to Electrodynamics Griffiths torrent". On Google, there is more freedom for different wordings of the same thing. You may be directed to torrent sites you may never thought of, and they could be the only one with your book!

Method 2
Search on Google

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    Try these Google queries:
    • "Title Author Edition PDF", like "Introduction to Electrodynamics 2 PDF"
    • "Title Author Edition PDF download", like "Introduction to Electrodynamics 2 PDF download"
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    If you only need the solutions manual, or only the textbook itself, try adding "textbook" or "solutions" after the word pdf.
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    If other searches aren't working, try: .
    • Putting your textbook name in quotation marks. This makes Google search for exactly what you put in quotes.
    • Searching for keywords like "Electrodynamics Griffiths", so that you find results with slight variations on the name.

Method 3
Other eBook Websites

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    Check But be careful, there are many "download" links which aren't the actual book, they're advertisements. The real downloads are in the center of the page, in-between the book description and the place where it says "Sponsored High Speed Downloads".
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    Check It has many textbooks and solution manuals. You have to upload one item for every item you download (unless you pay money). Try uploading any PDF or image you have on your computer. If you don't have one, download one from google images first.
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    Try: and . Feel free to add to this list.

Method 4
University Library Website

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    If you are at a university, you can use their library website to find eBooks. Sometimes, the results are download-disabled. You can often get around this by getting a PDF printer (like bullzip for windows, or pdfwriter for mac). Selecting a PDF printer when you print a page just saves the file onto your computer as a PDF.


  • Some sources (especially torrents) have file types other than .PDF that are just as good, like .djvu. If you can only find a .djvu, just google search for a .djvu reader. If you want a PDF, use the .djvu reader to print to a PDF, or download a converter from djvu to pdf.
  • If you can't find your book, try searching Google for book-selling websites other than Amazon. Often, they will have international editions with the same exact content for a small portion of the price.


  • Avoid fake links. Many websites have advertisements that say "DOWNLOAD" but aren't actually what you're looking for. Usually, real download links are in the middle of the page, and do not say anything flashy like "super speed" or "direct download".
  • Look at file extensions when you download to avoid viruses: if the file is not .PDF or .djvu, check to see if it is even an eBook file type at all. Never download .exe or .app files, they are almost always viruses if they claim to be an eBook.
  • I am not advocating the free download of materials you have not purchased yourself. It is very, very rare to be caught doing this, and the consequences are usually just a warning. But there have been some worse cases and it is good to be careful. Do not "seed" your torrents for too long, especially if there are already many people seeding. Seeding means that other people are downloading from you.

Article Info

Categories: College University and Postgraduate