5 Ways To Get Free College Textbooks

How to save money fast with free pdf textbooks online📚

An illustration of text books with dollar signs pouring out of them.

If you’re at college, there’s no doubt you’ve been chucked a very long list of textbooks you’ll need.

And not only are you worrying about how you’re going to make time to read them with all the, you know, important stuff to do that isn’t studying, 🍷, you’re probably wondering how you’re actually going to afford them.

Two things:

- Textbooks cost a lot. In fact, Stats show the average person spends up to $1,471 annually on textbooks… (just imagine all the DoorDash deliveries you could get with that)

- There’s only ever a limited amount at the library… (partly because people renew them every week 👀)

College is stupid expensive as it is, so if there’s a way to keep the costs down, you know we’re here for it 💅


To point you in the right direction, we’ve compiled a list of online sites you can use to get access to free pdf textbooks.

We know you might not be able to find all of the textbooks you need online, but if you can find even just a few, it’ll help keep the costs down.

Ready to start saving some bucks?

Let’s go 🚀


🤔 What is it?

Open Textbook Library offers 1,060 open textbooks, and is supported by the Open Education Network, and all open textbooks in the library are totally free for you to download.

📚 Textbook categories

You can feast your hungover eyes on textbooks from 12 different subjects including Business, Computer Science, Mathematics, and Social Sciences.

💡 How to use it

- Select your subject

- Click ‘Read more’ on your chosen book

- You’ll then be able to view the pdf online


🤔 What is it?

OpenStax is part of Rice University. Its mission is to improve access to education learning for everyone with its free openly licensed books.

📚 Textbook categories

Categories include Humanities, Social Sciences, Math, and Business.

💡 How to use it

- After selecting ‘Get started now’, you’ll be able to view the subjects

- Select a book from one of the subjects and click ‘Download the .pdf’ or ‘View online’

Easy 💅


🤔 What is it?

Bookboon provides students with eBooks written by professors from the world’s top universities. There are also hundreds of practical eBooks available on soft skills and personal development.

New content every week, and it’s also in 12 different languages.

📚 Textbook categories

Topics include Engineering, IT, Economics, Business, and more.

💡 How to use it

You’ll just need to sign-up for its 30-day free trial to gain access. Check out the pricing guide for more information 💵

⏰ Subscription reminder

If you don’t want to pay $5.99 a month after the subscription, remember to set a reminder in 30 days time from when you sign up so you don’t get charged.


🤔 What is it?

Project Gutenberg has 50 years worth of eBooks from 1971-2021 and they’re totally free – all 60,000 of them.

So if the books on your reading list date back to the 70’s, you know where to go.

📚 Textbook categories

Music, Psychology, Science, Technology, Social Sciences, Law, and many more (rhyme not intended).

💡 How to use it

- Hover over ‘Search and Browse’ and select ‘Bookshelves’

- Select the category you’d like to explore


🤔 What is it?

Saylor Academy is a non-profit initiative which has been around since 2008, and offers free and open online courses, as well as free eBooks.

It also has almost 100 full-length courses which you can take whenever you have any spare time, and you’ll get a snazzy certificate at the end 🚀

📚 Textbook categories

Business Law, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Writing and Communication, Marketing, and more.

💡 How to use it

Head on over to Saylor Academy and select the book you’d like to read under the category you’re looking for


- Renting textbooks is a great way to save some money so it might be worth taking a look at sites like Amazon Textbook Rentals and Chegg Textbooks to see if it has any of the books you need

- Instead of buying new textbooks, buy used ones. Simple. Ok, so they won’t be shiny and glossy and they won’t have that fresh book smell we all love, but they’ll have the exact same content and you’ll be saving a fair amount of money

Hopefully, this blog post has given you a few ways to save some of your precious bucks. College is stressful enough as it is. Take care of yourself and your finances ✨

Just download the app to find out how much you're eligible for.

And if you’re after some side hustles for college students, definitely check out the best side hustles we found in 2022.

Enjoy this post? Give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference.

Big love. Cleo 💙

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