10+ BEST Websites To Download Free PDF Textbooks [2022 List]

Explore the list of top Websites to Download Free PDF Textbooks. Compare their features for selecting the best PDF college textbooks downloader websites:

The ongoing global pandemic has made us realize how helplessly dependent we are on technology for all our needs. As nation after nation announced countrywide lockdowns due to a surge in the Covid-19 cases, people were forced to turn to technology for all their needs.

From grocery shopping to jobs to the continuation of studies, it all happened through a digital screen in front of us. There certainly are drawbacks to such extreme dependency on technology, but there is no reason we cannot make the best of what is offered to us.

Online learning was the most affected and hence emerged a variety of e-learning sources to the rescue. The best part about online learning resources is that they provide open access to any and everyone.

Download Free PDF Textbooks

Best Websites to Download Free PDF Textbooks

These platforms are accessible worldwide, and that greatly increases the scope of learning for many individuals, especially those that have physical limitations.

There are a wide range of websites that offer free textbooks for learning. These PDF books are easily downloadable or available for online readings absolutely free of cost. They offer content from the academic world to the literary world to even children’s stories.

Tips To Download Free PDF Textbooks

With the right steps in mind, downloading a free PDF book or locating the perfect website for your requirement becomes a piece of cake.

#1) PDF Reader

The PDF reader must possess a set of features that will enhance the reading experience, especially for PDF books, because they are heavy-texted documents. PDF is a more suitable option than other formats. Some must have features are – editing, navigation, annotation, adding bookmarks, setting reading mode and easy sharing.

Keeping this in mind, one should go for PDF viewers like Adobe Acrobat Reader, WPS Office, Google PDF Viewer, Foxit MobilePDF or Moon+Reader for android devices.

For iOS devices, Google Playbooks, PDF Max, etc. work best. And for Windows, Adobe Reader, Nitro Reader, etc. are good choices.

#2) Requirement

It is important to keep one’s requirement for free PDF books in mind while searching for them.

Some websites have such an enormous mass of content accumulated that typing the right set of words saves time. For others, there are different kinds of books available catering to interested readers.

For example, Open Textbook Library primarily offers free textbooks only for college students while, Free Kids Books has a collection of e-books for kids only. Similarly, Project Gutenberg has made available older literary works for which U.S. copyright has expired.

#3) Anti-Virus Protection

No matter how legitimate or trusted a particular website is, it is extremely important to protect your device with proper antivirus software to be double ensured. Sometimes, a virus can enter through another medium or a corrupt network, even if not through the website, and infect the user device.

#4) Interface

It is important to see how the interface of the website suits a particular user. Simpler interfaces make searching easy or, sometimes, certain individuals are akin to a certain kind of website design that is easier for them to use.

We should keep this in mind while searching for an e-book or browsing through websites.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) Is it safe to download free textbook PDF?

Answer: Some e-books may contain malicious software that can install malware, spyware and viruses that harm the computer. That is why one must not blindly trust a source and only go for legitimate websites like the ones mentioned below.

Some illegal websites distribute content without having permission from the author or the publishing house.

Q #2) Can you donate e-books to free PDF books websites?

Answer: Yes, there are many free textbooks providing websites that graciously accept donations as PDF books and physical books which they can then convert to a soft copy that can be added to their collection.

For example, Open Library’s parent website, Internet Archive Books, accepts physical donations of books.

Q #3) How can self-publish authors make their work available for download on these websites?

Answer: Self-publish authors are provided an option on certain websites to upload their works on the website.

This is in turn verified and passed on by the website and made available for download or online reading, just like other books already listed on the site.

Q #4) Can you order a hard copy of a free textbook available on a website?

Answer: No. The whole point of these free PDF textbooks websites is to make learning content available for anyone and everyone without an exchange of money.

Q #5) Do these websites accept monetary donations?

Answer: It is tough to manage a free online resource repository which offers open access to all. Hence, these free PDF books websites are obliged by the smallest amount of donations made to them.

These donations go a long way in maintaining the website, helping the team, and enhancing the website services further.

Q #6) Why am I having trouble downloading PDF files to my computer?

Answer: There could be several reasons for this. First, check your Internet connection to make sure you are connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular data network.

Second, if you cannot find a file you are sure you downloaded, then check the download folder separately. The file may have been stored there without notifying.

Make sure your device has the software required to view the file in the given format. For example, an EPUB reader is required to view an epub format file.

Q #7) Is it illegal to download free PDF books?

Answer: It is illegal to download free PDF books only if the website is providing pirated content. With the copyrights intact and permissions from the author and publishing house, there is nothing wrong with the access and distribution of online copies of works.

Fact Check: According to statista.com, revenue in the e-books segment is expected to reach $15,986 million in 2021. Almost 8 million free textbooks were downloaded from Project Gutenberg alone in the April 2020. This was double the number downloaded last year.

project gutenberg stat

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E-books on plague were seen to be the most downloaded ones during the pandemic imposed lockdown period.

According to justpublishingadvice.com, there has been a steady increase in the number of e-books available on Amazon Kindle through the year 2007 to 2021. While as little as a few thousand e-books were available for reading in 2007, the number is estimated to be 9,000,000 in 2022.

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List Of The Top Websites To Download Free PDF Textbooks

Here are listed some impressive websites for Free Textbooks Online:

  1. Open Textbook Library
  2. Libre Texts
  3. OpenStax.org
  4. Bookboon.com
  5. Project Gutenberg
  6. Free E-Books.net
  7. Internet Archive Books
  8. Manybook.net
  9. Open Library
  10. Freeditorial

Comparison Of Best Websites For Free Textbooks Online

Name of the website to download free PDF booksTypes of PDF books on the websiteFree DownloadYear establishedAudience
Open Textbook LibraryHigher Education- business, mathematics, law.Free download and Open access for allUnknownCollege Students
Bookboon.comEngineering, IT and Business.Free download and open access for all1998College Students
Internet Archive BooksBooks of all kinds and more. Largest platform for free PDF books.Some books cannot be downloaded, only borrowed1996No Age Bar
FreeditorialRange of books including literary works. Free download and open access for all2012No Age Bar

Review of free textbooks online:

#1) Open Textbook Library

Best for searches for free textbook PDF available by subject.

Open Textbook Library

Open Textbook Library aims to transform higher education and student learning by providing open textbooks by licensed authors and publishers. These can be adapted and used freely. These PDF books can be downloaded, edited and distributed at no cost.

The textbooks on this website are primarily aimed at college students. It has college textbooks PDF sorted by 12 different subjects like Business, Computer Science, Humanities, Law, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, etc.

Features: Free Textbooks by subjects, focussed on college learning, editing and distribution of free college textbooks available for free too.

Website: Open Textbook Library


#2) Libre Texts

Best for free peer-reviewed PDF textbooks across 12 different subjects.

Libre Texts

Libre Texts is a non-profit online educational reform oriented website. It is directed at college students, with an easy-to-use interface to facilitate construction and customization of Open Education Resources (OER).

The website currently has 398 free textbooks available for open access, which are serving a whopping 223 million students. Libre Texts grow with the collective efforts by its volunteers and active collaborators. It also uses interactive visualizations for a better learning experience.

Features: Open access to content, large library space to develop and share new free textbooks.

Website: Libre Texts


#3) OpenStax.org

Best for open access textbooks for college students.

OpenStax.org

OpenStax is a non-profit educational platform which is based at Rice University. Free college textboo1ks are available in a varied number of subjects like humanities, mathematics, physics, social sciences, business, biology, etc.

All free textbooks have standardized scope and sequence requirements, which make them easier to use as they adapt to existing courses. Some number of high school textbooks are also made available to students, however, the primary focus is college education.

Features: All textbooks are free and can be openly accessed. A range of free college textbooks, high school level textbooks also available, provide free textbooks online in multiple formats.

Website: OpenStax.org


#4) Bookboon.com

Best for student literature for Engineering, IT, and Business.

Bookboon.com

Bookboon is an online platform for accessing hundreds of free textbooks written by professors from top universities around the world.

The user of the website can download any book for free PDF in subjects like accounting, economics and finance, engineering, marketing and law, natural sciences, strategy and management, etc.

Suggested Read => Top Websites To Download Books for Free

The website also includes short practical books, for example, those of Career and Study Advice, Personal Development, Personal Productivity, etc. Bookboon aims to democratize knowledge to make it easy for everyone to develop themselves through high-quality learning content.

Features: User-friendly interface, Primarily textbooks on IT, Engineering and Business.

Website: Bookboon


#5) Project Gutenberg

Best for older books on world literature for which U.S. copyright has expired.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is an online library of free textbooks. It is an effort to digitally archive cultural works. It is to encourage the creation and distribution of literary works.

Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, first invented e-books in 1971, and hence, Project Gutenberg became the first provider of e-books. The website covered the long journey from being a concept to becoming an organization.

By the 2000s, Project Gutenberg was producing thousands of e-books per day, and the number has only amplified since then.

Features: Older Literature available, one of the oldest PDF textbooks platform.

Website: Project Gutenberg


#6) Free-E-Books.net

Best for literature as well as academic works.

Free-E-Books.net

Free-E-Books.net is an online free textbook PDF provider platform. It has books of all disciplines, including a wide range of literature. The books on the website are categorized in a drop-down menu at the top of the website homepage.

The website organizes regular video chats with experts in the field of literature and academia and runs an active blog. We can download any book for free PDF.

Features: Books on a range of categories available, easy to use platform, active blog posts and informational videos on the world of literature.

Website: Free-E-Books.net


#7) Internet Archive Books

Best for widest range of free textbooks and other literature.

Internet Archive Books

The Internet Archive Books is perhaps the largest collection of free textbooks online. It also contains a large number of Internet websites (588 billion webpages), 14 million audio recordings and 6 million videos.

Internet Archive works on the idea that not everyone around the world has access to a good public library, hence, for worldwide accessibility, books and Textbooks need to be made available digitally.

Some books can be freely downloaded from the website, while others can be borrowed for a limited period of time.

Features: Widest range of books, videos and audios also available for learning purposes.

Website: Internet Archive Books


#8) Manybook.net

Best for website available in 46 languages of the world.

Manybook.net

Established in 2004, Manybooks.net aspires to provide free textbooks on the Internet by creating an extensive library of PDF textbooks.

A lot of free PDF books available here are taken from the Project Gutenberg website and hence, there are a lot of classics to look through. There are over 29,000 e-books available for reading of Kindle, Nook, iPad and other e-readers.

It is completely free and provides open access to all. The user has to simply click the download button beside the PDF books catalog and the download will be stored in their device.

Features: Books available in a wide range of languages, free and open access to all. The user can browse through attractive graphic images of book covers to choose.

Website: Manybooks.net


#9) Open Library

Best for having a better searching experience for Internet Archive Books’ catalog.

Open Library

Open Library is a worldwide catalog for free PDF books. It aims to create a webpage for every book ever published and is called Open Library because it provides free and open to all for all its contents.

This website is actually an initiative of the Internet Archive Books where the books whose links are provided on the Open Library website can be found. Any individual with an Open Library account can contribute to building the free textbooks catalog.

Features: Open access and development of the library, wide range of books to choose from.

Website: Open Library


#10) Freeditorial

Best for downloading free PDF textbooks with no prior requirement to register as a user.

Freeditorial

Freeditorial provides free PDF books to download from all over the world. It is an open library as well as a publishing house, which brings together readers and writers from across the world.

Its main aim is to promote literature and not let price be a barrier. Freeditorial, apart from providing free PDF books, also helps publish books of current writers whose rights are acquired by Freeditorial. The website is available in English and Spanish languages.

Features: Free and open access to all, anyone can upload a book that will then become accessible to all.

Website: Freeditorial


Other Notable Websites To Download PDF Books

#11) PDFBooksWorld

Best for books with separate editions optimized according to devices of different screen sizes. PDFBooks World is an online library of free textbooks online. It aims to bring legendary authors of the past that existed in the pre-digitization period to the modern reading room.

It, however, requires a membership registration to download free PDF books.

Features: Free content of PDF Textbooks, Prior registration required to download free textbooks online.

Website: PDFBooks World


#12) Saylor.org

Best for open online courses to those who want to learn digitally. Saylor.org is an online platform that provides certificate courses free of cost.

Features: Certificate courses free of cost, casual learning, flexible course deadlines

Website: Saylor.org


#13) Open Culture

Best for cultural and educational media content.

Open Culture is considerably one of the best and biggest online platforms for e-learning. The website was founded in 2006 and has information and resources covering every possible knowledge base.

Features: Free textbooks online, Free courses with certificates of completion, language learning sources, audiobooks.

Website: Open Culture


#14) ScholarWorks

Best for range of search methods to find free college textbooks easily.

ScholarWorks has a collection of works by Grand Valley State University(GVSU) scholars and is maintained by GVSU itself. Users can search college textbooks PDFs across title, author, citation, keywords, etc.

All PDF textbooks are only for college students.

Features: Range of free college textbooks, open access for all.

Website: ScholarWorks


#15) PDF Search Engine

Best for free textbooks online in multiple formats.

PDF Search Engine allows you to search for free textbooks online and download them to your device. The user is simply required to type their requirement, or a keyword related to it in the search box.

Its interface is similar to that of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Edge, etc. The website is abundantly rich in resources and contains PDF books from all ages.

Features: Wide range of free textbook PDF resources, user-friendly interface, open access to all.

Website: PDF Search Engine


#16) Free Kids Books

Best for free PDF Textbooks for K-12 students.

Free Kids Books is an online learning resource repository for children of K-12, pre-primary, primary and secondary education.

Features: Free Textbooks downloadable in a user-friendly PDF format, Resources for students, parents, as well as teachers.

Website: Free Kids Books


Conclusion

With the right set of tips and knowledge on where to look for free PDF books, the online learning platforms can really thrive along with the reader’s mind.

These e-learning platforms provide a wide array of reading and learning resources, but most users are unaware of them. Hence, they mostly resort to simply googling the name of PDF books and falling prey to clickbaits.

These websites are legitimate and have the simplest interfaces, with free textbooks carefully categorized so that the user can have an enhanced searching experience.

They cater to users of all age-groups and interest types; from pre-primary books available on Free Kids Books to scholarly articles on ScholarWorks.

There are books for casual learning, literati and avid learners, with Internet Archive Books providing the largest collection of cultural works and saylor.org providing free certificate courses.

Research Process:

  • We have thoroughly researched on 25 different websites to shortlist the 10 best and additional 6 mentioned and reviewed above.
  • The total time taken to go over all the reviews and features of each website was 20 hours.
  • We considered the information mentioned on other expert sources to curate the list of 10 best websites to download free PDF textbooks.
  • We checked the “open access” features of all websites by downloading free textbooks from them.
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