Digital textbooks are becoming more popular with students and universities as paper textbooks cost more and can be cumbersome to carry around everywhere. Below is a list of free textbook websites and digital textbook retailers. Also, make sure to check this earlier post about getting free ebooks from libraries, since there are a lot of options for downloading digital textbooks from schools and universities.
Where to Buy Digital Textbooks
eBooks.com sells more than just fiction. They offer academic ebooks from all the world’s leading scholarly and academic book publishers and have over 50,000 titles to choose from in a wide variety of academic disciplines.
CengageBrain.com, formally iChapters, is one of the world’s largest providers of tailored learning solutions. They offer a wide selection of print and digital textbooks. They also sell “eChapters” if you don’t need an entire ebook, and even rent out textbooks. CengageBrain has some audiobooks as well.
Textbooks.com has over 10,000 eTexts available on their site. They also buy and sell used textbooks. Formats: PDF, works with Adobe Digital Editions, Adobe Reader 7.1 (allows text-to-speech), and VitalSource Bookshelf Reader.
CourseSmart has over 6,000 college textbooks from 14 leading textbook publishers. According to the website, the average price of an etextbook is $60 less than the printed version, and students can annotate, highlight, and run searches within the textbook. The website is setup for Instructors and Students. Instructors can go online to research and compare textbooks and course materials to determine the best options for their students. Formats: Requires CourseSmart Bookshelf software for your computer. There are two forms of eTextbooks: an online version and a downloadable version. Also works with iPhone and iPod touch.
Zinio provides service for publishers to offer digital content through its multi-channel content network. Zinio provides over 1500 magazines from more than 350 publishers. They also offer digital Textbooks and non-fiction ebooks and guides. And they have several international sites. Formats: Requires Zinio Reader software for your computer. Content is available in both online and offline modes. They have an app for iPhone and iPad.
Free Digital Textbooks
FreeTechBooks.com has been online since 2003 and specializes in free computer science and mathematics ebooks. They also have free tech books like computer programming and engineering, physics, marketing, business etc. Most books’ contents you can view online or generally download in HTML and PDF formats.
BookBoon is an online publisher of free textbooks, travel books, and business ebooks. Textbooks are in PDF format and are written exclusively for Bookboon.com by university professors and lecturers. The books have relevant advertisements on every third page on average. They also have an app for downloading the books directly from facebook.
OnlineComputerBooks.com has a wide range of free technology ebooks in science, math, computer programming, etc . . . This site also has links to free trade magazine subscriptions and technical document downloads, as well as other types of free ebooks.
Wikibooks is an open-content collection of textbooks that anyone can edit and contribute to. There are currently over 2400 etextbooks covering dozens of subjects.
Textbook Revolution is a student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free textbooks. They provide links to free online etextbooks and other educational materials.