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BGSU University Libraries

Finding Textbooks: A Guide for Students: Beyond Libraries

Freely Available

Websites devoted to searching for freely-available textbooks.

BGSU Bookstore

The BGSU Bookstore now offers free downloads of approximately 200 popular classic titles.  Both software and texts are available for free - all you need is your BGSU email address to download!

Chegg Homework Help

24/7 study help

Step-by-step solutions for your tough courses.
Plus, tap into our study community for help
24/7 whenever you're stuck.


From their website: Get the textbook answers to your math, science and engineering questions instantly. Cramster not only provides the actual textbook answers, but also allows you to view the step-by-step textbook solutions.

Google Books

Google grows its collection constantly.  The best way to search is by book title and author.


Project Gutenberg

The original website devoted to free books (above and beyond just textbooks).  More than 30,000 books are available for download and a variety of platforms for reading are offered.

Textbook Torrents

In addition to sources for free textbooks, this website promises to introduce users to textbook swapping, used textbooks, digital editions, and more.

Open Access Textbooks

Developed under a grant by the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), US Department of Education.

Flat World Knowledge

How do you want your book? You decide. You are on any free book page. You’re not a fan of reading online. What do you do? Go to “Purchase Options” and choose from a range of print, audio, and self-print PDF options. Click on any of those options, and we’ll describe it to you, tell you how much it costs, and suggest some ways for you to save money (okay – suggest ways for you to spend money, but less than you otherwise might have). They all cost way less than what you are paying now, even for a used book.

Buying and Selling



A great place to search for your textbooks.  You can also sell your old textbooks or trade them in for credit.

Amazon's Kindle for PC

Amazon has also made their Kindle software available for download to your PC (Mac version coming soon).  Once you've downloaded the software, you can immediately begin purchasing Kindle books and read them on your computer.  Books purchased and downloaded to your computer can later be transferred to your Kindle.


Purchase a digital copy of your textbook and install the MyScribe reader software.

Campus Books

Options for buying and selling textbooks.  Also includes a price comparison search.  iPhone users can download a free iBookstore app from the app store.

Buy used textbooks, or sell your old ones here.

Textbook Media

Offers both premium (ad-free) and sponsored (ad-sponsored) versions of textbooks, each level with its own limitations and benefits.  All you need to read is Microsoft Silverlight.


Another website for purchasing digital downloads of textbooks.  Software has more functionality for note-taking, highlighting, etc.  Included much more than traditional textbooks, and includes a free download when you sign up.  Includes books from popular textbook publishers like Elsevier. 

Textbook lending

Recommended textbook-rental websites.

BGSU Bookstore

The BGSU Bookstore piloted their textbook rental program in 2008 and it has continued to grow ever since.  Their rental program includes new and used books, as well as 250 of the current textbooks available as eBooks.  As always, the BGSU bookstore continues to buy back used textbooks, which can also earn you money for future textbook purchases.


Sign in using Facebook Connect.  Search for books by ISBN, title, or author.


Users can sign in with their existing facebook account information, or create a free account from scratch.  Used textbooks can also be sold.

For more information

The Open Textbook Movement, which promotes making textbooks freely available online, is growing rapidly.  Below are a few resources to check out for more information.

According to their website, Connexions is "a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc."

Open Knowledge Foundation
The goal of the OKFn is to connect those interested in open material to resources that can help them.  Includes Open Text Book, a repository of textbooks for download, redistribution, and reuse.