Free Books for Online Students

Barry Lenson

Free Books for Online Students

Online students go to class in virtual classrooms. So shouldn’t they be able to get their books in virtual libraries and bookstores? For free, if possible? It seems that way to me.

Truth be told, not all books – especially new textbooks – can be had for free online. But there are still some great online sources of eBooks you can download to your computer:

The Gutenberg Project offers tens of thousands of books you can download for free. All of them are in the public domain, so they are not recent releases. But if your reading list includes some older classics that are no longer copyrighted – anything from Caesar’s commentaries on the Gallic wars to Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton – this is the place to snag `em for free.

Barnes & Noble is currently trying to boost sales of its Nook eBook reader by offering a decent selection of Nook-ready eBooks for free download. If you don’t own a Nook, you can download and read free books anyway, thanks to B&N’s free Nook apps for your PC or smart phone.

Free Book Spot offers thousands of free downloadable books in 96 categories from architecture to Web design.

Many Books offers more than 29,000 free downloadable eBooks, including a selection of scholarly and reference books that students might need.

The Online Books Page is the University of Pennsylvania’s portal to thousands of downloadable eBooks. Think of it as a miniature Project Gutenberg.

StraighterLine's Cheap College Textbooks referral service helps you find college textbooks at the lowest possible prices.

Text Books Free provides links to many colleges and libraries that make their texts and course materials available online to students. Definitely worth checking out!

And coming soon to a computer near you . . . a national online public library!

In October 2010, Harvard University began to plan a national digital public library, to be created with funds from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Doesn’t digital education deserve a digital public library? We think so.  Keep reading this blog and stay tuned for further developments.

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