6 useful sites to save money

University textbooks, resources and reference works are becoming more and more expensive. From 2006 to 2016, the consumer price index for college textbooks rose to 88%according to a report from US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The thought of lugging such bulky purchases in your bag or under your arm on campus only to be thrown away next semester is a thought that can piss off even the calmest yogi.

Whether you love the environment, hate carrying heavy books, can’t afford those college textbooks, or just believe you can find other users for the money you have, you might want to consider downloading e-books from these sites. After all, there is no better price than free.

Why pay full price for a heavy textbook when you can download the ebook version for free? Source: Sia Kambou/AFP


An online source of free downloadable ebooks, FreeBookSpot is home to 4,485 titles in 96 categories. Here, you can search for books from categories like science, engineering, computer programming, and even fiction. The best part about FreeBookSpot? No registration is required to get started.

Genesis Library

The biggest contender for many free book listings is still Genesis Library and for good reason: you can find anything and everything from textbooks to college papers, college books, novels, comics, and magazines here.

The catalog alone is huge – organized in a format similar to a standard university digital library, which helps other students get up to speed quickly. You can search by author, ISBN, or year, and several download options make it easy for students to try their luck if the first link is broken.


Unlike the others on this list, Mobilism is not a website – it is a forum where users can share media they already own with other people. The catalog, like Library Genesis, is so vast that the chances of not finding what you are looking for are very slim. Bonus: users have the option to request a specific title if it is not available on the forum.

free downloadable ebooks

Visiting a library can be fun, but having your own ebook is easier, especially for late-night study sessions. Source: Stefani Reynolds/AFP

Project Gutenberg

Another good option for students is Project Gutenberg, which offers mostly fiction, but also has an extensive collection of reference books for students to download. The website was started – and run – by volunteers who believe in creating and distributing free downloadable ebooks.

The interface is a welcome sight for those who don’t have the patience to navigate a complex site. Humanities students in particular will appreciate the variety of options available for their fields and subjects at Project Gutenberg.


The only non-English site on this list is CV, a Russian social media platform that works just like Facebook. Although Facebook focuses on real social interaction, VK’s growing community emphasizes media sharing. E-books are the usual file types shared at all levels here, which means that students also download books that they themselves have used for the benefit of others.

You also don’t need to create an account to get your hands on the free downloadable ebooks in VK. However, keep in mind that there is no centralized search engine on the website – you have to find your ebook of choice in catalogs and communities. If you want to avoid searching VK for hours, you can search Google and end the phrase with “VK” to get results.

free downloadable ebooks

The library of Senegalese President Léopold Sedar Senghor, in his house, in Verson, western France. Source: Lou Benoist/AFP

To book

Even though To book is an online publishing company, the site also offers free PDF textbooks for students in need. Students who are majoring in engineering will benefit from this website as many books here relate to this particular field.

No subject or discussion is left uncovered when it comes to engineering, from the ground up to the cutting edge. However, to access most of the manuals and reference books here, you will need to pay a minimum monthly subscription of US$5.99.