Download Free, Open-Source Textbooks From OpenStax College

Download Free, Open-source Textbooks from OpenStax College

Textbooks are incredibly expensive (not to mention cumbersome and heavy in dead-tree format). Smart students can pick up free digital textbooks from online sources, including one we haven't mentioned before: Rice University's OpenStax College.

This nonprofit initiative is supported by philanthropic foundations and the peer-reviewed textbooks are provided to over 200 universities and colleges, as well as individual students. Currently, about a dozen textbooks are available, covering mostly the sciences, but history, economics and other subjects are coming soon.

The OpenStax books are available in PDF and EPUB formats, and you can also read them online (even from mobile devices). If you want, you could also customise the cover of the textbook or even rewrite sections of one and have it printed.

Although the selection is small right now, this is definitely a site to bookmark to keep an eye on for the next semester. Low-cost, open education FTW!

OpenStax College [via Ask Bob Rankin]


    Great idea. How much has basic math, physics or history really changed in the last five years to justify that tenth edition update (which means we can't use the el cheapo second-hand copies), and please explain why this mandatory $100+ textbook is different to the two dozen other textbooks in the library that purport to cover the exact same subject matter? Oh, the lecturer wrote this one and gets a royalty cut? Ok.

    I really don't understand why there isn't a bigger textbook piracy culture. OpenStax seems like an even better idea.

      There is quite a lot of piracy of textbooks. I have people I go to Uni with who have never paid for a text book as majority of textbooks also come out on Kindle/electronic medium, and are pretty easy to find.

      I find it easier to justify pirating a textbook than a movie too.. most of my books are between $100 - $250, just lucky I have a scholarship so I don't have to worry about finding the money.

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