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How to Find a PDF Version of a Textbook for Free


Instead of spending your hard earn cash on textbooks, why not find a cheaper alternative. Its been known to the web aficionados that there are way, way too many things on the Internet. And one of those things are PDF versions of textbooks. Now, I don't support going out doing this, since it is wrong, so I leave it to your judgement. Don't forget, there are plenty of other ways to get cheaper books, legitimately. If you're the feint of heart, then I suggest you shy away and try our other methods, there just as good. Well, let's stop the formalities and get started.

Before I begin You have to understand one thing, YOU CAN'T FIND EVERY BOOK! Get that through your mind. You can only find books that are widely used on college campuses. If you came here thinking you'd find all your books up for this semester, you'd be kidding yourself. 

At the least, you might find one book online. Maybe two if you're lucky.


Disclaimer: I do not endorse finding PDF versions of books online. I just give this tutorial for the purpose of educating you that it is possible. Finding books on the Internet go against Copyright, so if you are caught, then you will deal with the consequences. You might be better purchasing books from online sellers like textbooks.com.

What you'll need:
  1. A computer
  2. Internet Connection
  3. Some patience and perseverance
Steps:
  1. Find the name of the book, author(s), edition, and possibly ISBN number. In case you have trouble, stop by your bookstore to find the correct ISBN number if it isn't available online. I have found that school bookstores may hide ISBN numbers to prevent students from purchasing books from other sources.
  2. Open up Google with any Browser you like.
  3. Search using keywords, put parentheses as shown ["book name" author + rapidshare + download] ex: ["Calculus" James Stewart + rapidshare + download]
Result:
  1. Below is the result of the search. You should peruse around to find different links available with the book. In this case, choose the first link.
Figure 1: Result of Google Search

Figure 2: What you see when you click the first Google Link

  • Caveats
    • You will find numerous textbooks that register with the keywords that were used, you'll just have to hunt around until you find an appropriate version you are looking for. Note: You may not find the most recent version. You'll just have to work around that problem by figuring out if your professor is okay with you using an older edition of a textbook.
  • Rapidshare (Download Accounts)
    • You will find that some of the files required a download account from download services like Rapidshare, MegaUpload, and others. However, you can always download from these places for free. You may have to wait a little bit, but you don't have to purchase a premium account.
  • Alternatives
    • Remember, there are better alternatives than using PDF books. Usually having a real book in your hands feel better than reading it from a computer. In addition, you'd be obtaining the books legally. 

I made this video a while back, it's pretty much out of date so I would just stick with the tutorial above.