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Going PDF

Find a PDF Version of a Textbook

Everyday everyone's going more digital.  We use laptops to write our documents more and we even have devices like an Amazon Kindle which can digitally transport thousands of books.  Have you ever conceived the idea of throwing away the heavy textbook and going PDF?

Before I continue, I just want to mention that I'm not advocating the following.  I'm just letting you know that it can be done.  Here's some things to consider.

  1. Not all books can be found online.  You may be more lucky to find a solutions manual of a textbook over the actual book itself.  On the other hand, that might not be bad at all.
  2. Obviously it's illegal to obtain these books in these formats without paying for them.  Not all publishing companies offer PDF version of their books to students or solutions manuals.  Usually these text are intended for teachers.  In addition, there are copyright laws and all that other goodness you should be cautious about.
  3. Make sure to invest in a larger monitor, maybe a Dell or Apple.  Make sure it's like 20in or more.  Trust me, trying to read documents on a small laptop screen is the last thing you want.  Even worse, trying to read it on an iPhone or small netbook can do even worst things to your eyes.
  4. Be willing to accept the consequences if caught.

If you're okay with everything I've mentioned so far, let's proceed.  Here's what you need:

  1. You need an internet connection
  2. You might need a rapidshare account to make downloading easier (you can download for free, but it's limited)
  3. Lots of patience
  4. Last of all, perseverance.  Don't expect find the book on your first try, it takes some trial and error.


  1. Find the name of the book, author(s), edition, and possibly ISBN number.
  2. Open up a browser and navigate to Google.com
  3. Search using these keywords put parentheses as shown [ "book name" author + rapidshare + download] ex: [ "Calculus" James Stewart + rapidshare + download]
  4. Peruse the search results looking into forums, rapidlibrary.com, and other search engines of rapidshare.
  5. Begin confirming files (look for file sizes around 20MB and up)
  6. Begin downloading files and confirm whether or not you got the file you were looking for.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 while alternating search terms and sifting through websites.


Finding the digital copy of a textbook is almost like finding a needle in a haystack.  It can b
e difficult and frustrating.  At the end of the day you might not even find what you are looking for.  However, you shouldn't be angry.  I mean, you were trying to get it for free in the first place.  
  1. You might have found links, but they were dead.
  2. You might be able to find links in forums
  3. You can find links in rapidshare search websites

Try other methods if this does not work for you.