Free Electronic Textbooks to Keep Your Skills Sharp
In the Keep Your Skills Sharp series, we have blogged about where to find free online courses that are developed by universities, how to create a learning plan, how to choose which courses to take, and how to organize and keep track of the courses using a personal knowledge management system. But what we haven’t talked about is where to find free electronic textbooks. People learn in different ways, and watching a video is not the best way of learning for everyone. Take me for instance, I do not like to watch videos, I prefer to read the information, but when you are taking an online course you do not have much choice because videos are the preferred way of delivering the lecture. Although I do not like watching videos, I will sit down and consume the information because acquiring the information takes priority
Textbooks as a complement to a course provide a different point of view. In addition, it may explain a concept in a way that’s different from how it is explained in the video courses. Because the online courses are free, you do not have access to course leaders.
I was delighted when I discovered websites offering free electronic textbooks. Most of the books are in PDF format, some you have to read online, and others are in the EPUB format.
- Bookboon.com: This website offers online textbooks for free and you can search by specialty. Some of the textbooks are dated, but most are suitable for what we are trying to do.
- Open Culture: Has over 160 free textbooks in any major areas of study. You also have access to over 700 free online courses.
- Project Gutenberg: If you are studying literature, this is the destination for books that are in the public domain. You can also find literature books at the University of Adelaide’s website.
- Gizmo’s Freeware: Has a link to over 80 websites that offer free online textbooks.
- MIT Open Courseware: Known for offering free online courses, but you also have access to textbooks. In the search box type in the name of the course followed by textbook. For example, I was interested in anthropology textbooks so I typed “anthropology textbook”. The search returns sections of books, which is not necessary a bad thing, you can scan the results and download the sections that interest you.
There are many more place to find free electronic textbooks, but I opted for sites that are easy to navigate. Some of the sites I discovered are so cluttered that you have no idea where to begin sifting through the information, some have so many ads that it is difficult to figure out what is an ad and what is the information. In another post, we will build our own textbooks based on relevant information that we find.
Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below. Liked this post? Share it and subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!
Author Bio: Avil Beckford, an expert interviewer, entrepreneur and published author is passionate about books and professional development, and that’s why she founded The Invisible Mentor and the Virtual Literary World Tour to give you your ideal mentors virtually in the palm of your hands by offering book reviews and book summaries, biographies of wise people and interviews of successful people.
Book links are affiliate links.