There are some online schools that offer free virtual curriculum (cost inclusive in the fee) but several of them require students to source their reading material and textbooks from outside. Thus, like regular students, online students too end up spending a fortune on buying books.
However, with the availability of free books online, there is definitely a way to save. There is increasing awareness of free downloadable textbooks available on the Internet on almost all subjects. Most of these books are old classics. All you need to do is to find the correct resource and use it effectively.
Sources to Download Free Books
Some of the sources from where one can download free books are:
Project Gutenberg: Project Gutenberg is the largest and the first single collection of free e-books. Its founder is Michael Hart, the man behind the invention of e-books. The mission statement of this project is “To encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks”, thus encourages students to download free books. The collection mainly consists of full texts of books of public domain. Project Gutenberg claims to have a collection of more than 28,000 items. It is said that on an average 50 e-books are added every week here and most of them are works on literature. But besides literature, one can also find free books online of drama, short stories, poems, cookbooks, etc. There are few releases in plain text version, while other formats available are PDF and html.
Google Scholar: If you are looking for scholarly literature, Google Scholar is an easy and simple way to search, locate, learn and find papers. It gives you a platform to search across thesis, books, and peer-reviewed papers from various scholarly organizations. In fact, its database of free ebooks and academic articles is ever increasing. A freely accessible web search engine Google Scholar, sorts the articles the way researchers do.
Bartleby: Bartleby offers thousands of free downloadable textbooks and other reference material. What began as a personal research experiment now is a treasure of classic literature, reference and non fiction – all free of charge. It is taken to be one of the most inclusive reference publisher on the web today.
The Internet Public Library: First public library of the internet community, the IPL is an experiment to promote the contributions of librarians to the internet. It is a library for the internet community and offers links to full text books, newspapers and magazines.
You can find relevant literature and reference content with no cost on numerous virtual libraries too. So, if your online course curriculum needs a purchase of some overpriced text, then check these sites for help.
The above mentioned sources help students of online courses to access free textbooks. However, if it is necessary to purchase textbooks, there are also some websites that let you have discounted prices and low rates. Half.com (used books), Comparetextbook and e-bay (auction) are a couple of more such sources that can help students cut down the expenses on buying books.
Finding a deal for cheap textbooks or free books does involve time and energy. But, bagging the deal you are looking for is definitely worth the extra effort, if you are finding tips on how to save money on education expenses.