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About Textbooks, Their Prices, Some Online Sources

ATTRIBUTIONS: all comments below are the truncated or otherwise edited remarks of Tara Siegel Bernard, author of the New York Times article, How to Find Cheap Textbooks, in the August 3, 2010 online edition.  Comments which I added to her's are in () parentheses.

Free Books:

  • FlatWorld Knowledge (www.flatworldknowledge.com provides) the use of so-called open source textbooks, offered by (various) companies.  (According to the NYT reporter, Ms. Bernard, this kind of service) is on the rise. "Students who are assigned open source textbooks can usually download a copy for free, or they can buy a printed and bound version for $20 to $40," Ms. Allen (of FK) said.  c/o NYT100803-article.
  • ManyBooks.net (allows the site-user) to download a copy of a book to (their own) computer, Kindle or iPhone (jgw: and probably to the other eBook readers as well).  c/o NYT100803-article. (jgw: if you need to print pages of the digital eBook, use a printer connected to your computer.)
  • Project Gutenberg (www.gutenberg.org) has taken out-of-copyright books in the public domain and scanned them into its (digital) library. "If you are studying Jane Austen, you are not going to have an easy time following along with page numbers, but you can definitely get access to the text without paying for it", (a spokeswoman for Gutenberg) added.  c/o NYT100803-article.
  • Google Books (books.google.com) has scanned a lot of (current, recently published) texts into its database, though you may not find everything you need” or, you may only have access to every 10th page. (jgw: The "Fair Use" section of U.S. Copyright Law allows a vendor to present for educational-purposes-only just 1/10th of the copyrighted material for free to the consumer of it.)  c/o NYT100803-article. (jgw: as of summer 2010, Google has scanned over 2 million out-of-print and out-of-copyright books into their database as well.)