What?! Free textbooks?!

It's Tuesday and it's time to save some money. As college students, one of our biggest expenses is textbooks. Many students end up spending nearly $1000 on books alone (especially any science major!). And then, when trying to sell them back to the bookstore at the end of the year, they end up getting back less than half of what they originally spent. There is nothing more frusterating than buying a brand new edition of a textbook and then being told at the end of the semester that a new edition has come out and that the teacher will no longer be using the same book. So you're left with a 10 pound, $120 psychology textbook and nothing but anger and remorse for all that money you just lost on a useless book. I know the semester isn't even half way over yet, but it's never too early to start thinking of ways to save money on all your books next semester.

I recently found out about a really exciting Web site. The Freeloadpress Web site allows students to to download e-textbooks online. According to the site:
"Freeload Press, Inc. is liberating the textbook so students from all financial backgrounds can use these important learning tools. Textbooks are too important...for students to go without: That's why we started Freeload Press. We publish and distribute premium textbooks from the best authors in their respective fields. We then deliver our textbooks using an innovative combination of commercial support and direct fulfillment. This allows us to provide the textbook as a free e-book. Print versions are also available for reasonable prices – typically 65% less than competitive textbooks!"

Basically all you have to do to use this service is register, which includes creating a short profile and agreeing to the terms of use. Then all you have to do is complete a survey and you're set to start downloading books for free. Books are downloaded in PDF format. You can see a list of all the textbooks available at this point before you register. Each time you download a book, you have to complete a short survey. According to the Web site, these surveys help keep the service free, and usually take less than 5 minutes to complete. There is also advertising within the pages of the book you download, which helps keep the service free as well.

The site is still in its testing phase, so the books they offer are a bit limited. The majority of books are in the finance, computer application and math fields. So far, only about 100 colleges have decided to use textbooks offered by Freeloadpress. But as the site generates more and more buzz from the publishing industry and universities across the country, more books will undoubtably become available.

This site is definately something to keep your eye on. Be sure to check back when you're deciding on where to buy your books next semester - you never know, that $90 textbook that you could buy at the bookstore might be available for free online.
I also found this cool video about the average college student today. It's pretty interesting, and I can definately relate. Check it out:

No comments: