Save Money with Free Books From the Open Library

Purchasing textbooks can become one of those college expenses that keeps growing and growing. But what if you could get the book you need without spending any money? With Open Library, you can do just that. Continue reading to learn more about this cost-saving resource. Schools offering Archival Studies degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

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Access Thousands of Books Without Spending a Dime

Open Library is an open, editable library catalog, building towards a Web page for every book ever published. But the site is much more than a catalog of the world's books. It's also a repository where you can access more than one million free ebooks. The large selection of titles makes Open Library an ideal resource for cost-conscious students looking to cut down spending.

An Impressive Selection of Titles

Do you have a literature class with a dozen or more books on the syllabus? Before you head to the bookstore or buy titles on Amazon.com, see if you can read them online or register to borrow electronic versions from the Open Library website. You can view Open Library's free books on your computer or download them to read on an e-reader, tablet or smartphone.

Open Library is replete with classic titles. If you need a copy of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, for instance, make your choice from hundreds of editions at the site. A similar selection is available for Crime and Punishment. And if you don't quite have time to finish reading Fyodor Dostoyevsky's masterpiece, you can even borrow CliffsNotes for the book from Open Library.

And it's not just classic works of fiction available at Open Library. If you have a philosophy course, you can find all the Plato, Socrates and Rousseau you can read - and then some. There's no need to buy a single book for that Shakespeare class you have next term. The Bard of Avon's full oeuvre can be read at Open Library, along with multiple books of criticism on his plays. You'll also have no problem tracking down titles on the reading list for that class on 19th century poets. The website features full libraries from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John Keats, Emily Dickinson and countless other writers of verse.

A Welcome Resource for Students

Open Library users, many of them college students, download thousands of ebooks each month. It's no surprise students are drawn to the site given the exorbitant costs of books and course materials in higher education. According to the College Board, the average annual cost of books and supplies is $1,298 at public 4-year colleges and $1,249 at private colleges for the 2015-2016 school year.

While Open Library is a great resource for free ebooks, the site was designed with a different purpose in mind. The project's developers remain focused on their original goal of creating one Web page for every book that's ever been published. Essentially a massive library catalog, the site incorporates data from various electronic sources, including the Library of Congress.

Currently, Open Library has more than 20 million book records, making it a useful place for students who are performing research on both common and obscure texts. If a user happens to need a copy of a title for which no ebook is available, Open Library provides a link to WorldCat to help track down a physical copy near the user. Open Library also provides links to various bookseller websites where users can buy a copy of the book.

Want more tips to save some cash? Check out 30 easy ways college students can save money.

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