Finding Free Textbooks on Google Books

eye-15699_640When I first started looking through Google Books, what a chore! My search results were huge.  It took hours muddling through and discarding all that disappointed.  And I wondered, ” How do I find full texts? How do I find FREE texts.” After all, that is my goal. A friend mentioned the Advanced Search option, but it was not obviously placed.  It could have been 3:00 a.m. I could have looked right over it.

When in doubt search Google with your search terms. So, I opened Google and typed the words, “Google Books, advanced search.” Imagine my surprise when I found http://books.google.com/advanced_book_search. The other options is to go to Google books, type in the name of the book or a key word. When your results pop up, click on the link “Search tools”. A group of four additional links will display below. Click on “Any books” and a menu will reveal “Free Google ebooks”.

I was in search of some science textbooks. I wanted free. I wanted a full text, not a sample. The first search will not eliminate all samples or copies at cost, but will push most of what you desire to the front of the list.

I would first start with a topic, science. You might have a tighter topic, electricity, for example. When I’m looking for my younger children, I might add  the words “children”,  “little ones”,  “for boys and girls”, or “beginners.” These, I have chosen based on previous searches I have done for the 19th century publications. These words are not always needed. We certainly don’t use those with textbooks today, but remember today’s textbooks will not be available for free as their copyrights are still intact. Next, choose “Full View Only”. You may narrow the search further by choosing “Books” and omitting “Magazines.” The rest of the search options will further narrow your search. I hate to miss out on a hidden gem so I keep it fairly broad after choosing “Full view only.”

I like the 19th century schoolbooks for beginning readers especially. Many are written narrative style, but all are written with a wit and charm you just can’t deny. If you are looking for your middle school or high school age scientist. You’ll find that the science is practical, hands-one, and relevant. You can find the intended age group in the preface of most books.Your children will love them!

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2 thoughts on “Finding Free Textbooks on Google Books”

  1. Glad to know this! I now have something to search for today. After Tuesday’s debate, seems today’s science textbooks are laden with teachings of naturalistic religion. Thank you Goat Momma!

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