Freely-available textbooks
October 25, 2007 11:35 PM   Subscribe

Open Text Book: a blog which lists freely-available online textbooks.

These textbooks include ones for basic and advanced math (warning: giant PDF), engineering, electronics, and philosophy, among others.
posted by Upton O'Good (12 comments total) 58 users marked this as a favorite
Yes! There’s an obtuse economics textbook I can use to help overcome insomnia. And some fun ones to actually read and enjoy.

Thanks for the post.
posted by tepidmonkey at 12:01 AM on October 26, 2007

A great resource, thanks!
posted by amyms at 12:33 AM on October 26, 2007

posted by knave at 1:35 AM on October 26, 2007

Wow. My office is about 50 feet from a huge technical library with an unlimited lending period so I don't need this right now, but if I ever get fired for spending so much time on MeFi this will be handy.
posted by DU at 4:23 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

A couple of years ago, I grabbed with the intent of doing exactly this. I never got around to it, but I'm THRILLED someone else did. It's a great idea, and hopefully will benefit a ton of people.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:27 AM on October 26, 2007

Wow, this looks promising!
The site is at its beginnings and hopefully if more and more people submit open sourced textbooks it will get quite more useful.

Thanks for sharing.
posted by carmina at 6:50 AM on October 26, 2007

Nice! Thank you for posting this!

Also, see Bibliomania, which has full texts and study guides to over 250,000 literary works,, which links to thousands of full-text free books and the comprehensive Study Guides and Strategies.
posted by zarq at 7:44 AM on October 26, 2007 [2 favorites]

Yes! There’s an obtuse economics textbook I can use to help overcome insomnia.

Here's another economics text; hopefully it's less obtuse since it's an introduction. (It's also not listed at the link above.)
posted by Upton O'Good at 8:06 AM on October 26, 2007

Nice. A philanthropic site if ever there was one.

One of the very few gripes I have about my college years (oh, halcyon days!) concerns buying text books. I'd go into the college bookstore weighed down with every last cent I owned lining my pockets to purchase required texts for my classes, which of course were unavailable anywhere other than the college bookstore.

Then, for a total cost of roughly umpteen kajillion dollars and the promise of my first-born's soul, I would walk out with this thin stack of obscenely overpriced pseudo-scientific jargon, only to return a semester later, hat in hand, to sell the lot back for about 23 cents and some pocket lint. And all the while I'd be stewing, just knowing the bastidges would force some poor dumb fool to buy them all over again for damn near what I paid for them in the first place.
posted by misha at 9:33 AM on October 26, 2007

Ho shit, none of these books is situationally aware! Not for me.
posted by bonaldi at 9:45 AM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

The open source textbook phenomenon is just getting started. It shouldn't be long before we see open source textbooks - printed, and online - as a major source of information for students, worldwide.

In the K-12 sector, check out the California Open Source Textbook Project (COSTP) which began in 2001, one of the primary creators of the open source textbook effort, and probably THE primary contributor to the K-12 open source textbook meme.

COSTP's founder is a real visionary, fully dedicated to the open source textbook endeavor. He has offered many organizations his time and effort, gratis, in service to helping them get up and running in a way that will result in the effective deployment of their open source textbook goals. Here's a good summary of COSTP's work, and who it has advised. Keep in mind that although COSTP have a placeholder project on Wikibooks, it's main emphasis is now advising and consulting, because that's where COSTP's founder feels he can be of best service to the cause.

Here's more about the open textbook scene and more about COSTP.

The most comprehensive and sophisticated open source textbook effort is happening at Rice University, in Houston, TX; it's called the Connexions Project. Connexions is XML based, and is, hands down, the best place to author if you want to go text-to-print (which is a big thing in the K-12 sector).

Take a look at Connexions excellent textbook selection; it's all under Creative Commons license, and available for free download, and use.

Still another great source for open source textbooks is Wikipedia's Wikibooks.
posted by MetaMan at 12:32 PM on October 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Here's another economics text; hopefully it's less obtuse since it's an introduction.

Thanks for that, Upton. I actually do find economics to be fascinating on a basic level. It’s just when we start dealing with y-hat and his magic friends that I start to lose track of my brain.
posted by tepidmonkey at 1:09 PM on October 26, 2007

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