Free text books ! – well some free text books

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I used to be a history student and it always amazed me how text books were so expensive. The worst example was in my final year taking British History 1700-1850. The class was an exploration of British History using books and literature from the period. Being a full year course and an honours class we read 12-14 books and were expected to have them in class. The library had perhaps 4 copies of each book which was not enough for a class of twenty-four students (plus the rest of the school.) The books could be bought – but – they were around 20 bucks or more each. The question was why? Most these books were no longer copyrighted so why was I paying 20 odd dollars for book that was printed before U.S. went independent or Canada was founded?The truth was the foreword, or introduction, was what made the difference. An ‘expert’ on the particular author or book would write a brief about how wonderful the book was, give it some historical background and slap a shiny new copyright on the text. whalla! $20 bucks instead of $2Eventually, a few friends and I rounded all the books up for free off the internet and provided them to our classmates. Most of them came from Project Guttenburg and others from tons of Goggle searching for the texts. Luckily Google has automated the process with their new Google Book Search. This will provide people the opportunity to search all out of copyrighted books and then download them as a PDF. Brilliant! Thanks google! (2 years too late for me mind you!)

The Author

Hi. My name is Matt Roberts, you can find me at

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