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Searching for Text Books

Note: I found this on the /r/Piracy subreddit ( however I am including a copy here just in case.

So you have a list of books you need to buy for college. There are some really great resources for finding them online, but I'm going to run through the easiest methods for searching all of them here.

First, let's start off by using the method that will allow you to find the vast majority of books. Google. It tends to be easier if you can search multiple sites at once, and this is the easiest way to do it.

There was a search engine that /u/ratokursi made 3 years ago, but by now most of the sites are either dead or have changed the url. I decided to make a new one, this time after reviewing 100+ sites and adding to working ones to the custom search engine.

Sites it indexes:

This should be able to find most of your books. Unfortunately, not every book ever published is going to be on the internet.

Trying "ext:pdf (title of book)" into Google might also yield some results, just be careful what you click on.

So, in order to find the ones you can't find, there a few other ways to find them.

You can download ebooks via irc. The easiest way to search is on a search engine, like this one: Then follow the last part of/u/ManWithoutModem's post:




If you don't know how to use IRC to download books, check out this link or read this:


You obviously need an IRC client installed, a quick google search should find you a bunch of decent free ones.

Load the client and then type:


This will connect you to the irchighway server. Once you're on there, type:

/join #ebooks

This will take you into the ebooks channel, which has more than 2.2Terabytes of ebooks for free download. Once you're in, all you have to do to find what you want is to simply type:

@search "Author or book title"

... removing the inverted commas.

You'll get a message saying that your search has been accepted. A few seconds later a searchbot will offer you a file, so accept the download. That will send you a .txt file that's zipped. Extract that and you'll get a list of files. I searched for Lian Hearn and got a list of 147 files. Here's an extract from it:

!bald Lian Hearn - [Tales Of The Otori 02] - Grass For His Pillow .rar - 142.1 KB !bald Lian Hearn - Tales of the Otori 2 - Grass for His Pillow (CO.rar - 355.3 KB !bald Lian Hearn - Tales of the Otori 2 - Grass for His Pillow (ht.rar - 140.54 KB !bald LianHearn-[Otori_01]-Across_The_Nightingale_Floor(v3).rar - 111.62 KB !bald Lian_Hearn-[Otori_01]-Across_the_Nightingale_Floor(v4.0.rar - 115.45 KB !bald Lian Hearn - [Tales Of The Otori 03] - Brilliance Of The Moo.rar - 175.53 KB !bald Lian Hearn - [Tales Of The Otori 04] - The Harsh Cry of the Heron (v1.0) (html).rar - 351.80 KB !bald Lian Hearn - [Tales Of the Otori 05] - Heaven's Net Is Wide (v5.0) (epub).rar - 588.40 KB

Say I wanted to download the first book. I'd copy the text shown below, deliberately removing the file size information (I've been booted for that before ):

!bald Lian Hearn - [Tales Of The Otori 02] - Grass For His Pillow .rar

Then just paste that into the IRC window then press enter. After 2-3 seconds you get a prompt asking you to accept or decline the file.You know how to do the rest.

There are private torrent trackers that require either registration or an invite from someone else already on the site in order to join. Some examples include FreeTheTextbooks (Open Signup), My Anonamouse, BitSpyder, BitMe, and Bibliotik.

It's not advisable to try to gain access to one for just a few textbooks seeing as most require some sort of effort to look for something that may or may not be there. (FreeTheTextbooks might be worth it as it's open signup).

By now you're probably not going to find the book online. However, you still have many options. You can rent it from Chegg, get it used from, or DeDRM it after getting it on Amazon.

Chegg is a site where you can rent or buy used textbooks and also read some of the online. There should be a way to extract the text from the page content, hopefully /u/molotoviphone can elaborate on this. It's really good way to get the book saved outside of the rental period. is a service similar to Chegg, except without the online feature.

Amazon is (as you probably already know) a site where you can buy new and used textbooks and also rent or buy digital kindle versions but they're encumbered with DRM. The rented version normally comes in a .azw4 file format, and the purchased version usually comes in a .mobi file format. These are probably both DRM-Protected.

In order to remove the DRM, you will need Calibreand some modified DeDRM Tools. (Credit to noahbody)

This will allow you to remove the DRM on all azw4 and mobi files while removing your account name from the metadata.

Install calibre and install the DeDRM Plugin along with it. Then you can drag the .azw4 or .mobi files into Calibre and it will DeDRM it. The file path that contains your Calibre Library will contain the DeDRMed version of the book.

At this point, you have no use for the DRMed copy of the book, so you can return it if you wish, and essentially get the book for free, or you can do whatever else you want with the book.

If all else fails, or you need some kind of online access code, your only choice is to buy the physical copy of the book or the online key.

Since sharing is caring, you should try to do your best to share the DeDRMed version of the ebook if you got it from Amazon or when you're done with the physical book, scan it before reselling it, and upload it so that it will be easier for other people to find the book. Some good places to do so areLibrary Genesis and any subreddit in This Multireddit.

Hopefully this will help you find most of your textbooks that you need for your classes and allow you to study without having to give even more money to the publishers who are trying to take advantage of our situation.

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