My favorite 10+ free eBooks for designers (and a trick to access more books for a small fee)
Education is something everyone should have access to. But sometimes, you might not have the budget to buy books. I put together a list of my 10+ favorite free eBooks on design, information architecture, accessibility,… And there is also the option of public libraries (or universities) to access eBooks for a small fee. Or for free sometimes.
10+ Free online books and PDFs I personally recommend
Kudos to those authors (and publishers) for providing a free version of those great books:
Resilient Web Design – Jeremy Keith, a great book on building websites that are robust (and work offline for example). It’s also a beautifully written book on the history of the web.
Demystifying Public Speaking – Lara Hogan: great book to help you get started with public speaking, from how to structure your talk to how to deliver it
More places to find free eBooks
To dig further, here are some places and publishers to find even more free eBooks. I haven’t read them all, so I can’t personally recommend them directly. But, you might find something that could help you.
Another way to access books is via libraries. Yes, it’s 2022 but I promise those still exist. Many public libraries have a small fee or are even free. If you live in Luxembourg, access to BNL is free for example. And most libraries now have collections of eBooks you can read online.
Also, many libraries also have cross access directly to some publisher’s catalogues. For example, with the BNL, I can access the whole O’reilly’s learning catalogue. So you might get lucky. My advice: check with your local library. It’s worth a shot.
With a library access, you can also access to tools like Libby which lets you borrow eBooks, audio books and magazines from local libraries.
And if you are a student, there is a good chance you already have access to your university or school library. Again, check if they might have an online offer. For example, the University of Strasbourg where I teach grants me an access to scholarvox. Then have access to many eBooks from different publishers. It costs nothing to ask whoever is in charge at your school if there are ways for students to get access to online books.
Fair warning though: in my experience, a lot of the tools used to “borrow” digital books are quite NOT user friendly. And sometimes you might not be able to read offline because it’s an online portal. This could be an issue if you don’t have internet access at home. But if you need to check a few chapters for a book, it’s better than nothing.
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