Finding Books, Articles, etc.

Looking for a free PDF of a textbook for a class? A research article behind a paywall? Or perhaps an e-book not available at your local library? This page is kept updated with the preferred way to acquire texts (pirated or otherwise) from the internet.

There are only a handful of websites worth checking for library material, each specializing in a somewhat distinctive area. These are listed in the following section along with notes on usage. Additional sites of lesser interest are gathered at the bottom of the page. Here is a quick summary:

  • Get textbooks from Library Genesis.
  • Get other kinds of books from Z-Library.
  • Use Sci-Hub to unlock article URLs that are behind a paywall.
  • Make an account on AudioBookBay to get audiobook magnet links.


Light Novels:


Other sources:

Also look into public trackers like KAT or TorrentBay, as well as IRCs like #bookz and #ebooks.

There is a guide for downloading books from IRC. Spoon wiki also has a page about the subject.

Also, as soon as you log in to any IRC channel, you should read the channel title, as it’ll provide the rules of the channel and, in the case of XDCC-exclusive channels like #bookz, the allowed and disallowed flags.

Alternatively, use a smart google search with the following format:

“title, ISBN, author, or other relevant information” filetype:pdf (ex. fahrenheit 451 filetype:pdf)

Additional Advice:

If the book comes in a format that you can’t open by default on Windows, like epub or .djvu, using SumatraPDF is recommended.

Getting Book Recommendations

You want to study X subject. However, you don’t know what book to choose. You can, obviously, make a thread in /wsr/ asking for recommendations. Still, the following tips should give you some assistance making that choice:

  • Pop open libgen and throw in the subject name. Then, order by year. Pick the book with the highest edition you can find. Usually, a book only gets new editions if there is demand for it. Of course, this demand can come from things entirely different from quality, but it’s usually better than nothing. The best part of this method, and the reason why it takes first place, is that it saves you from the disappointment of getting a recommendation and later figuring out you can’t pirate a .pdf.
  • Just google for recommendations. Stuff usually shows up.
  • Judge books by the cover and the title. Pretty covers and concise titles correlate with good textbooks. Trust me.[citation needed]
  • Google the subject’s name. Some college’s pages for the associated course should show up. You can then look through the bibliography to find what books are often used in said class.
  • Book series usually have a fixed editorial board who pick and choose what books can make it in. If you have good experience with a book series, you can usually trust it to continue providing quality texts. The same thing can be said, to a lesser extent, about publishers.