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We live in the age of self-education. Not everybody has quite embraced it yet, but all of the resources are available for us. The need for academic institutions is diminishing by the day. I am optimistic about the possibility of seeing a world in my lifetime in which colleges are a niche interest, a relic, a thing of the past.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not at all subscribe to some sort of anti-intellectual philosophy, not in the slightest. I do not want to see the University crumble because I do not value education. In fact, if you have read some of my other reviews on Torrent Sites, you will quickly see that the opposite is true. I am a champion of education.
This is precisely why I am here today to introduce you to a site for free indie eBook downloads called, aptly enough, Free Tech Books. Here, you will be able to download free indie eBooks that will help you learn a breadth of topics and skills in the tech world. Through thousands of free indie eBooks, textbooks, and lecture notes, you can teach yourself computer science on Free Tech Books without ever spending a penny.
Free Tech Books offers a fairly straightforward and no-nonsense site design. It is not the most impressively designed site that I have ever seen, let me say that right off the bat, but it is far from the worst site I have ever seen – especially when it comes to sites that let you download free indie eBooks. For whatever reason, these sorts of sites tend to be shoddily designed. They are often cluttered and sloppy. Free Tech Books, thankfully, is not like this (even if it has a rather plain or uninspired feel and aesthetic to it).
Free Tech Books is all about logic, though, not style. In fact, when it comes to a free indie eBook resource, especially a free educational indie eBook resource, this is the design choice that, in my mind, makes the most sense. I wouldn’t want Free Tech Books to be too flashy or modern looking, I don’t think, it would likely get in the way of the site’s ability to provide a well-organized and user-friendly database of free eBooks.
When it comes to browsing, though, Free Tech Books is exceptional. Browse by category, author, publisher, or license. There is also a gloriously detailed category tree in which you can quickly access subcategories – really more a graphical advanced search than a browsing mechanism – which makes browsing these free eBooks an enjoyable and user-friendly experience.
Content and Features
Free Tech Books has, well, free tech books. At the moment, the site offers tons of free indie eBook downloads. The site, however, is constantly growing, and I would not be surprised if by the time this review is published Free Tech Books’ total book count had increased significantly.
I feel like I should clarify. Free Tech Books does not host these free indie eBooks. They simply link to them. They are very clear about this on the site’s About page: they do not host free indie eBooks. I understand that I am in the business of reviewing torrent sites, primarily, but every once in a while a non-torrent related site comes around that has an impressive enough selection of free indie eBooks that it warrants being listed alongside some of the best eBook torrent trackers.
Although occasionally you will find a different format on Free Tech Books, the overwhelming majority of these free indie eBooks are going to be available for download in PDF format. This is the default, it would seem, on this site. That being said, when you take into account how many hard-to-find and highly specialized resources you can download for free here, a limited number of file types hardly seems worth complaining about.
Each indie eBook, too, also comes complete with a preview of the abstract or summary, all the relevant licensing info, and an About the Author section, making Free Tech Books one of the more credible (in my opinion) free indie eBook indexes. A lot of them just vomit up links and don’t bother to treat the texts in question like books at all. Free Tech Books goes the extra mile.
Mobile and Desktop Experience
The site is well optimized for mobile devices. You will have no trouble whatsoever accessing or downloading free indie eBooks on your phone or tablet. The layout changes to accommodate the smaller screen and the touchscreen nature of mobile browsing and downloads are quick and easy no matter what device you happen to be on.
It would be nice, however, if the mobile and desktop experiences could be a little more streamlined. I would like, for instance, to be able to create a user account of some sort, allowing me to save books for later, add books to lists, etc. that I can view and edit whether I am on my phone or my laptop.
Still, though, as it stands, the site itself works very well on mobile devices. No complaints from me from a site functionality standpoint.
Suggestions that I have for Free Tech Books
As I was saying, some user features would be nice. I don’t mind that the site is focused on providing a no-frills database of thousands of free eBooks, but I love this site so much I find myself wanting additional excuses to use it and interact with it more than just as a way to download free eBooks.
I think, too, that in the interest of self-education, being able to track one’s own progress and readings and thoughts about certain topics, etc. could be an immensely helpful feature. Even just a forums section could make a huge difference in my opinion. I want to be able to speak with other students of computer science – education is not solely acquired through reading, it is done through communicating with others as well.