Free Books! Free Knowledge! From AU Press

AU Press operates on the model of a knowledge-based economy, to which we contribute by providing peer-reviewed publications unfettered by the desire to commodify thought or to restrict access to ideas.”

Did you know that AU Press is so dedicated to sharing knowledge that it offers free online access to all its publications?

That’s right, free books! While you can still order traditional books and journals using traditional methods of payment, you can also download free PDF copies directly from the AU Press website.

AU Press recently issued its 2015 Spring Catalogue. In it you’ll find soon-to-be-released publications as well as currently available titles. In the catalogue, books are organized by subject for easy browsing. You’ll find general interest subjects?Film, Food, Sport?as well as academic ones?Canadian History, Law, Sociology. The catalogue is fully hyperlinked, so you can access any book with one click.

You can also browse books and journals on the AU Press website. (While You’re on the site, sign up for the AU Press newsletter by entering your e-mail address.) Click on “Books” in the left-hand menu to browse books by Author, Title, Series, or Subject. Click on any book to access more information, including how to order. Similarly, click on “Journals” or “Website Publications” in the left-hand menu to browse those offerings.

Books, both paper and e-books (for selected titles,) can be purchased by clicking on the “Order paperback” or “Order e-book” links on each title’s page. However, if you want a free PDF copy of the book, click on the “Free PDF” tab. There, you can choose to download either the entire book, or selected chapters.

AU Press offers more than scholarly texts. They publish a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, with a particular focus on innovative and experimental works and on “neglected forms” such as diary, memoir, and oral history. Although topics span the globe, AU Press focuses on Canada, the North American West, and the Circumpolar North. And, as you might expect, AU Press publishes books on online learning.

Check out these intriguing titles:
Rocks in the Water, Rocks in the Sun: A Memoir From the Heart of Haiti, by Vilmond Joegodson Déralciné and Paul Jackson (2015)
Man Proposes, God Disposes: Recollections of a French Pioneer, by Pierre Maturié, translated by Vivien Bosley (2013)
Imperfection, by Patrick Grant (2012)
The Metabolism of Desire: The Poetry of Guido Cavalcanti, translated by David R. Slavitt (2012)

And for those who crave scholarly works:
Legal Literacy: An Introduction to Legal Studies, by Archie Zariski (2014)
Teaching Crowds: Learning and Social Media, by Jon Dron and Terry Anderson (2014)
Mind, Body, World: Foundations of Cognitive Science, by Michael R.W. Dawson (2013)
Union Power: Solidarity and Struggle in Niagara, by Carmela Patrias and Larry Savage (2012)

Why does AU Press make these PDF versions of their books available for free? AU Press supports the “Open Access” movement, which reduces barriers to knowledge. According to the AU Press website, Athabasca University was the “first university in Canada to create an open access scholarly press”. Everyone benefits when knowledge is free.

Not everyone likes e-books, but most people like free-books. See what’s free at AU Press.

Barbara Lehtiniemi is a writer, photographer, and AU student. She lives on a windswept rural road in Eastern Ontario