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Python script to download all Springer books released for free during the 2020 COVID-19 quarantine

Python package and testrun

Books available

It used to have 409 english books (it took about 4 hours to complete the download ~ 14 GB, both PDF and EPUB, on my machine), but Springer has since removed some of them from the open access.

Usage

Note: If you want just one or two specific books, get the excel file and manually download those or use the script to help you download (see Download book selectively sub-section).

By default the script stores the books in ./downloads subfolder according to the subject ("English Package Name" column of the excel file).

Download all English books (PDF and EPUB)

Use the following command to download all PDF and EPUB books to the default download folder ./downloads

python3 main.py

To download them to a subfolder of your choice, say books

python3 main.py -f ./books

You can download to an absolute path, say C:/ebooks/springer/

python3 main.py -f C:/ebooks/springer/

To download books in separate chapters (PDF only)

python3 main.py --dl_chapters

Download all German books (PDF and EPUB)

To download the German books use

python3 main.py --lang de

This language flag can be combined with any of the above and below mentioned options. If not specified, --lang en, i.e. English, is the default.

Download all books of specific format

To download all PDF books only, run

python3 main.py --pdf

or all EPUB books only

python3 main.py --epub

Download only specific book categories

You can download selective books by categories. Make sure category name with space(s) is enclosed in double quotation marks, like so

python3 main.py -c Engineering "CoMpuTer sciEnCe"

The category name is case-insensitive.

Download book selectively

You can download books by indices (refer to the excel file for the titles)

python3 main.py -i 2 345 70 90 0 213

Verbose mode

If you need to know what you are downloading, enable the verbose mode with -v option

python3 main.py -v -c "Behavioral science and psychology" "chaos AD" UFO "Life science" -i 2 34 400

You will get the following summary before the downloading starts

                                          Book Title               English Package Name
2                                  All of Statistics         Mathematics and Statistics
34                            Essential Astrophysics              Physics and Astronomy
37       International Perspectives on Psychotherapy  Behavioral Science and Psychology
40                         Applied Behavior Analysis  Behavioral Science and Psychology
70                          Psychology of Perception  Behavioral Science and Psychology
95             Handbook of Consumer Finance Research  Behavioral Science and Psychology
311       Clinical Methods in Medical Family Therapy  Behavioral Science and Psychology
313                           Motivation and Action   Behavioral Science and Psychology
381                          Perceptual Organization  Behavioral Science and Psychology
396  Evidence-Based Practice in Clinical Social Work  Behavioral Science and Psychology
397                 Foundations of Behavioral Health  Behavioral Science and Psychology
398                      Social Psychology in Action  Behavioral Science and Psychology
400             A Course in Rasch Measurement Theory                          Education

13 titles ready to be downloaded...
The following invalid book categories will be ignored:
 1. chaos AD
 2. UFO
 3. Life science

Running in a virtual environment (Bash commands):

python3 -m venv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
python3 main.py

Virtual environment on Windows (auto-detects Python version):

Just double-click the run_VirtualEnv.bat file from Windows Explorer, or type-in its name at the command-line and press ENTER. Do install Python first, either from python.org or from the Microsoft Store for Windows 10.

Virtual environment on Windows (Python 3.x):

python -m venv .venv
.venv\Scripts\activate.bat
pip install -r requirements.txt
python main.py

Virtual environment on Windows (Python 2.7.x):

python -m virtualenv .venv
.venv\Scripts\activate.bat
pip install -r requirements.txt
python main.py

Sources:

Thanks Springer!

Docker container to do all the work

Considering you cloned the repo in a folder, as:

cd \home\[user]\workspace
git clone https://github.com/alexgand/springer_free_books.git
cd springer_free_books
mkdir downloads

You can run the scripts like that:

docker build . -t springer-image
docker run --rm -v [local_download_folder]:/app/downloads springer-image

and the downloads will be at [local_download_folder].

Troubleshooting

On macOS, if the script produces a [SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] error, then security certificates may need to be installed. Instructions for doing so can be found here. If that doesn't work, see alternate instructions here.

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