I own the PHB, DMG and MM physically. I've also downloaded the various free pdfs from the WotC site (Elemental Evil Player's Companion, various Unearthed Arcana, etc).

I find it convenient to be able to search through these pdfs via text matching and that I can carry them around all in my pocket. Not so with the PHB, DMG and MM; they live at home and must be searched through the good ol' fashioned way if ever I need to look something up.

Is there a (legal) way to aquire a digital copy of these core rulebooks (also Volo, SCAG, etc)?

Obviously I won't accept "scan 'em all in yourself" as an answer ('coz I'm a lazy millennial) but I will accept "no, there isn't" if there really isn't anything available to download (legally).

Also note that I am aware of the basic player/DM rules that are available but since it is cut down (understandably since it's free) I don't want that as an answer either.

Finally, there's this suspect looking site, (it's the first hit if you Google "lost mines of phandelver"); given that it appears to offer every D&D book ever for free, I'm guessing this is not legal? Assuming this is the case, I don't want that as an answer either.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Duplicates are useful! They serve as differently-worded ways of finding the original, which makes it easier for everyone who ever has the same question to find the answer. So, thank you. :) \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Jul 3 '17 at 23:34

The sourcebooks themselves are not currently available as PDFs for sale. However, Wizards is currently developing an app/website called D&D Beyond that contains much of the information in the sourcebooks.

There is also the 5th edition Systems Reference Document that is available as a PDF and there are many websites that also have it in text form. The SRD contains most of the Player's Handbook and Monster Manual as well as a few things from the Dungeon Master's Guide.

If you really want the PDFs, there are services out there that will allow you to mail them your books and they will scan them for you. One such service is 1DollarScan, I have never used them but I know they exist. I am not a lawyer so I cannot vouch for their legality, I'd refer you to the Law Stack Exchange to answer that question.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Accepted on the basis that this answer provides information that the duplicate question's answers do not (due to the fact that the other question is much older) and that's the information about the D&D Beyond app. The rest of this answer also addresses the question in its own right. I was planning to accept this a few days ago but forgot! \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Jul 7 '17 at 12:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS thanks for the accept! I should edit my post to say though that so far D&D Beyond is only a (mobile-friendly) website. \$\endgroup\$ – Rob Rose Jul 9 '17 at 5:19

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