Skip to main content

Apple Books: The ultimate guide

Apple Books on iPhone
Apple Books on iPhone (Image credit: iMore)

Ipad Mini 6 Book Pile

Ipad Mini 6 Book Pile (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

Apple Books, formerly known as iBooks, is Apple's all-in-one book store and reading application for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You can use it to find and buy books and audiobooks in the Bookstore and then read and listen to them. Apple Books will also automatically organize your library into several collections, and you can add as many of your own as you wish.

In addition to books and audiobooks, you can store PDF files in the app—and all of it can sync among your Apple devices through iCloud. You can also customize the reading and listening experience, including changing the size and type of font and the color of the "paper" of the book. Here's everything you need to know about using Apple Books on your iPhone and iPad.

How to download and read books with Apple Books on iPhone and iPad

Apple Books turns your iPhone and iPad into the ultimate e-reader. The app's unified search feature makes it easy to find and download books in the Bookstore and hunt down a book that is already on your device.

How to share books and excerpts from Apple Books on iPhone and iPad

Share Apple Books

Share Apple Books (Image credit: iMore)

While reading is often a solitary experience, there are times when you can't help but tell others about excellent writing. Thankfully, Apple Books makes it easy to share excerpts and links to books with other members of your family and gift a book to friends.

Better yet, if you've set up Family Sharing, members of your family group can share purchases meaning they can read the page-turner you couldn't put down at no extra cost.

How to listen to audiobooks on iPhone and iPad

Audiobooks on Apple Books

Apple Books (Image credit: iMore)

Apple Books is not only a great app for reading books; it's an excellent app for listening to audiobooks. So if audiobooks are your thing, Apple Books has you covered—no separate app required.

How to rate and review books in Apple Books on iPhone and iPad

Book-reviewing culture is a whole thing. If you rely on other folks' ratings and reviews of books to decide what to read next, you can help others by contributing your own rating and reviews in Apple Books. And if you add a simple thumbs up or down rating to books you read, it will improve the quality of recommendations made by the Bookstore.

How to customize Apple Books on iPhone and iPad

Ipad Mini 6 Reading Focus

Ipad Mini 6 Reading Focus (Image credit: Adam Oram / iMore)

The flexibility of electronic books means you don't have to run out to the store for the extra-large type version of a book or reach for your magnifying glass. Instead, you can change the look of books you read, from the font type and size to the background color of the "paper."

How to manage your library in Apple Books on iPhone and iPad

Lory sitting in a chair using iPad Air 4

Lory sitting in a chair using iPad Air 4 (Image credit: iMore)

Apple Books make it easy to organize your library into collections—because Apple Books does some of the heavy lifting for you. Anything you've downloaded from the Bookstore, and anything you've added to Books such as PDF files, can lead to a cluttered mess. Here's how to manage your Apple Books library and keep your digital shelves organized.

How to troubleshoot Apple Books problems

Are you struggling to download books? Something in your library missing? There are a few ways you can troubleshoot Apple Books problems and try to resolve those things for yourself. Failing that, contacting Apple Support will be the way to go.

Read more

With support for digital books, audiobooks, PDFs, and more, there's plenty you can do within Apple's Books app, turning your iPad or iPhone into the perfect portable reading device.

Updated March 2022: Updated for iOS 15.

Adam Oram is a Senior Writer at iMore. He studied Media at Newcastle University and has been writing about technology since 2013. He previously worked as an Apple Genius and as a Deals Editor at Thrifter. His spare time is spent watching football (both kinds), playing Pokémon games, and eating vegan food. Follow him on Twitter at @adamoram.