Read books and more with Apple Books
Buy and download books, and personalize your reading experience, with Apple Books.
Buy books on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac
- Open the Books app.
- Tap or click Book Store.
- Browse for a book, or search for a specific one. When you find a book that you're interested in, tap or click it.
- To buy a book, tap or click the price.
- The book appears in your Library in the Books app.
Learn how to adjust font sizes and brightness, take notes, and create bookmarks on your iPhone
Learn how to turn pages and change the screen to landscape orientation on your iPad
Learn how to highlight and take notes on your Mac
Learn how to change a book's appearance on your Mac
Organize your library
In the Books app, you can find all of the books, book series, PDFs, and audiobooks that you purchase from the Book Store or Audiobook Store, or that you manually add to your device.
Learn how to delete books and audiobooks from your devices
Sort your books
- On your iPhone, tap Library. On your iPad or Mac, tap or click All under Library.
- Choose a sort option, such as Title, Author, or Recent. Don't see Sort Manually on your iPhone or iPad? Just swipe down on your screen, then the Sort Manually option appears.
See your books as a list
To see your books as a list instead of a grid:
- Or on your Mac, click View > View As from the menu bar, then click List View.
If you don't see a book in your library
If you don't see a book in your library:
- Turn on iCloud on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. Go to Settings, tap your name, tap iCloud, then turn on both iCloud Drive and Books. Then go to Settings > Books. Under Syncing, turn on iCloud Drive.
- Update your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch , or update your Mac .
- If you previously deleted a book, redownload the book .
- If you previously hid a book, unhide the book .
Discover more ways to read
- You can listen to audiobooks in the Books app on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Or use iTunes on a PC.
- You can save copies of PDFs from emails and webpages to the Books app.
- You can also add DRM-free EPUB file format books, books that you create with Pages , MP3 audiobooks, AAC audiobooks, and Audible.com audiobooks to your Library.
Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.
Start a discussion in Apple Support Communities
- Help Center
- Google Play
- Google Play Terms of Service
- Submit feedback
- Google Play Books
- Get started with Google Play Books
How to download books from Google Play
We noticed you haven't enrolled in our Play Points program yet. It can be joined at no cost, and you'll receive a welcome offer of 3x bonus points on every purchase for the first week. Learn more.
You can download ebooks from Google Play Books so you can read them anywhere, even when you don't have an internet connection.
How to download ebooks on your computer
- Go to play.google.com .
- At the top right, click your profile icon.
- If you get an ASCM file: You need to download additional software to read your book. Download and install Adobe Digital Editions .
- If you get an EPUB file: You can read your book with a reading app like iBooks or Adobe Digital Editions.
- If you get a PDF file: You can read your book with a PDF reader like Chrome or Acrobat Reader.
- If your book was originally an ASCM file, to read the EPUB or PDF, download Adobe Digital Editions at no charge .
- Some publishers don't allow any file downloads. You can’t download rented books.
- You can't download some large book files.
Transfer downloaded books to your e-reader
Important: You can’t open most books from Google Play on a Kindle device.
- Connect your e-reader to your computer.
- On your computer, open Adobe Digital Editions. If you don't have it yet, you can download it at no cost .
- Drag the book to the name of the device you want to transfer it to.
Tip : Your purchased ebook associates with a single Adobe ID. Standard device limits apply. Some books aren’t supported for download. Check the “Reading Information” section of your book’s page in the Play Store for availability.
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How to download and read ebooks with Apple Books on iPhone and iPad
Take full advantage of the bookstore in your pocket.
- Download a book from the Book Store
- Search for a book
- Read a book
- Quickly scan through a book
- Use the Want to Read Collection
- Set a bookmark
- See a list of bookmarks
- See a table of contents
- Highlight text in a book
- Change the color of a highlight
- Remove a highlight
- Add a note to a highlight
- Review notes in a book
- Remove notes from a book
- Find text in a book
Formerly known as iBooks, the Apple Books app is the all-in-one book store and reading application for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. You can use it to read ebooks and listen to audiobooks, but before you can do that, you need to know how to find and download books in Apple Books.
We'll show you how to do exactly that below and explain everything from page-swiping behaviors, highlighting, and searching within books to navigating the Book Store to find your next favorite title. Read on for all the details.
How to download a book from the Apple Book Store
As we explore the features of the Apple Books app, let's start on page 1: Finding something to read.
The Book Store has been reorganized into sections, including For You (recommendations based on previous purchases), New & Trending, Top Charts, Book Store staff recommendations, genres, etc.
- Tap the Books app.
- Tap the Book Store tab to browse the virtual shelves.
- Tap the Browse Sections button to get a list of sections in the Book Store.
- Tap a section to browse.
- Tap a book to download.
- Tap Get (if the book is free) or Buy if the book has a cost. If you'd like to download a sample chapter from the book, tap Sample . You can see more information about the book by scrolling up within the book's card.
- Authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your Apple ID password and the book will begin to download.
- Tap Read to read the book.
How to search for a book in Apple Books
If you know the name of the book you're interested in (or its author), you can search for it and get results for books and audiobooks both in the Book Store and in your library.
- Tap the Search tab.
- Enter the search text .
- Tap Search or a suggestion in the list of matching results.
- Tap a book to begin the steps to download the book .
How to read a book in Apple Books
Now that you've got a book, it's time to read.
You can access any book on your device by tapping the Library tab. You can also use the Reading Now tab to continue with the book you're currently reading, resume other books you've recently been reading, and recommendations for books based on what you've bought before.
- Tap a book to open it.
- Tap the right margin or swipe from right to left to go to the next page.
- Tap the left margin or swipe from left to right to go to the previous page.
You can change this margin-tapping behavior in the Settings app. When you're done reading, tap the back button in the upper left-hand corner to return to your library. Your place in the book will be saved automatically—no bookmark required.
How to quickly scan through a book in Apple Books
You can flip through the virtual pages in your book with one finger. Try that with a regular book.
- If the controls do not appear at the bottom of the page of the book you are reading, tap on a blank part of the page.
- Tap the menu icon at the bottom right of the screen.
- Tap and hold the Contents bar.
- Drag left or right to move through the book's pages.
How to use the Want to Read Collection in Apple Books
Think of Want to Read as a wish list containing books that you're curious about or that other people may have recommended to you.
Books that you've downloaded but haven't finished are automatically added to the Want to Read list. In addition, you can add other books to this collection. Here's how to do it when browsing the Book Store.
- Tap the Book Store tab.
- Tap a book you're interested in.
- Tap Want to Read .
The book will be added to your Want to Read collection.
How to set a bookmark in Apple Books
Not too many people can finish a book in one sitting, and that's why bookmarks were invented. You can set a bookmark—as many of them as you want, actually—quickly and easily in Books.
- Tap the Menu icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
- Tap the Bookmark icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
The bookmark icon will turn red and get added to a list of bookmarks for that book. To remove the bookmark, tap it again.
How to see a list of bookmarks in Apple Books
- Tap the menu icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen.
- Tap the Bookmarks & Highlights tab.
To go to a particular bookmark, tap it. Swipe left to remove a bookmark from the list, then tap Delete .
How to see a table of contents in Apple Books
Most books have a table of contents. If your book does, you can use it to jump to a particular chapter without scrolling through the entire book.
- Tap the Contents bar.
Tap the table of contents entry to go to that page.
How to highlight text in a book in Apple Books
You can use the tip of your finger as a virtual highlighter—in different colors!—to mark significant passages in a book.
- Open a book .
- Touch and hold at the starting point of the text you want to highlight, then drag to the end of the text.
- Tap Highlight .
How to change the color of a highlight in Apple Books
Tapping highlighted text reveals a menu of options to work with that highlight.
- Tap the Highlighted text that you want to edit.
- Tap the word Highlight.
- Tap the colored circles to display a palette of colors.
- Tap a color . The underlined A button will remove the color highlight and underline the text instead.
How to remove a highlight in Apple Books
- Tap the Highlighted text that you want to delete.
- Tap the Remove option.
How to add a note to a highlight in Apple Books
Once you have highlighted the text, you can also add a note to it.
- Tap the highlighted text that you want to add a note to.
- Tap the Add Note option.
- Enter your text and tap Done
You'll now notice a little color-matching square beside your highlighted text. You can tap this to read or edit the note at any time.
How to review notes in a book in Apple Books
The list button at the top of the page in your book provides convenient access to all the notes in your book.
- Tap the Bookmarks & Highlights tab. Your notes will appear under the Highlights option.
To go to a particular note, tap it.
How to remove notes from a book in Apple Books
- In the book, tap the highlight for the note you want to delete.
- Tap Delete when prompted to remove the note and its highlight.
How to find text in a book in Apple Books
One of the biggest benefits of an electronic version of a book is searching for text and finding it almost instantly. Here's how to do it.
- Tap the menu icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the page.
- Tap the Search Book bar.
- Enter the search text and each instance of your text in the book will show up. You'll also see options to search Wikipedia and the web.
You can tap any result to go to that part of the book and use the links at the bottom of the list to search the web or Wikipedia. And if you put a page number in the search field, you can tap the page number in the search results to go to that page.
Turn your Apple device into an e-reader
As you can see, the Apple Books app has some reasonably advanced functionality tucked away in various menus in iOS 16 . So whether you've already picked up the best iPad for reading or want to make the most of every spare minute to read a bit more of the latest page-turner on your phone, the Apple Books app is a great choice.
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Mike Matthews is a writer at iMore.com. He has used Apple products all the way back to the Apple II+. He appreciates no longer having to launch apps by loading them from a cassette tape recorder.
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9 sites with free books for iPad and iPhone
Tens of thousands of free books are available legally for your iPad and iPhone. In this roundup, we list the best online sources, complete with compatibility tips.
If you are willing to use your new device for reading ebooks and listening to audiobooks, you are most probably going to check out free book-reading apps and audiobook players in the App Store’s Books category, and test which one suits your needs the most.
Apple Books , the native iOS book-reading app, formerly known as “iBooks” (surprisingly, many users still use this term), is no longer preloaded on your iPad and iPhone. You have to head to the App Store and download it.
You will find lots of free book-reading apps in the Books category. Which one is the best?
The most advanced and versatile apps are offered by major digital platforms. Besides Apple, it’s Amazon Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Google Play Books. These apps are free to use, and all you need to do is sign in with the relevant account login and password. For the Kindle app, use your Amazon credentials; the login for Google Books is the same as for Gmail.
Jump to the list
The only problem with apps from major ebook and audiobook platforms is the lack of free content. Yes, you can find a few free titles in the Apple Books or Google Play Books, but it’s enough only to let you test the interface to decide whether this particular platform and app would be suitable.
The thing is that on the web you can find dozens of thousands of free ebooks that you can download to your iPad and iPhone. These books are available in the public domain – their intellectual property rights expired and anyone can use them without breaking the law.
Among books available in the public domain, you will find the most popular classic titles by Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, Charlotte Brontë, or Arthur Conan Doyle, to name a few authors.
The latest bestsellers from J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, Margaret Atwood, Jodi Picoult, or Neil Gaiman are not available in the public domain, so you won’t see them in the following list. Instead of pirating them, try to find out what are the prices in the ebook platform of your choice. From time to time, even the hottest bestsellers are offered at highly reduced prices, sometimes between $0.99 and $2.99, so it’s just a matter of following the deals.
Before the list, let’s briefly go through two important topics:
- How to download own books?
- What file format to choose?
How to download own books to iPad and iPhone?
There are four ways you can do it:
- Upload a file to iCloud Drive – if you have a Mac computer, download the file to the disc and move it to iCloud Drive folder in the Finder. Then, open the Files app on your iPad and tap the file to open it.
- Upload a file to the cloud app – you can do the same using the cloud service of your choice, such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
- Send a file via email – download a file to the computer, add it as an attachment and email yourself. Open the email on your iPad and tap the file to open it with the compatible app.
- Use Safari on your iPad or iPhone – some sites are working very well on mobile devices. Browse these sites directly on your iPad using Safari (or any other browser), find the book, and open it directly, without the need to switch devices.
The fifth method is using directly a book-reading app. I don’t recommend it, if you have chosen the app from a major platform. These platforms don’t make it easy to find free books because they want you to buy them.
Which ebooks are compatible with my app?
Everything depends on which app you choose to serve as an ebook reader on your iPad or iPhone.
Books from the following sites are available in different file formats, so it’s just a matter of selecting the format that is compatible with your app.
To make things simple, here is a simple rule (it works in 99% of cases): choose “mobi” format for Amazon Kindle app; choose “epub” format for any other app.
Ebook formats for iPad and iPhone
1. project gutenberg.
Project Gutenberg is the top place to download free classics from the public domain. The books that are published here are then reused by many other sites – including the ones that you find later in this overview.
The site is powered by thousands of volunteers who are first to digitize books that have just entered the public domain. Dozens of new titles are being added every month. Currently, you can choose from over 60,000 free books.
You can start from exploring the catalog of the most popular ebook downloads . The world’s most loved and adored books are here: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Bram Stoker’s Dracula , Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, works by Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain’s A Tale of Two Cities , Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, or Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre . And it’s just the beginning!
Project Gutenberg is the longest established site with free ebooks. It was founded by Michael S. Hart , the extraordinary tech visionary who wanted to make digital books freely available to all. Back in 1971 (to be precise, on the 4th of July), he published the first ebook in the world – the electronic version of “U.S. Declaration of Independence.” It is the No.1 book in the Project Gutenberg catalog – and it’s still there: gutenberg.org/ebooks/1 .
As the site is available in a mobile version, you can browse its catalog directly on your iPad. Project Gutenberg offers also a one-click download option to three cloud services: Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s One Drive.
Books in epub and mobi are available in two versions: with and without illustrations and pictures from original print edition. Plus, there is an option to read each book as a html file, so you can do it on your iPad or iPhone as well, if you don’t feel like downloading the file.
Popular sections to explore:
- Top 100 books – with the number of downloads for yesterday, last week, and last 30 days.
- New books – the newest additions to Project Gutenberg, sorted by the release date.
- Fiction bookshelf – you can find here adventure books, crime and detective fiction, horrors, and romance books.
- Books in foreign languages – on Project Gutenberg, you can find hundreds of books in over 50 foreign languages.
? Mobile site: Yes, available at m.gutenberg.org/ ? Formats: mobi, epub, text, html
⇢ Project Gutenberg
2. Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the mission of “universal access to all knowledge.” The website hosts over 300 billion web pages, books, audio and video files.
The catalog of Books and Texts includes over 2.7 million files, out of which 1.4 million are always free, while 1.2 million are available to borrow. The front page highlights the most viewed books, giving you a hint of what other users were most interested in.
You can browse books by the year of release of the digital version, topics, collection, and language. Collections include American Libraries, Canadian Libraries, books from Project Gutenberg, titles from the Million Books Project, and books for children.
What’s important, the Internet Archive hosts a vast number of foreign-language books. There are over 20 languages with the number of published text works exceeding 1,000 each.
When you find the interesting book, you can read it right away in a browser viewer. Scroll down to see the list of download options in the right-side panel.
? Mobile site: Yes, online viewer works on iPhone and iPad as well ? Formats: mobi (called “Kindle”), epub, text, pdf, plus usually 10 more
⇢ Internet Archive
3. Open Library
Open Library is an online platform run by the Internet Archive. It makes a vast catalog of the mother site more accessible and easier to browse.
When you go to Classic Books section, you will find all works from the Internet Archive. These ebooks are “accessible,” and it means they are free to download.
Use the search box to find the book you want to read. When you land on the book description page, you will see a list of all available digital versions, together with available download options. This feature, giving you freedom to choose from a variety of digitized print versions, is unique to the Open Library. By default, on the top of the list, you will see the most downloaded version.
You can immediately read the book by clicking or tapping the “Read” button. Choose the phone icon on the right side of the button to listen to the audio version using Read Aloud technology.
But Open Library is more than just a catalog of free classic books and texts downloaded by users. It also shows contemporary books that are free to read if you decide to borrow them. To do that, you may need to register at Open Library or find the book in your local library using WorldCat or Library Link. Each library book is marked with a “Borrow” button instead of “Read.”
? Mobile site: Yes, online viewer powered by the Internet Archive ? Formats: mobi, epub, text, pdf, daisy – availability of formats depends on the version of the book
⇢ Open Library
Smashwords is the popular ebook platform that offers with the largest number of books published by independent authors from around the world. You can find here books in several languages, all are DRM-free, and many authors offer their publications for free.
Out of over 500,000 ebooks, well over 80,000 are free to download. A few thousands are usually on sale, with price cuts reaching 80%. Plus, many authors offer also their titles for the prices that readers set.
To quickly get to the list of free books, simply use the combination of the three top filter bars. For instance, here is the link to: All Books – Free – Over 100K Words .
You’ll need some time to learn how to navigate the site. Only the top slider features books that are chosen via the catalog selection. Underneath, you will find “Bestselling Books,” “Most Downloaded Books,” or ‘Highly Rated Books” – and most of these books are pay-what-you-like.
To enter the entire catalog of the free books, make sure to click on a “+” button in the top right corner of the “Featured New Releases” slider. This way, you will see a paged catalog of mostly free titles. However, only the book covers are visible.
Another way to search is picking up a favorite category and then limiting the results by “Free” selector at the top.
? Mobile site: Yes ? Formats: mobi, epub, lrf, pdf, online reader
5. Europeana Collections
Europeana is a popular platform with digitized artworks, books, and films from European libraries, museums, and cultural institutions. It includes almost 60 million items, out of which over 12 million are digitized texts of all kinds.
Opposite to the sites listed above, Europeana collects rare editions and other items you could only find in long-established libraries. Treat is as an aggregator of digitized collections from the most prestigious sources, such as Bodleian Libraries or Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Most books are offered in pdf format so this source is good only for iPad, and only if you use a book reading app that supports this file format.
To find the book, simply write down the term in a search box. Then, use the search filter on the left side to limit the number of results by media (select yes for “full text” field and then “pdf” for file format), providing country,
? Mobile site: Yes ? Formats: mainly pdf
⇢ Europeana Collections
ManyBooks offers free books in a clean and friendly interface. Most books are sourced from Project Gutenberg and sites that offer books with a Creative Commons license.
In total, over 50 thousand books are available for download, all with proper covers – they would look great in your book-reading app’s library view. Plus, each book is available in several file formats, a lot more than what you can find elsewhere.
There are two disadvantages to keep in mind. First, the site displays ads. Secondly, you have to sign up if you want to download the files. There is also an online reader, but sometimes you will have to wait too long until it loads the content.
? Mobile site: Yes, online reader available ? Formats: epub, mobi, and many others
This is another site that makes searching for free ebooks a bit easier. The books are shown by category right in the front page, so you can quickly get an idea how many titles are in a topic you are most interested in.
Unfortunately, the site recently started displaying ads, and it makes using it much less pleasant.
? Mobile site: Yes ? Formats: epub, mobi, and pdf
BookRix is a platform that offers books from self-published authors combined with free books from the public domain. A catalog of free downloadable ebooks is an essential part of the website. It’s easy to find and explore – on the top of a list, you will find the most popular categories, including literary fiction, fantasy, romance, thrillers, and young adult fiction.
When you enter a category, you will see books sorted by the popularity. On top, you will see free books offered by contemporary authors. Most classic titles are included in the Fiction category.
Books are only offered in epub format, so if you are using the Kindle iOS app, you won’t be able to add the files unless you convert them to mobi. Also, some self-published books are not available for download; you can only read them online in your browser. This feature works on mobile devices, as well.
? Mobile site: Yes, browser reader available ? Formats: epub
Bookboon is a company focused on providing free and paid textbooks for students and businesses.
The site offers textbooks written by professors from the world’s top universities. There are over 1,000 books that are free to download, but to do that, you have to sign up.
One thing to know is that the free books come with adverts that can take even 15% of the content of each book.
You can find on Bookboon several interesting books from the following categories: engineering, IT & programming, economics & finance, career & study advice, marketing, strategy & management, or languages.
? Mobile site: Yes ? Formats: pdf
We removed a comment system to increase your privacy and reduce distractions. Let’s discuss this article in your WordPress Reader , or on Twitter and Facebook . You can also follow us on Google News .
Keep exploring. Here are other posts for iPad and iPhone users:
Bionic Reading app has received German Design Award 2023 – March 7, 2023
How to turn pages in Kindle iPad app with just your voice – February 2, 2023
The 20 best books to read on your iPad in 2022 – December 23, 2021
20 best iPad accessories in 2023, compatible with current and future models – December 15, 2021
12 sure-fire ebook bestsellers of winter 2021 – October 20, 2021
Gifts for modern bookworms in 2023
Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.
Vintage composition notebook iPhone case
This unique, intensive, pseudo-marbling composition notebook pattern with a preworn label is available on the latest iPhone cases in several colors, including green, brown, and purple.
Compact and innovative reading light
From a German brand Nachteule comes a clever book light that you attach not to a book but your reading glasses. It’s so light that you can also clip it to your earphones or hair accessories! The built-in battery will let you read 200 pages.
Hands-free pillow stand – great for e-readers and print books
An improved version of a popular Lamicall tablet pillow comes now with a side pocket for a pen or small accessories. The grooves are deep enough to hold a print book. It’s made of durable materials and is available in five fashionable colors.
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About Piotr Kowalczyk
Ad-man who decided to devote his life to books. Ebook enthusiast, self-published author, and part-time designer. Prefers reading on his iPhone, but when it comes to history books – Piotr always picks print.
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9 sites with free books for iPad and iPhone https://ebookfriendly.com/free-books-ipad-iphone/ via @ebookfriendly
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This vintage composition notebook design features a unique marbled paper background and a preworn old-school label with a headline VNTG NTBK. Available in several colors for several iPhone models. Explore the collection .
Our score: 8.2/10
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Instead of comments
The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig
A Conversation About Rain
Nineteen years before she decided to die, Nora Seed sat in the warmth of the small library at Hazeldene School in the town of Bedford. She sat at a low table staring at a chess board.
‘Nora dear, it’s natural to worry about your future,’ said the librarian, Mrs Elm, her eyes twinkling.
Mrs Elm made her first move. A knight hopping over the neat row of white pawns. ‘Of course, you’re going to be worried about the exams. But you could be anything you want to be, Nora. Think of all that possibility. It’s exciting.’
‘Yes. I suppose it is.’
‘A whole life in front of you.’
‘A whole life.’
‘You could do anything, live anywhere. Somewhere a bit less cold and wet.’
Nora pushed a pawn forward two spaces.
It was hard not to compare Mrs Elm to her mother, who treated Nora like a mistake in need of correction. For instance, when she was a baby her mother had been so worried Nora’s left ear stuck out more than her right that she’d used sticky tape to address the situation, then disguised it beneath a woollen bonnet.
190 words read…
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Devices are not dangerous for literature. People can be dangerous for literature. People, for example, who do not read.
– László Krasznahorkai –
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How to Download eBooks on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
How can i get ebooks on my iphone, ipad, and ipod touch.
You probably already know that IOS devices can download books from iTunes using the Apple Books app, but did you know that you can also get books on them from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Smashwords, and Kobo?
Amazon to IOS Device
Search for the Amazon Kindle app on the iTunes store and download it. You can now download ebooks from Amazon through the app, or you can sync other ebooks you’ve bought from Amazon in the past to your device. Easy as pie!
Barnes & Noble to IOS Device
Simply search for the Nook app in the Apple store and download it to your device. You can now download books from the app. You can also go through Barnes & Noble’s website directly. Piece of cake!
Google Play to IOS Device
Search for the Google Play Books app in the Apple store and download it. You will need to sign in to your Google account. Your books will now be synced across your devices, including your computer, and you can also download books directly in the app.
Smashwords to IOS Device
Navigate to Smashwords.com in the web browser of your device and sign in to your account. Then find the ebook you want to read and chose to download it as an EPUB file. Your device will give you the option to open the download in Apple Books. Choose that and start reading!
Kobo to IOS Device
Search for and download the Kobo Reading App in the Apple store. Sign in to sync your books across devices.
And, that’s a wrap! Enjoy your new-found book freedom on your IOS device. To learn how to download ebooks on other types of devices, check out our full blog: Everything You Need to Know About How to Download eBooks on Any Device.
8 Ways to Find Free eBooks for iPhones
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You don’t need to have a Kindle to enjoy reading e-books. With the right reading app , your iPhone can double up as an e-reader , so you’ll always have a book in your pocket, wherever you are. And even better, you don’t have to pay a dime. There are plenty of sources that let you download or read e-books directly on your iPhone for free.
While the major book reading apps like Apple Books, Amazon Kindle , and Google Play Books have an amazing selection of e-books to download , they are not so great when it comes to finding freebies. To get e-books for free, you need to look a little further afield.
In this guide, I’ll show you the best sources on the internet to score completely free, iPhone compatible e-books. I’ll also talk about how to download books onto your device so you can start reading straight away.
Table of Contents
Free eBooks for iPhones (8 Great Sources)
1. libby, by overdrive.
Libby is a free app created by Overdrive that acts as a virtual library. Instead of buying a book to keep forever, you can borrow it for a limited time for free. There are millions of e-books to choose from, as well as a huge selection of audiobooks that you can listen to directly from your iPhone.
While Libby is most famous for its free loans, you can also purchase e-books to keep too, so if you’re looking for a brand new title that’s not available in the library, you can likely find it and purchase it via Libby too.
You have the option to download the e-book onto your device, or you can simply read the HTML version directly from the website, which frees up space on your phone and lets you start reading straight away.
2. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is the internet’s oldest source of free e-books. Founded by tech visionary Michael S. Hart way back in 1971, this is the home of the very first e-book in the world, a digital version of The U.S. Declaration of Independence. It’s still there today, listed as the very first book in Project Gutenberg’s catalog.
The site is run by thousands of volunteers who create, collate, digitize, edit and share thousands of free e-books to use across all kinds of devices, including your iPhone.
There are over 60,000 free e-books in the extensive library, including Kindle compatible eBooks and free epub files. You can download them directly to your iPhone using their one-click option, sending the file to either Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft’s One Drive. Or, if you’d prefer not to download, you can read an online version of any book through your web browser.
The majority of Project Gutenberg’s collection consists of older, out of copyright, public domain works. Some of the world’s most celebrated classics can be found here. There’s everything from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, just to name a few.
As well as out of copyright classic reads, there’s also a decent selection of newer titles too. And if you’d rather listen to your books, be sure to check out their direct link with LibriVox to score some free audiobooks.
3. Free iBooks
FreeiBooks.com is a pretty underwhelming website at first glance. The basic old fashioned layout isn’t particularly impressive, but have a little look around, and you’ll see that this is a fantastic resource for free e-books for all kinds of devices, not just your iPhone.
There are over 44,000 titles available to download, and all of them are free . The majority of these books are sourced from Project Gutenberg, but there is also a good selection of books from other sources, so it’s worth checking the FreeiBooks catalog if there’s something you can’t find at Gutenberg.
You can browse by genre, category, language, title, and author, or if you don’t have a particular title in mind and you’re looking for some inspiration, check out the Top Rated section.
Smashwords has more books published by independent authors around the world than any other website. There are over 500,000 e-books in the catalog written by 135,000 authors, and although many of them come with a fee, there are still over 80,000 free titles to choose from. Even the paid-for e-books tend to be significantly cheaper than on major sites, like Amazon Kindle. There are also tons of books that work on a pay-what-you-like scheme.
Smashwords has a large selection of independent authors. It’s a great place for up-and-coming writers to publish their work, and in turn, it’s a great place for readers to find undiscovered authors that you won’t find on the major e-book platforms.
To filter your search to free books only, click on the Free tab on the second filter bar down. You can also set your search to the desired length of the book, e.g., over 50k words or over 100k words.
If you’re not sure which book to read next, there are several categories to browse through to get inspired, such as Bestellers, Most Downloaded, or Featured New Releases. You can also search by genre in the menu on the left of the screen.
There are tons of e-book formats available, not just for your iPhone but any device. You can also read them directly in HTML from your iPhone web browser.
5. Internet Archive
Internet Archive is a nonprofit online library on a mission to digitize and distribute millions of e-books to readers around the world in order to provide “universal access to all knowledge.” There are an incredible 2.7 million e-books and text files that are available to either download or borrow for free.
The search function is easy to use and intuitive. You can browse through titles by author, title, topic, genre, collection, year of publication, or language. In fact, Internet Archive has a particularly awesome collection of foreign language books, with thousands of titles in over 20 different languages.
As well as e-books, Internet Archive provides free access to a whole host of digitized material, including movies, videos, games, music, and software applications.
If you need some inspiration for your next read, take a look at the most viewed books section on the main page. Once you’ve chosen one, you can download it through several options on the panel on the right hand side. There are tons of file format options that work across multiple devices, including, of course, your iPhone. And if you’d rather not download it, you can read it directly in your browser.
6. Open Library
Open Library is run by Internet Archive and aims to make their huge collection of books even more accessible. The project links with local libraries around the world and sources e-books from all four corners of the internet. Their mission is to build a webpage for every published book known to man and make all literature free and readily available to anyone who wants to read it.
As well as all of the classic public domain works that you’d expect, they have a vast collection of popular contemporary titles that you can borrow and read for free. The Open Library links with libraries around the world, so as long as your local library is registered with the Open Library, you can borrow any of their digital books without having to leave home.
Books are available to either borrow, read online or download and keep, depending on the source. There are various file types available to suit pretty much any device; plus, many of the books listed on Open Library have a read-aloud option. Simply click on the phone icon next to your book of choice, and you can listen to it rather than read it.
A unique feature of the Open Library is that the catalog is open for readers to edit, and contribute information, just like Wikipedia. Anyone can join the league of volunteers who maintain this free resource by helping to revise their current catalog and improving their records. If you notice that your favorite book isn’t listed, you can upload your own record so that people around the world can enjoy it too.
Manybooks.net has one of the most streamlined and easy to use interfaces of any of the sites on this list. Every book is listed by author, title, and front cover, making it even easier to find the title you want. You can also browse by genre and language or check out the Most Popular and Best-Reviewed sections.
Most books come with a variety of downloadable file types, or you can use their online reader if you’d prefer to free up space on your phone.
There are over 50,000 e-books available in the catalog. Some are for sale at discounted prices, and almost 30,000 of them are free. There’s a large selection of all the usual public domain works and a wide variety of contemporary titles and works by self-published, independent authors too.
BookRix is a similar site to Smashwords. It’s a free-to-use self-publishing platform that allows independent authors to distribute their e-books to readers around the world. Of course, many of these books come with a fee, but there is a large catalog of downloadable free e-books. Some are contemporary titles from independent authors and larger publishers, and of course, there are all the public domain works that you can find at most of the sites listed here.
The easy to use homepage lets you browse by category and genre, plus you can search through their collections of bestsellers, self published works, and most popular titles, which makes finding high quality books much easier.
One of the best features on the BookRix site is the many groups you can join. There are groups for all kinds of genres and interests, which act like online book clubs where you can discuss your current reads with other bibliophiles around the world.
The only downside to BookRix is that the files are all epub format. This isn’t a problem unless you’re using the Kindle app, in which case you’ll have to convert them into Mobi format first. If you’d rather not go through this extra step, you can read most books directly from your browser, too, without needing to download.
How to download eBooks onto an iPhone ?
There are several ways to download and read e-books on your iPhone, and despite what many people think, you don’t have to use a book reading app to do it.
Instead, with any e-book file, you can:
- Upload it to iCloud Drive using your Mac PC
Download the compatible file onto your computer and drag it to iCloud Drive. Then, using your iPhone, open up the iCloud Drive Files app, tap the file, and it’s ready to read immediately. If you don’t have iCloud Drive, you can also do the same thing using any cloud app or service, for example, Google Drive.
- Email it to yourself
Send the file as an attachment in an email to yourself. Then go into your emails using your iPhone and open it up with the appropriate file reading app.
- Use your browser
Most of the e-book sources above have great websites that you can access directly through your browser, no apps or downloading necessary. Simply type in the web address on Safri or your preferred browser and choose a free book, open it up, and read it directly from the source. You’ll need internet access in order to keep reading, but this method saves a ton of space on your iPhone.
All the sites on this list, with the exception of BookRix, offer a variety of file formats that you can download either directly to your iPhone or via an e-reader app.
In general, choose Mobi files when downloading e-books to the Amazon Kindle App, and for any other reading app , select epub files.
If you have an iPhone, you don’t need to spend money on an expensive e-reader or pay a fortune for downloadable e-books. There are plenty of places across the internet that give you access to great e-books for free, directly to your phone.
Do you know of any other sources for free eBooks that are compatible with iPhones? Let me know in the comments below.
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Tips & Tricks
Troubleshooting, how to download books from icloud to iphone & ipad for offline access.
Do you want to access all your ebooks and audiobooks in the Apple Books app on iPad or iPhone, even when you’re not connected to the internet? If you want to have offline access to ebooks in the Books app (once called iBooks), you’ll need to download the books from iCloud so that they are stored locally on your iPhone or iPad. This is pretty easy to do, and it’s something you may want to do before your next trip.
A lot of people like to read or listen to books while they’re traveling, or passing the time, but you cannot expect to stay connected to the internet at all times when you’re on the move. Maybe you plan on being offline and out of cell range, on a plane, or maybe your cellular connection may get cut off due to poor cellular signal, and of course there isn’t Wi-Fi everywhere you go. In such cases, the offline reading functionality can be a lifesaver. So, with a little planning ahead, you can access your books offline at anytime, right from iPhone or iPad.
How to Download Apple iBooks / Audiobooks to iPhone & iPad Local Storage
The following steps can be used on all recent versions of iOS and iPadOS since the Apple Books app’s interface has remained mostly the same for years. So, let’s get started:
That’s it. Your download should be done in a second or two depending on your internet speed.
Once downloaded, you can put your device in Airplane mode and try opening the book to confirm that it’s accessible offline.
When you’ve finished reading the book, make sure to remove it from your device since a lot of people tend to forget about it, and over time, these downloaded books could pile up and consume a lot of physical storage space.
Removing Downloaded Books from Local Storage
To delete a book that you’ve downloaded, you can simply tap on the triple-dot icon and choose Remove from the options menu.
You can also remove multiple books at a time by entering the selection menu.
You can learn more about deleting downloaded books and audiobooks from your iPhone or iPad too if need be, usually to save storage space, or perhaps you’re done reading them.
By the way, you can also download music from Apple Music for offline listening too .
We hope you were able to download a couple of books to read during your next trip. What do you think of the offline Books library capability for iPhone and iPad? Do you use this feature? Do you have any tips or tricks, or thoughts on the matter? Share with us in the comments.
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» Comments RSS Feed
There is no “download” button. Please fix this response. My audiobook will not download over cellular data. Yes cellular data is turned on. No I do not have access to internet.
Try going to settings>cellular. Then under “cellular data”, there’s a list. Look for Books in that list, and make sure it’s been turned on.
I don’t always have reliable internet access and whenever I need something from my library, it’s no longer on my device but in icloud.
As far as I know, there is no way to “download all” and no setting to keep everything on my device. So, I have to manually redownload everything I might want access to before hand. I have 100gb of free space so I wish that apple gnome that deletes everything would screw off.
Thee is no ‘download’ on eittheer your menu or mine, don’t you mean ‘copy’?
I do read they daily newsletter
What you don’t tell me – and I did know how to download books – is that iCloud steals them all, so I have to make certain that what I want is not deleted from my iPad, and I can’t read it.
What do you mean “iCloud steals them all”? That is a rather bold and outlandish claim. If you put something into iCloud, it uploads into iCloud.
Why do you think iCloud steals them all? You do not know what you are saying.
I have the same problem and I do know what I´m saying. A very odd bug indeed, I have 1000+ books so it is maybe that but I download again, again and again and somehow they disappear again:)
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Buy books on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac · Open the Books app. · Tap or click Book Store. · Browse for a book, or search for a specific
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How to download a book from the Apple Book Store · Tap a section to browse. · Tap a book to download. · Tap Get (if the book is free) or Buy if the
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This video addresses some of the issues that people had with my first video (which I filmed in a forest): How to Download ANY Book or
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Search for the Google Play Books app in the Apple store and download it. You will need to sign in to your Google account. Your books will now be synced across
Download the compatible file onto your computer and drag it to iCloud Drive. Then, using your iPhone, open up the iCloud Drive Files app, tap
Try going to settings>cellular. Then under “cellular data”, there's a list. Look for Books in that list, and make sure it's been turned on.