Apple Books on iOS 12: How to Use the Bookstore

Formerly iBooks, Apple's bookstore has the page turners you want.

Woman sitting on beanbag reading her iPhone and smiling

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Apple's iOS 12 has brought us many intriguing apps and functionality. One of the most exciting, Apple Books, formerly known as iBooks, is iOS 12's bookstore. Whether you enjoy a suspense thriller, historical fiction, or biographies written about your favorite musician, Apple Books has a cool read for you.

Fun & Unique Features

Apple Books comes loaded with fun and unique features for your reading pleasure. From being your "digital nightstand" to night mode, there's a feature to fit your every need:

  • Reading Now Feature: On the home screen inside the Apple Books app, you'll find your Reading Now list. Whatever books you're reading will show up here, on the same page you left off. Apple calls this their "digital nightstand" for a reason. It's as simple as placing your favorite novel on the table beside your bed before a good night's rest. The app takes care of the rest.
  • Want to Read Feature: Find a book you want to read at a later time? Simply add it to your Want to Read list, which also appears on your app's home page. You can add both purchased books and those not yet purchased to this list to find them easily.
  • Your Library Feature: Your book or audiobook library is as unique as you. Apple allows you to create your own collections to help categorize and organize your books easily. The "Finished" section shows which books you've finished and might want to revisit at a later time. All of your books are in the same place.
Screenshot of bookstore features on iPhone
  • Auto-Night Mode Feature: Love reading your book at night? Don't keep anyone awake by using Apple Books. The Auto-Night mode instantly turns your text from black on white to white on black for easier reading. Auto-Night mode is available across Apple Books, not just while reading your favorite book.
Screenshot of Auto-Night mode on iPhone
  • Features Inside Your Book: While reading your book, there are several features to help you make the most of the words on the page. Some of these features include:
    • Bookmarking the pages you want to remember.
    • Changing the color of the paper behind the text.
    • Changing the font used.
    • Changing the font size.
    • Brightening or darkening your screen.
    • Searching for specific locations inside of the book.
    • Note taking.
Screenshot of book features on iPhone

Navigating the Bookstore

Navigating the Apple Books bookstore is very simple. The app offers a bookstore for those who enjoy swipe reading over listening. The bookstore offers many different genres to explore including:

  • Biographies & Memoirs
  • Books in Spanish
  • Business & Personal Finance
  • Computers & Internet
  • Education
  • Fiction & Literature
  • Health, Mind & Body
  • Kids
  • Mysteries & Thrillers

You can find the complete list of genres and sections by navigating to the menu in the upper right hand corner of the bookstore.

Screenshots of Apple Books on iPhone

You can also search the bookstore by viewing sections such as:

  • New & Trending: A collection of books that are brand new to the market and gaining interest from others.
  • Top Charts: Lists of books that are top downloads from the app at any given moment.
  • Books We Love: Books chosen and curated by the staff at Apple, full of good picks, new arrivals, and more.
  • Special Offers & Free: Free books? You've got that right. Plus, see all of the special offers currently available on books available in the bookstore.

Navigating the Audiobook Store

Apple Books also offers a bookstore strictly for audiobooks of all genres including:

  • Sports
  • Self Development
  • Science
  • Romance
  • Religion & Spirituality
  • Nonfiction

Just like the bookstore, the audiobook store features new and trending audiobooks, as well as a section made specifically for great narrators. All of the genres and sections can be found under the menu on the top righthand corner of the audiobook store.

Screenshot of Apple Books Audiobooks screen on iPhone

How to Download a Book Using the Bookstore

Downloading a book using Apple Books is simple and addicting. When you're ready to start reading, use these simple steps to find a book that's right for you.

  1. First, locate a book you wish to download using the bookstore.

  2. On the book's home screen, tap Get to download your book or Buy to purchase. Your book will now begin to download.

    You can also add the book to your Want to Read list to save for later. The option is located under the book's cover photo to the left.

  3. To read your book, either tap Read from the same screen, or use the bottom menu to navigate to your library, where your new book will be waiting on you.

    Screenshot of book home screen on iPhone

How to Download an Audiobook Using the Audiobook Store

Want to experience even more? You can try a new method of reading by trying an audiobook from the audiobook store. They're simple to download using a few easy steps.

  1. First, use the bottom menu to navigate to the Audiobook section of the app. Find an audiobook you wish to download from the thousands of available titles.

  2. From the audiobook's home page, either tap Buy to purchase your audiobook or Get to download it immediately if it's free.

    You can try out a sample of the audiobook prior to purchasing. You'll see this option on the audiobook's home screen to the right.

  3. Once you finish downloading your audiobook, navigate to your library to view your new audiobook.

    Screenshot of audiobook home screen on iPhone
  4. Enjoy your new audiobook!

How to Find Free Books on Apple Books

Want to try Apple Books before you commit to a book purchase? There are plenty of free titles to choose from in the bookstore.

  1. Navigate to your bookstore using the bottom menu in your Apple Books app.

  2. Tap the menu in the top right corner of the screen.

  3. Under Book Store Sections, tap Special Offers & Free.

    Screenshot of Special Offers and Free section on iPhone
  4. Here, you'll find limited-time offers, picks for $3.99 or less, free Apple User Guides, and a list of the top free books available.