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 introduced new apps and functionality to the iPhone and iPad. One major change is that Apple Books replaces iBooks as iOS' bookstore. Whether you're used to iBooks or this is your first experience reading novels, biographies, or history on your iPhone or iPad, here's everything you need to know about Apple Books.

Basic Features of Apple Books

Screenshot of bookstore features on iPhone

Apple Books comes loaded with features to help you both add to and work on your reading list.

  • Reading Now: 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." It's like placing your favorite novel on the table beside your bed to pick up later.
  • Want to Read: Find a book you want to read at a later time? 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 you haven't bought yet to this list to find them easily.
  • Your Library: This area lets you create your own collections to help categorize and organize your books. The "Finished" section shows which books you've completed and might want to revisit at a later time. All of your books are in the same place.
  • Auto-Night Mode: 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 and 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

Books offers a bookstore for those who enjoy swipe reading over listening. The bookstore offers many different genres to explore including Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Personal Finance, and Fiction & Literature

Here's how to find the complete list of genres in Apple Books' store:

  1. From the home page, tap Book Store.

    Apple Books on iPad
  2. Tap Browse Sections near the top of the screen.

    Apple Books on iPad
  3. A menu with all of the categories will open on the left. Book Store Sections has curated lists and recommendations with popular and trending items. Genres lets you browse based on your interests.

    Apple Books
  4. Tap a category to explore its content.

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. Just like the bookstore, the audiobook are showcases new and trending audiobooks as well as a section featuring popular narrators. Find all of the genres under the All Sections menu.

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. Find a book you want to download using the bookstore.

  2. On the book's listing page, tap Buy. Your book will download automatically.

    You can also add items to your Want to Read list to save them without buying.

    Apple Books
  3. Tap Read from the same screen to begin your new book. It will also appear in your Library.

How to Download an Audiobook from Apple Books

Apple Books also includes audio offerings if you prefer to listen to literature. Here's how to find a text-free book to enjoy.

  1. Tap Audiobooks at the bottom of the Home page.

    Apple Books
  2. Browse using the sections or curated lists to find a book you want to buy.

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

    Apple Books
  4. To listen to a sample of an audiobook before you buy, tap the options button, and then tap Listen to Sample.

    Apple Books on iPad
  5. Once you finish downloading your audiobook, it will appear in your Library.

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. Tap Book Store on the main page of Apple Books.

    Apple Books on iPad
  2. Tap Browse Sections.

    Apple Books on iPad
  3. Tap Special Offers & Free.

    Special Offers in Apple Books
  4. Scroll down to see the top free books, and tap See All to browse the full selection.

    Free books on Apple Books
  5. Download free books like any other selection. Instead of "Buy," the purchase button will say, "Get."