Apple Books on iOS 12: How to Use the Bookstore

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

Person sitting on beanbag reading on an iPhone

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

Instructions in this article apply to iPhones running iOS 12.

Fun and 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. The books you're reading show up here, on the same page you left off. Apple calls this a 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 sleep. The app takes care of the rest.

Want to Read Feature

Find a book that you want to read at a later time? Add it to your Want to Read list, which also appears on the 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

The Library keeps all your books in the same place so you can find books easily. Create collections to categorize and organize your books. The Finished section shows which books you finished and might want to revisit at a later time.

Screenshot of bookstore features on iPhone

Auto-Night Mode Feature

Love reading a book at night? Don't keep anyone awake by using Apple Books. The Auto-Night mode instantly turns the 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 a book, there are several features to help you make the most of the words on the page:

  • Bookmark pages you want to remember.
  • Choose a color for the paper behind the text.
  • Display text in a different font.
  • Change the font size.
  • Brighten or darken the screen.
  • Search for specific locations in the book.
  • Take notes.
Screenshot of book features on iPhone

Navigate the Bookstore

Navigating the Apple Books bookstore is 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

To find the complete list of genres and sections, navigate to the menu in the upper-right 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, plus special offers on books in the bookstore.

Navigate 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 specifically for great narrators. All of the genres and sections can be found in the menu located in the upper-right 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. When you're ready to start reading, use these steps to find a book that's right for you.

  1. Browse the bookstore and select the book you want to download.

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

    Add the book to your Want to Read list to save it for later.

  3. To read the book, tap Read. Or, tap Library where your new book will be waiting for you.

    Screenshot of book home screen on iPhone

How to Download an Audiobook Using the Audiobook Store

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

  1. In the bottom menu, tap Audiobooks.

  2. Select an audiobook.

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

    Screenshot of audiobook home screen on iPhone

    To hear a sample of the audiobook prior to purchasing it, tap Preview.

  4. After the audiobook downloads, tap Library to view 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. In the Apple Books app, tap Book Store.

  2. Tap the menu in the upper-right corner of the screen.

  3. In the Book Store Sections section, tap Special Offers & Free.

    Screenshot of Special Offers and Free section on iPhone
  4. The Special Offers & Free screen displays limited-time offers, picks for $3.99 or less, free Apple user guides, and a list of the top free books available.