How to Sync Books to the iPad

sync ebooks to ipad
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The iPad is a great tool for reading ebooks. After all, being able to bring hundreds, or even thousands, of magazines, books, and comics with you in a package that fits in your backpack or purse is pretty amazing. Combine that with the tablet's beautiful Retina Display screen and you've got a killer reading device.

To enjoy books on your iPad, though, you have to first get those books onto the device.

There are three ways to sync books to the iPad. Read on for instructions on each option.

RELATED: What eBook Formats Does iPad Support?

Syncing Books to iPad Using iTunes

Probably the most common way to sync books to the iPad is by using iTunes. Anyone who syncs content from their computer to their iPad can do this easily. Here's how:

  1. Locate the ebooks you want and download them. A great source for free classic literature in the ebook format is Project Gutenberg, which offers over 100,000 public domain ebooks. You can also buy books from various online stores, buy or download PDFs, or get them from other sources (if you use the Kindle store, though, you'll need to Kindle app)
  2. Once you’ve downloaded the book, you need to add it to iTunes. There are different ways to do this, depending on whether you use Mac or Windows. On Mac, open the iBooks program and drag the ebook into iBooks. On Windows, open iTunes and drag the ebook into iTunes (aiming for the Books icon in the left-hand tray will do you well, though the whole section will work, too. This will automatically add the ebook to your iTunes library. Click the Book menu to make sure this has happened)
  1. Sync your iPad. If you've synced books before, the new ebook will be automatically added to your iPad and you can skip to step 8. If you haven't synced books before, go to the iPad management screen and click Books in the left-hand tray
  2. Click the checkbox next to Sync Books
  3. Choose whether you want to sync All books or Selected books
  1. If you chose Selected books, choose the books you want to sync by checking the boxes next to them
  2. Click Sync in the bottom right corner to add the books
  3. Once the ebook is synced to your iPad, read it by going to the iBooks app and tapping on the icon for the new book on the bookshelf.

Syncing Books to iPad Using iCloud

If you get your books from the iBooks Store, there's another option. Every iBooks purchase is stored in your iCloud account and can be downloaded to any other device that uses the Apple ID used to purchase the book originally. To sync an iBooks purchase:

  1. Tap the iBooks app to open it (iBooks comes pre-installed on recent versions of the iOS, but if you don't have it, you can download it here)
  2. Tap the My Books icon in the bottom left
  3. This screen lists all the books you've purchased from iBooks. Books that aren't on this device, but can be downloaded to it, have the iCloud icon on them (a cloud with a down arrow in it)
  4. To download that eBook to your iPad, simply tap any book with the iCloud arrow on it
  5. Once the book is downloaded, tap it to start reading.

Syncing Books to iPad Using Apps

While iBooks is one way to read eBooks and PDFs on the iPad, it's not the only way. There are tons of great eBook reader apps available in the App Store that you can use to read most eBooks (though items purchased from stores like iBooks or Kindle require those apps).

If you want to sync books to one of those apps, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the app is already installed on your iPad
  2. Sync your iPad to your computer
  3. Click the Apps icon in the left-hand tray
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the Apps screen to the File Sharing section
  5. Find the app you want to sync the eBook to and single click it
  6. In the panel on the right, you'll see a list of documents being synced to that app. To add a new eBook, click Add...
  7. In the window that pops up, browse through your hard drive to find the eBook you want to sync
  8. When you find it, double-click the eBook
  9. The book will appear in the panel in iTunes. Repeat this process for as many books as you want to sync
  1. When you've added all the books you want, click Sync in the bottom right to add them to your iPad
  2. When the sync is complete, tap the app to launch it and all the books you just synced will be ready to read.
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