Can I open a book in iBooks?

Now that Bookshare offers books in EPUB format, Apple users can read EPUB books on their computers and mobile devices using iBooks.

iBooks on macOS

Download EPUB

  1. Log in to your Bookshare account.
  2. Search for a book using the search box at the top of the page.
  3. After finding the book in the search results, select EPUB from the download format drop-down menu, then select the Download button.
  4. You’ll then be taken to your My History page. Select the Available or Downloaded link next to the status of the book to save it to your computer.

Open iBooks

    1. Locate the EPUB file on your computer. Unless you’ve changed your browser settings, books should save to your Downloads folder by default.
    2. Double-click the file, or select the file and press Command + O, to open it in iBooks.
    3. To listen to the audio, highlight the text that you’d like to hear. Next, right-click and select More < Start Speaking. To stop the audio, right-click the text and select More < Stop Speaking. You can also start the audio by selecting the Edit menu at the top of the screen, then Speech < Start Speaking.

A screenshot of a book opened in iBooks. One paragraph of the text is highlighted, with the two menus open on the right side of the screen. The Start Speaking button is highlighted on the second menu.

If you have an iOS device that is registered with the same Apple ID, you can use iCloud to sync books between your devices. For more information about syncing iBooks across devices, please visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202759.

iBooks on iOS

Download EPUB

  1. On the iPad, launch an internet browser and navigate to Bookshare, and log in to your account.
  2. Search for a book using the search box at the top of the page.
  3. After finding the book in the search results, select EPUB from the download format drop-down menu, then select the Download button.
  4. You’ll then be taken to your My History page. Select the Available or Downloaded link next to the status of the book to save it to your device.
  5. Select the Open in iBooks button to save the EPUB file to iBooks.

Open iBooks

Once you’ve opened the book in iBooks, you can use Apple’s built in Text to Speech feature to listen to the book. Before you can use this feature, you’ll need to enable Text to Speech and word-highlighting:

  1. Go to Settings on your iOS device.
  2. Select General, then Accessibility.
  3. Under Accessibility settings, select Speech.
  4. Under Speech settings, enable Speak Selection, Speak Screen, and Highlight Content. 

Once Text to Speech is enabled:

    1. Open your book in iBooks. For best results, please disable Scrolling View in iBooks settings.
    2. Swipe down with two fingers from the top of the screen to start listening from the top of the page.
    3. To listen to a particular paragraph, tap and hold on the text to highlight it, then select the Speak button to start the audio. To stop the Text to Speech, select the Pause button.

A screenshot of an open book in the mobile iBooks app. A paragraph of the text is highlighted below a black toolbar. The Speak button, on the far left side of the toolbar, is highlighted with a red border.

For more help using iBooks, please review the iBooks Support page.

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