Apple’s official e-reading app, iBooks, primarily works with books downloaded from the iBooks Store, which is built right into the app itself. But the operative word is primarily, that is to say, iBooks is not exclusive to content from the iBooks Store.
Indeed, unbeknown to many, you don’t have to purchase or get content from the iBooks Store to be able to read books in iBooks. You can just load your own books into the app.
And unbeknown to many, you don’t have to plug your iOS device into your computer and fumble with iTunes File Sharing to be able to add your own content to iBooks.
Did you know that you can quickly and easily add non-iBooks Store content to iBooks without having to go through iTunes?
Just follow the tips and tricks we’re about to share with you in this article to know how you can quickly and easily add non-iBooks Store content to iBooks without having to go through iTunes.
Note: Only files in ePub or PDF format that do not have DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection can be loaded into iBooks. How you come into the possession of such files is, of course, entirely your own business.
You've got book mail
From Mail to iBooks
Arguably the easiest way to add a book to iBooks is by sending it via email.
Say you have an e-book in your computer that you want to read on your iOS device. What you need to do first is, on your computer: open your favorite email client, compose a new message, attach the e-book file, and send the message to your email address. (Basically, you have to email the e-book to yourself.) Then, on your iOS device: open the Mail app, wait for your email to arrive, open the message, wait for the attachment to be downloaded, and tap the attachment.
If the attachment is an ePub file, the iOS share menu will appear. On the menu, scroll through the middle row until you see the iBooks icon labeled “Copy to iBooks” (or “Open in iBooks” on devices running iOS 8 or older). Tap this option, and the ePub file will be automatically added to your library and opened in iBooks.
If the attachment is a PDF file, it will be opened for viewing right within the Mail app. To save and read it in iBooks instead, just tap anywhere on the PDF and tap the share button. The iOS share menu will then appear. On the menu, scroll through the middle row until you see the iBooks icon labeled “Copy to iBooks” (or “Open in iBooks” on devices running iOS 8 or older). Tap this option, and the PDF file will be automatically added to your library and opened in iBooks.
Of course, this loading method also applies to ePub or PDF file attachments shared with you by others via email. Moreover, essentially the same loading technique applies to third-party email apps such as Mailbox and Spark, with some minor interface variations — so you don’t actually need to use Apple’s Mail app for loading books into Apple’s iBooks app.
Your books are just a few clicks away
From Safari to iBooks
Sometimes, while browsing the Web, you come across a link to a PDF document. And sometimes you come by a link for an ePub file, probably sent to you by a friend or shared by a user on a forum. In times like these, you can easily load a PDF or ePub file from the Web into iBooks — by way of Safari. Just open the link in Safari and wait for the file to be loaded.
If it’s an ePub file, the webpage will show the iBooks icon along with the file’s name and size. Just tap the Open in “iBooks” option at the top of the webpage to automatically add the ePub file to your library and read it in iBooks.
If it’s a PDF file, the webpage will display the PDF document, ready for viewing right within Safari. But you can tap the Open in “iBooks” option at the top of the webpage if you’d rather save the PDF file to your library and read it in iBooks.
Not a Safari user? Considering some interface variations, you can also load ePub and PDF files from a third-party Web browser like Chrome into iBooks.