Delete books even possible?

I would like to “thin” the Books library. Like versions of manuals that are no longer current. I have tried, but, it seems that all one can do is hide books. Really??

I assume you’re talking about manuals produced by Apple or bought in the Apple Bookstore since you can delete items manually loaded into Apple Books. Purchased books or free books (like manuals) downloaded from the Apple Bookstore work like apps downloaded from the App Store. You can remove them from all your devices and hide them from your directories, but they remain in your purchase records. If you have removed downloads and hidden the books, they take up no physical space on your devices and no spots in any index you consult. However, if, in the future, you should wish to resurrect them, you can ‘unhide’ them and load them again.


Yes, I know all of that, but was wondering if I might have missed something somewhere in the bowels of the Apple system. There is one point I would add: What if I don’t want to leave my kids all of the books and other things I have accumulated over the years?? I’m already 85! I would really like to thin things out myself, for all kinds of reasons. But, I have not found a way to do this and I am not really happy about that!

If I remember correctly, Apple books, music, etc. are licensed for use solely by the purchaser of the license, and the licenses are not legally transferrable upon death, at least in most jurisdictions.

Of course, people work around this all the time by simply taking control of the purchaser’s Apple ID, but you may want to research the subject in case a court ever gets involved with your estate. For example, Apple may delete Apple IDs or access to associated licensed content when presented with a government-issued death certificate.

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Thanks folks, now I have a pretty good idea of what I need/want to do with this. I recently moved and threw out trash or things I didn’t need/want anymore. Apparently I can’t do that with my Apple stuff. Sigh!

You don’t “own” ebooks. You license them, just like digita/downloaded music or video. You can’t leave them to heirs.


All the more reason to prefer printed books. If I buy a book on paper, it’s mine. I can keep it, resell it, loan it out, give it away, throw it against the wall, stick it in a wood chipper, whatever. Physical goods are owned; digital goods are often merely licensed. The only real drawback to physical media is that it takes up physical storage space (said as I look at the five-meter stretch of bookcases along one wall of my living room, and the three-meter stretch of DVD/Blu-ray shelves on the opposite wall).

I don’t buy ebooks for this reason. I’ll gladly download free ones, and I borrow ebooks from the library frequently. But if I’m laying out money for it, I want it to be mine to do with as I please.

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