Download all books on iOS

I did a sync of my iPhone 11 (running iOS 13.7) and it deleted all my books from the Books app. The books are all still there in iCloud (and on my Mac), but there are hundreds of them, and the vast majority were not bought from the Apple book store.

Is there any way to tell my iPhone to download them all from iCloud? I like to have all my books resident, so that I can still read them in situations when I don’t have a good internet connection.

If you’re syncing with iTunes (I don’t yet know how it works in more recent versions of macOS), you should be able to connect your device and choose what books get sync’ed from your Mac’s collection - you can choose to sync everything, or only selected books.

For myself, there are a few PDFs that frequently get updated (generated from a local FileMaker database). Every time I re-generate the PDF, I need to remove/add the file in iBooks on my Mac and then re-select it in iTunes when syncing my phone. I haven’t found a way for it to automatically do this whenever I update the source file.

Maybe you’re seeing something similar?

(This is for David C. rather than the original poster.)
You could keep the PDFs in iCloud Drive instead of in Books. On the phone, you can read the PDFs in the Files app. (Files can open PDFs just fine. I generally find it easier than using Books, and the syncing is automatic.)

I’m trying to avoid syncing via iTunes (I’m still on Mojave), and do it all via iCloud Drive. The books show up on my phone, but they don’t download automatically. That’s where I’m stuck.

Thanks. I hadn’t thought of that. I keep a copy of these documents on a Google Drive in order to share them with others (via a personal web page), but I use iBooks as well because I sometimes don’t have a connection to the Internet (especially on my iPod Touch, which is Wi-Fi only) when I want to view them.

The funny thing is that books on Apple’s store can get upgrades. For instance, I keep a copy of the iPhone user’s manual on my phone. Apple updates it from time to time as iOS updates and I see updates on the phone and on my Mac, which I can download, automatically replacing the older version. But I don’t think there’s a way I can do this with a document I create.