Inside iOS 12: There Is No “I” in “Books”

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iBooks becomes Apple Books in iOS 12, and while the reading experience remains the same, Apple has renovated the Library.

I hope they have the Mac app load PDFs and display them internally rather than launch Preview.

I find the new super-large book icons a huge step backwards. (There’s always someone who hates every change, isn’t there?!)

The reason is that I like to be able to browse my library when I’m looking for something to read. The new Apple Books shows a maximum of 8 books at a time on my iPad, and only 4 on my iPhone. That really isn’t nearly enough when you’re trying to browse through over 2000 books. (The grid layout is actually worse; it shows fewer books.) It seems clear that Apple expects people with large libraries to find books by searching , either by title or author. Browsing doesn’t seem to have been considered at all. Being able to select one’s preferred icon size would solve it; but on the whole, it seems that Apple prefers to offer a static experience, with few options for customisation.

I abandoned iBooks after the iOS 9 version destroyed my carefully sorted and arranged library by author+series. Since iBooks didn’t provide an author+series sorting/arranging option, I had to find ebook reader that could. I found the MapleRead applications by MaplePop and now use MapleRead SE on my iPad Minis. I settled on the ePub and PDF formats and use Calibre on my Mac to strip any DRM (if needed), edit the metadata (as needed) and to convert the ebooks to either ePub or PDF format (again, if needed).

Books will not be used on my Mac/iOS devices.

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Sigh…yes, I’ve been thinking it’s time to switch. Thanks for the recommendation; I’ll check it out.

It would almost be worth switching, just to get away from the endless determined push to use Apple’s book store. Even if you disable the store entirely in settings, the “Search” function on the iPad wastes fully half the screen telling you that you’ve turned it off and offering to turn it on for you. I don’t buy any ebooks from which I can’t remove the DRM.



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iBook Copy by TunesKit

Query. When does a book move from Want To Read to Reading Now? I have started reading a book in Want To Read collection but it doesn’t show up in Reading Now collection.

Apart from the false claim that I’m not reading anything right now, all the Reading Now screen shows me are two buttons inviting me to explore the Book Store or Audiobooks, a For You list (presumably based on all the books it thinks I haven’t read), and an Everyone’s Talking About… list. Not terribly useful.

The new Books app s a disaster whose logic is still impenetrable to me. I have no idea how it interacts with iCloud nor how it’s AI decision making could possibly know what I “love.”
I agree about the overly large illustration (same poor idea in App Store) wasting valuable screen space and serving no useful purpose…
The loss of the text database of all books with name, author, collection, etc. will drive me to another source for my book habit.

What text database are you talking about? I don’t recall seeing such a thing in iBooks for iOS. iBooks (now Books) on the Mac still has a list view that shows all your books in a textual table. That list does show title, author, date, size—though not collection, as a book can now belong to multiple collections.

Thanks. I should have been more precise. The prior iOS iBooks app had a format that resembled a spreadsheet, with columns for Title, Author, Collection, and I think Date Acquired. It was editable so you could correct or modify entries to your liking, such as renaming Collections, listing an author’s name uniformly, etc.
I cannot find any way to do that in this iOS. The listing of all books with thumbnail pictures does not meet my desires and I am looking for another app in which to keep and use my digital library. Apple has used a similar design to screw up the Apps app format as well, with a complete waste of iPad screen space, IMHO.

Pretty much exactly my journey away from iBooks, too. I only wish that Calibre and Mapleread were as good with audiobooks as they are with ebooks.