Read Books from Bookshare in Apple Books

Featured Image: 
Bookshare and Apple Books logos with text, "Bookshare, Apple Books"

Bookshare, a huge resource for students who are visually impaired, is an accessible FREE online library for students with print disabilities. Recently, Bookshare books became available in ePub format, enabling readers to download and read books in Apple Books (previously called iBooks) on a Mac, iPad, or iPhone.

Install the free Apple Books app.

Download on iOS

  1. On the iPad, launch your internet browser and open Bookshare.
  2. Log into your Bookshare account.
  3. Search for the desired book using the search box at the top of the screen.
  4. After finding the desired book in the search results, select ePub from the download format drop-down menu, then select Download button.
  5. The My History page automatically opens; select the Available or Downloaded link next to the status of the book to save the book to your device.
  6. Select the Open in iBooks button to save the ePub file to iBooks.
  7. Listen to the book using VoiceOver.
    • Or, use Apple's built in Text-to-Speech feature.

Text-to-Speech (iOS)

  1. Enable Text-to-Speech on your iOS device:
    • Open Settings app.
    • Select General > Accessibility > Speech
    • Under Speech settings, enable Speak Selection, Speak Screen, and Highlight Content.
    • Then, Open your book in Apple Books. For best results disable Scrolling View in Apple Books' settings.
    • Swipe down with two-fingers from the top of the screen to start listening from the top of the page.
    • 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, select the Pause button.

Download on MacOS

  1. On your Mac, launch your internet browser and open Bookshare.
  2. Log in to your Bookshare account.
  3. Search for the desired book using the search box at the top of the screen.
  4. After finding the desired book in the search results, select ePub from the download format drop-down menu, then select Download button.
  5. The My History page automatically opens; select the Available or Downloaded link next to the status of the book to save the book to your computer.

Open Apple Books (Mac)

  1. Locate the ePub file on your computer. Unless the browser settings have been changed, books should save to your Downloads folder by default.
  2. Double-click the file (or select the file and press Command + O) to open the book in Apple Books.
  3. To listen to the book use VoiceOver.
    1. Or, highlight the text that you want to hear. Next, right-click the text and select More > Start Speaking. To stop the audio, right-click the text and select More > Stop Speaking. 
    2. Or, select the Edit menu at the top of the screen, then Speech > Start Speaking.

Sync your book between devices which are registered with the same Apple ID using iCloud.

Note: Apple Books is compatible with a braille display.