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Nicolas Online Level 1 Level 1



It is disappointing that as Apple users we are used to doing things a certain way for years, and Apple's way forward results in less functionality and flexibility.


Here is a list of all the problems I have been facing with iBooks for Mac:


1. Transfer of Books to iPad or iPhone from iBooks is non-existant. If I create or download a DRM-free epub and or PDF and add it to iBooks for Mac (i.e. it wasn't downloaded from the iBooks Store), there is no direct way to transfer them to your iOS device through iBooks. Even books downloaded from the iBooks Store, since iBooks itself doesn't allow the transfer of files to the iOS device.


2. iBooks doesn't allow us to Edit metadata. Many PDFs come without metadata. And to organize them into the library as was previously possible in iTunes, we could add Author, Genre, Year, etc... Also even for books we actually download from the iBooks Store maybe we want to change the Genre or Category the book is in or simplify the Author's name.


3. iBooks essentially duplicates any PDF or ePub we drag to it into it's own library. Acting like iTunes "Copy files to iTunes Media Library when adding to library". If I have hundreds of PDF's that are hundreds of Megabytes in size, I don't want them duplicated again, especially when it's duplicated on my default Macintosh HD whom many people have as SSDs nowadays.


4. iBooks doesn't allow us to create or choose multiple libraries and have them in any destination we want (like it is possible with iTunes, iPhoto, Aperture, etc). By Option-Clicking on iBooks we should have that option.


5. The ability to delete Collections in iBooks for Mac.


All the above problems are surprising, as what essentially Apple has done is a book reader, and not a book library management tool. With books becoming more and more digital and more and more people using them, so does the amount of books in one's collection grow. It is virtually impossible to manage any book collection with such a lack of features.


Should anyone have solutions to the aformentioned problems or ideas on how to overcome them, please feel free to post them here.


Should anyone have other problems they encountered in this initial version of iBooks, please feel free to post them here, as this would be a good place to sythesize all that's bothering a lot of people with this new phase into Apple's ecosystem of iBooks.


Thank you,



MacBook Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9)
Reply by KAS7 on Jan 28, 2014 7:58 PM Helpful
I don't know if this has been posted before or not, but I found a simple solution to ditching iBooks and returning iTunes to it's proper behavior. Go -> Applications Find the iBooks app.Select "Show Package Contents"Rename "Contents" to "old.Contents"Reboot -- iBooks won't start and iTunes appears to be normal again. Now when I open iTunes and my iPad is connected, I can simply drag and drop a new book as before. I hope this helps somebody

All replies

  • Andy Epprecht Level 1 Level 1



    exactly the same for me. This is the worst ever released application from Apple IMHO.


    All my well kept and organised books and pdf's are now in disorder. Lost their categorie settings, their author setting and on top of all can't be edited in iBooks anymore and any further. No chance to edit wrong typings and to fill missing information (eg. authors, categories, ...).


    I used to organise my papers (mostly PDF's) in iTunes like a document manager, the way I needed them on my various iOS devices and used them for work. I had groupings for my books like computing - networks, computing - guides, computing - iOS, computing - scripting, etc. .... now all is gone and lost. How am I supposed to organise over 1300 papers without any editing possibility (only sections can be assigned, no categories can be, neither can any information be edited/changed/corrected?


    And on top of that all: HOW DO I BACKUP / RESTORE MY BOOKS from now on?


    The books and PDF's are moved from the iTunes Library, where they were accessible and editable and where I could backup my whole media library on external NAS and storage. How will I get back my books/PDFs in the future if I setup my Mac Pro again from scratch or in case of a disaster (eg. failing disk)? Am I forced to use TimeMachine here?


    There is no way to define by myselfs the place where the iBooks are stored on my system. No, they are all moved to some well hidden place into the users-library filling up my (until iBooks/Mavericks) system only SSD hard drive with hidden books. Is this the new strategy of Apple to try to make me under-age?


    No editing, very limited organizing, no possibilty to define it's own storage-location, no backup/restore (no export/archive like in most other application like calender, addressbook, mail, etc. ....) what the **** is that?


    I like most of Mavericks new additions but this here with iBooks is a mess and complete drawback for a user that liked to read his books on his iOS devices and was well organized.


    And to be honest, I seriously consider to migrate back to OS X Mountain Lion just because of this ridiculous implementation of iBooks!

  • Nicolas Online Level 1 Level 1

    Ok I think I found a small answer to problem number 1.


    Let's say you have all your books in iBooks. When you connect your iOS device in iTunes and go over to its sync tab in iTunes, there is "Books" tab at the top next to "Music" "Apps" etc.


    When you click on the Books tab in your iOS device screen on iTunes, it will show you all the books that are currently in iBooks. And you can select to sync all books, certain books, etc... as if they were in iTunes before.


    This only answers to my first issue.





  • tincha Level 1 Level 1

    I kept my iTunes folder on an external drive and I noticed that all of my Books are still in its folder on that drive. I can re-add books from the Itunes Media > Books folder back into iBooks.


    Like Nicolas said, you can then go to your iPad in iTunes and check books you want to synch. A lot of hassle, IMHO.


    Please send feedback to Apple about this mess:


    iBooks menu > Provide iBooks Feedback

  • MsQueenn Level 1 Level 1

    All the books are now under this path:




    But now they're renamed with an ID, so it's hard to tell which book it is.


    I too, am so upset with this half baked Mavericks and iBooks Apple calls themselves releasing. It's like they hate metadata. They already prevent us from editing any of our metadata on iOS, let alone viewing it!


    <Edited by Host>

  • Antamelius Level 1 Level 1

    I installed Mavericks only to dongrade back to Mountain Lion after spending an hour with iBooks. Am I right in also adding that once the .epubs are imported to iBooks there is no way of getting them back out of it?

  • connie184 Level 1 Level 1

    It looks like you could be right.  I have been obsessive about listing and saving my books, consequently have several copies here and there, hopefully I have them all.


    A lot of the sites where you purchase your epubs will let you redownload more than once.  Hopefully that will help you recover.

  • connie184 Level 1 Level 1

    Do you know if the books can be recovered if you haven't synced your iPad with Mavericks installed?  I haven't done that yet and am thinking of going back also.

  • Antamelius Level 1 Level 1

    Being able to download more than once is great, however I wonder if that will be the case in several years time. Good books are something to keep for life. I'd much rather have my own copies that I can use (or convert) in the future to whatever platform I may choose to use...

  • Antamelius Level 1 Level 1

    Not sure. I reinstalled from Time Machine Backup.

  • joe315 Level 1 Level 1

    If you go into your time machine backup you can restore the book files from the itunes folder but you can't put them back into itunes. I would like to be able to do this.

  • connie184 Level 1 Level 1

    Yes, keeping for ever would be the reason to go back and redownload and if nothing else put them on thumb drives.  I have mine on an external drive, but when I clicked over to check on them, several of them showed the iBooks icon.


    And everyone thinks the health care computer issues are a big deal, mess with my books, that IS a big deal.

  • tincha Level 1 Level 1

    MsQueenn wrote:


    All the books are now under this path:




    But now they're renamed with an ID, so it's hard to tell which book it is.


    I too, am so upset with this half baked Mavericks and iBooks Apple calls themselves releasing. It's like they hate metadata. They already prevent us from editing any of our metadata on iOS, let alone viewing it!


    <Edited by Host>

    That can't be right. My Books folder in this location is only 394.1 MB -



    My Books folder previously stored in my iTunes media folder on my External HD is 16.56 GB.


    So either the new location is only placeholders pointing to iCloud, or there are a whole lot of books missing.

  • Courtney Trusty Level 1 Level 1

    Ok So I have figured out some kind of workaround to get my books onto my Ipad with a minimum of fuss.  It took an hour to add 3 books, but I think I can do this without getting my blood pressure up too high next time.


    Just to be clear I am NOT happy with Mavericks, but I've upgraded and I think I can make it work without downgrading.


    I am on a MacBook Pro and use Calibre to manage all of my ebooks and metadata.


    I did the following things


    In Finder

    1. Created a new favorite folder called "iPad books"  This folder is located on my desktop and on the sidebar in Finder


    In Calibre

    1. import the books
    2. update the metadata and save
    3. At the top under the Connect/Share icon, there is an option to connect to a folder. 
    4. Connected Calibre to the "iPad Books" Folder
    5. Sent the books I wanted to add to my iPad to that folder


    In IBooks

    1. Imported the books from the "iPad Books" folder


    In ITunes

    1. synced my iPad and the books were added.


    Afterwards, I deleted the copies of the epub files from the "iPad Books" folder so I didn't re-import into iBooks next time


    Before I figured this out, I tried to send the books directly to the new iBooks folder hidden deep in the Library.  It didn't work and my books didn't show up in iBooks.  Calibre showed they were "On the device" but they weren't there.


    The only way to add them is to import them into iBooks.

  • finniii Level 2 Level 2

    How about the most basic problem: It simply doesn't work! There are many of us with this same problem. When you double-click on a book it opens for a flash, and then disappears along with your library. Quitting and restarting does not restore it. You have to use the Window menu to view Library, and you use Zoom to creat a miniature (but re-sizeable) window with the book in it. This is ludicrous! I've never seen such rink-****, amateur programming from Apple. For me, this is a far bigger fiasco than Apple Maps was.

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