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Downloading and opening a book in the Apple Books application using iOS Voice Controls

Last updated: March 5, 2024

There is a simple way to download a book straight from the NNELS search results. 

  1. First, “Scroll down” the page past the “Filters” and the “Search Results” heading to the list of displayed book results.
  2. You will see a “Download” link for each book, which includes information about the book format, such as EPUB 2, Audio, Daisy, etc., and its file size.
  3. Say, “Tap Download, or say the number next to the word “Download”.
  4. A message box should appear asking “Do you want to download (book name and file name), and a button that says “Download”. 
  5. Say, “Tap Download”, or say the number next to the “Download’ button to start the download. Other than the link changing color, there is no visual indication that the book is being downloaded, until you open “Files” to view the downloaded book’s file.
  6. Say “Open Files” to open the Files app. Several folders will appear. Next, find the “Downloads” folder.
  7. Say “Downloads” if you are using “Show names”, or say the number next to the “Downloads” folder if you are using “Show numbers”.
  8. You should see the book you just downloaded in the files below. You may have to say, “Scroll down or “Scroll up”.
  9. To open the book and to read it in “Books” say the number attached to the top left of the book’s icon. Because the book title usually has a long-numbered file name, using the “Show numbers” rather than the “Show names” function is best for this step.
  10. Your book can take a few seconds to open to the cover page.  While the file is opening, you may, for a few seconds, see pages titled “Reading Now” and “All”.
  11. Your book should now be opened on its cover page in Apple Books.

Important note:  This method only works if your books appear as icons in the “Downloads” folder. If you do not see large icons representing the books, but they are in a written list, say the number next to the four small square icon at the top middle of the screen, then say, “Tap Icons”, and then say the number next to the word “Icons” on the list or say, “Tap Icons” again to return the icons to the screen.  Now, it should work as described above.

Note: If you want to return to your Library of books on the “Books” or “All” menu at any time, say “Tap Close” or say the number next to the “X” at the top right corner of the page. If the “X” or “Close” button is not showing, say “Tap Menu” or say the number next to the number at the bottom right of the page (the menu icon will appear).

Returning to a Book

  1. Once you have downloaded and opened a book in “Books”, it is easy to view all the books in your library and open them to begin or continue reading a book.
  2. You may see a “Reading Now” screen when you open the Books application. If you do not see the “Reading Now” page, see “Using the Books menu” below. If you do, you’ll see a carousel of book covers for “Current” and “Recent” books that you have read. If you want to look through this list of books, say “Scroll right” to move through the books and “Scroll left” to move back towards the beginning of the list.
  3. To open and start reading a particular book, Say the number at the top left corner of the book.  This will open the book to the cover page or, if you’ve previously been reading it, to where you left off.  Note that this book will move to the beginning of the list under “Current”.

Using the “Books” drop-down menu to return to a book

You can also use the drop-down “Books” menus to find the eBooks you’ve read or downloaded:

  1. If you’re using names, say “Tap Show Sidebar”, if you’re using numbers, say the number next to the sidebar icon at the top left of the screen.
  2. The “Books” menu will open from the left side of the screen.
  3. Just below the heading “Library”, you‘ll see several subheadings, including the subheadings “All” and “Books”.
  4. To see the list of books that you have stored on your iPad:
  5. Say “Tap All” or “Tap Books”, or say the number next to “All” or “Books”. 

Remember that you can say “Scroll down” to look down the list of books or “Scroll up” to move the list back up the page.

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