By Bob LeVitus, Edward C. Baig, Bryan Chaffin

To start reading iBooks on your iPad, you have to fetch the iBooks app in the App Store. As you might imagine, the app is free, and it comes with access to Apple’s iBooks Store. The iBooks Store is an inviting place to browse and shop for books 24 hours a day. All the other books you end up purchasing for your iPad library turn up in the cover view shown here or in a view that lists your books by title.

You can read a book by its cover.

The following basics help you navigate the iBooks main screen:

  • Change the view: If you prefer to view a list of your book titles rather than use cover view, tap the change view icon at the upper-left corner of the screen (labeled in the figure). In cover view, you can sort the list by most recent, titles, authors, or categories, as shown here.
Sort a list of your books by most recent, title, author, or category.
  • Remove a book from view: In cover view, tap Select, and then tap the book covers that you want to remove or tap Select All. Each selected book displays a check mark; tap a cover again to remove its check mark and thus deselect the book. When all the books you want to delete have check marks, tap Delete in the upper-left corner of the display. Apple asks you to tap a Remove Download button.

In list mode, tap Select as well. This time, blank circles appear next to each title in the list. Tap the circle for each book you want to remove so that a check mark appears, and then tap Delete in the upper left. As before, you must confirm by tapping Remove Download.

As with other content you purchase from Apple, you can restore (download) any book you’ve purchased by tapping the Purchased icon at the bottom of the screen in the iBooks Store. The books you purchase from the iBooks Store land in iCloud. You’ll know a book is in the cloud (as opposed to being downloaded onto your iPad) when you see the small iCloud icon. Tap that icon to download the book.

If you prefer, you can hide books that are in iCloud from your iPad. Tap All Books, and then tap the Hide iCloud Books switch.

  • Organize books by collections: If you have a vast library of e-books, you might want to organize titles by genre or subject by creating collections of like-minded works. You might have collections of mysteries, classics, biographies, children’s books, how-to’s, textbooks, even all the Dummies books you own.

    Apple has created four collections on your behalf: books for all titles, audiobooks for the iPad equivalent of books on tape, PDFs for the Adobe PDF files on your iPad, and samples, those short previews of books that you can read before deciding whether to buy. (You can’t edit or remove the premade All Books, Audiobooks, PDFs, or Samples collections.) To create, rename, or remove a collection of your own, tap All Booksto show off your current list of collections and then choose from the following tasks:

    • Add a collection: Make sure the My Books tab is selected at the bottom of the screen and then tap All Books at the top (you’ll see a drop-down arrow). Tap + New Collection and type a name for the new collection.
    • Delete a collection: Tap Edit and the red circle, and then tap Delete to finish the job. If the collection contains books, you’re asked whether you want to remove the contents of this collection from your iPad. If you choose not to remove them, they’re returned to their original collections (Books, PDFs, or any other collection). Remember that you can’t delete the premade All Books, Audiobooks, or PDFs collection.
    • Move a book or PDF to a new collection: Go to the cover or list views, tap Select, tap each work you want to move, and then tap Move. Select the new collection for these titles.

A book can reside in only one collection at a time (aside from the All Books collection).