Use iTunes to Manage Books

iBooks AppWhen I originally wrote about using iTunes for Bible study back in January, the world had not yet been impacted by the new Apple iPad or the subsequent ebook revolution.  However, with the release of the iPad came the exciting new iBooks app, which originally supported books in ePub format.

Now, with recent software updates, the free iBooks app is available for the iPhone and the iPod Touch as well as the iPad, and it supports PDF documents in addition to ePub books.  This is great news, especially for those of us who collect PDF documents, such as commentaries, sermons, and other Bible study resources.  Now we can manage our book collection in iTunes along with all our other media, and we can read and annotate them with our mobile devices.

So, I encourage you to download the latest version of iTunes, and, if you have an Apple iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, install the free iBooks app.

Do you need some good Bible study PDF documents to get your iTunes book library started?  Navigate to the commentary directory at, and select a book of the Bible.  You’ll find hundreds of free PDF commentaries with brief comments by the site author regarding the veracity of each.

It is important to point out that there is a difference in the way PDF documents and ePub books are utilized on your mobile devices.  PDF documents do not support highlighting or note-taking features, whereas ePub books do:

iBook Features

If you are someone who likes to annotate their books with notes and highlights (like I do), then I recommend converting your PDF documents to ePub format before importing them into iTunes.  This isn’t as difficult as it might sound.  Here’s how:

  1. First, download and install the free Calibre ebook conversion utility (for Windows, Macintosh, or Linux).
  2. Then follow the steps in this brief video tutorial to convert your PDF documents to ePub format (specifically for Apple devices).
  3. Then import your ePub books into iTunes.

(Images in PDF documents may appear upside down (or otherwise misaligned) when converted to ePub format.  Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided, to my knowledge, and is the result of the way images are stored in PDF documents.  If a particular PDF document relies heavily on images, you may want to simply import the PDF version into iTunes and forego the ePub version.)

Hop on over to Apple, and kick start your ebook library.  Let us know what your favorite ebooks are in the comments below.

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