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>>Apple's iBooks app offers a selection of thousands of popular titles as well as a deep catalog of free public domain books but what people don't know is that in addition to the iBooks Store downloads you can also transfer any unprotected EPUB format books onto your virtual bookshelf from your computer. To try this out get your hands on an iBooks compatible device and make sure the free iBooks app is installed. The iPad is the first device to support iBooks but any iPhone or iPad Touch or an IOS4 will also work. Next, connect the device to your computer and launch iTunes. If you haven't already noticed the latest version of iTunes includes a library folder called Books which includes audio books as well as any iBooks you synced over from your device. Just like your music and video folders you can drag and drop media here to add it to your library.
Apple will adding PDF support for iBooks soon but for now let's hunt down an EPUB book and add it to our library. The two most common places to find free unprotected EPUB books online are Project Gutenberg and Google Books. After you've located the title that you want, save it somewhere convenient and then drag the file into iTunes. The EPUB file should show up under the iTunes Books folder fight away but since no one wants to read a book without cover, let's add one so it doesn't look odd in your virtual bookshelf. Find the file, right click on it and select Get Info. Under the artwork tab you'll find a window where you can drag and drop cover art. A quick search for the book title using Google Image Search gives a variety of book covers that you can just drag and drop out of your browser window and into the iTunes artwork box. After that, hit OK.
Finally, to sync the new book to your device go into your books tab for your connected device and check the box for your new book or simply set it to sync all books. Hit the Update or Sync button and you're all done. Now, you've circumvented the iBooks Store and loaded your own EPUB book into the iBooks app. For CNET.com I'm Donald Bell.
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