How to listen to audiobooks in Apple Books on iPhone and iPad

By | November 2, 2018

Apple Books

You might not have time to read, but you might have time to listen. If you’ve got a long commute or spend a lot of time gardening, then audiobooks are a good way to make your time more productive.

Apple doesn’t provide a separate audiobooks app. Everything you need is in the Apple Books app. And just like with books, you can search for, download, and sync audiobooks.

  • How to browse and search for an audiobook
  • How to download audiobooks
  • How to redownload an audiobook
  • How to play an audiobook
  • How to listen to a specific track
  • How to go to a specific time in an audiobook
  • How to use Skip Forward and Skip Back
  • How to change the playback speed of an audiobook
  • How to set a sleep timer on an audiobook
  • How to change the audio output for audiobooks
  • How to share information about an audiobook

How to browse and search for an audiobook

The first step in listening to an audiobook is finding something interesting to listen to.

  1. Tap the Apple Books app.
  2. Tap the Audiobooks tab. You’ll be taken to the audiobooks area of the Book Store.
  3. If you don’t see book that interests you, tap the Browse Sections button.

  4. Tap a section or genre to see audiobooks that are organized by topic.

If you can’t find a specific audiobook you’re looking for, use the Search tab.

  1. Tap the Search tab.
  2. Enter your search text.

  3. Tap Search.

Scroll up to see a list of audiobooks that match your search.

How to download audiobooks

Downloading an audiobook is as easy as downloading a book. Just tap it.

  1. Tap an audiobook you want to download.
  2. To hear a free excerpt from the audiobook, tap Preview.

  3. To buy and download the audiobook, tap Buy.
  4. You’ll be prompted for your Apple ID password, or to use Touch ID or Face ID to complete the purchase.

How to redownload an audiobook

If you’ve deleted an audiobook from your iPhone or iPad and then decided you’d like to listen to it again, you can redownload the audiobook at no additional charge, as long as it’s still available in the Book Store.

  1. Tap the Reading Now tab.
  2. Tap the account icon. It’s either your picture or your initials and it’s located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Audiobooks and enter your Apple ID password if prompted.

  4. Tap one of the categories or genres. You’ll see a list of all the audiobooks you’ve previously downloaded.
  5. Tap the download button for the audiobook.
  6. When the audiobook is finished downloading, tap Listen to hear it.

How to play an audiobook

Playing an audiobook is just like reading a book. But first, you have to locate it.

  1. Tap Library.
  2. Tap the audiobook to open it. It will automatically begin to play.

If you’d rather not scroll through your library to find it, look for it in a collection.

  1. Tap Collections.
  2. Tap Audiobooks.
  3. Tap the audiobook to open and play it.

And if you really want to skip a lot of scrolling and tapping, you can use the search tab.

  1. Tap the search tab.
  2. Enter your search text. This can be the name of the audiobook or the author’s name.

  3. If the audiobook isn’t visible, tap Search.
  4. Tap the audiobook to open and play it.

How to listen to a specific track

Most audiobooks come with track markers, which usually correspond to chapters. You can listen to tracks in any order you want.

  1. Tap the track button.
  2. Tap the track you want to listen to.

How to go to a specific time in an audiobook

A playhead is located beneath the audiobook cover. You can drag it to go to a specific time in the book.

  1. Drag the playhead left or right to go to a specific time.
  2. Tap Play to listen.
  3. Tap the gray circle to go back to the playhead’s original starting point.

How to use Skip Forward and Skip Back

In addition to being able to use the playhead to scrub through an audiobook, you can skip forward or back by a number of seconds using the controls next to the play/pause button. And this number of seconds can be customized.

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Books
  3. Under Audiobooks, tap Skip Forward or Skip Back

  4. Tap the number of seconds to skip.
  5. Tap Books.

How to change the playback speed of an audiobook

If you don’t have the patience for a 20-hour audiobook, you can save a little time by speeding up the playback.

  1. Tap the audiobook you want to play.
  2. Tap the playback speed button until you get the speed you want.

The available playback speeds are, in order: 1x, 1.25x, 1.5x, 2x, and 0.75x.

How to set a sleep timer on an audiobook

If listening to a good book puts you to sleep, you’re in luck. You can do so without draining the battery on your device by using a sleep timer.

  1. Tap the audiobook you want to play.
  2. Tap the sleep timer button.
  3. Choose a number of minutes—even a custom number of hours and minutes—before the audio playback stops.

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