OS X 10.9 Mavericks: Sharing Your iBooks Library

Until the arrival of OS X 10.9 Mavericks, and the new iBooks app for Mac, you could use Home Sharing to share all of the content in your iTunes library, including books. Now that iBooks has sequestered your ebooks, you can no longer easily share them with family members.

Home Sharing is useful because it allows you to share the content of your entire media library, not just items you have bought from Apple. For the latter, you can always log in to your account on a second computer and download them from Apple’s stores, whether they are apps, music, videos or books. But for any content that you’ve added yourself – music you’ve ripped or purchased from other vendors, or ebooks that you’ve purchased without DRM and added to your library – Home Sharing made it easy to transfer.

So there’s no easy way to share your iBooks library any more. Why Apple didn’t include a Home Sharing setup in iBooks is surprising, but they also removed sharing from iPhoto libraries.

If you want to share books, one of the easiest ways is to use the new AirDrop feature.

1. On each computer, open a Finder window and choose Go > AirDrop, or press Command-Shift-R.

2. On the Mac you want to copy the books from, go to iBooks and select the books you want to send to the other Mac.

3. Next, drag these books to a Finder window (not the AirDrop window). Drag them to the AirDrop window, then on the icon for the Mac you want to send them to. You’ll see something like this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 2.01.06 PM.png

4. Click Send, then, on the other Mac, click Save in the dialog that displays in the AirDrop window. The files will be saved to the Downloads folder on that Mac.

5. Switch to the iBooks app and drag the files you’ve received into its window; the books will be added to your library.

Home Sharing certainly was a lot easier. It’s a shame it’s gone, because this method has many more steps. But this is the easiest way to share your ebooks from one Mac to another.