I have a lot of books in ePub and PDF format in iBooks on my Mac. I sync the next few ones I want to ready to my iPhone and iPad and read them there.

Is there a way to set up a workflow so that when I finish reading a book, it "goes away" from iBooks, everywhere? I'd like the list of books to keep shortening so that once I'm done reading a book, I don't see it anymore.

It seems like a natural feature to have in a book reader, to not see books that one has already finished reading. Syncing of current page works great across all my devices, but automatically hiding / deleting read books is something that I'd like to have as well.

  • Books that are not purchased from Apple‘s store can be deleted by selecting them and then delete. Purchased books cannot be deleted, only the downloads removed.
    – Thomas
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 11:59
  • Or just create two collections: books to read and books read. Then, of course, you can maintain the global list of books by removing the read ones (the Purchased ones will not disappear from the global list but at least don't take space in memory) Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 13:31
  • @Thomas So the only real alternative I have is to manually delete the book and lose it altogether from my device or library. I figured out a way to "hide" the not-local iCloud books (the action is hidden away inside the move dialog when you select a book and press Move). Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 15:59
  • @GioValerio Maintaining 2 separate collections and then adding books to each collection and then moving them manually between the collections is much more than I'm willing to do for simple To Read / Finished Reading management - too lazy for that. :) Also, the UI for collection management is so clunky, at least in the Mac OS iBooks. You can search to filter the books, but then the left sidebar does not show any created collections to drag and drop the filtered book to. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 16:02
  • I have an iBook G4 I don’t use anymore on a shelf in my basement. It’s effectively hidden.
    – Daniel
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


Why not put the finished books in a folder?

That’s an easy way to get them out of the way. Also, since you are on a Mac you can easily export / delete / file them outside the app so you have a backup that’s easy to manage and a clean slate for new reading.

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