Apple Books is not scriptable, the app is mixing bought Apple Books and PDF uploaded but they are managed differently, and they have now zapped category information and some field editing capabilities. All this makes managing books difficult.

I personally value the ability to synchronize among different devices, so I intend to keep on using this application.

However I would be sure to maintain control on classification. Precisely, to verify that each book has been attributed to one collection at least.

The problem I have (for a decade now...) is that my AppleID for buying books is not the same as my AppleID for the iCloud Plan, dating back to Mobile Me services. As a consequence, at least at one point, the synchronization between terminals (Macs, iPhone, iPad...) ceased to work and I had to manually add the books on the device I was using, and my catalogues became incoherent.

Thus the need to extract a comprehensive list of books to check a) they were all present on all devices b) every book was attributed to at least one collection (I have 12 of them, corresponding to purpose of books, literature, science, computing, etc ), so that I could get a view of what book I have in each purpose

Ideally I would like to extract a list of the books in the app with the collection(s) they are in.

As this functionality is not provided anymore, does anyone know where the collection information is stored so that I could extract it and write a small program that for ? Thanks

P.S: For anyone interested, on a Mac, you can control the title of the item from the title of the file and the author metadata by setting it before adding it to Apple Books (you can use an Automator script for that). [EDIT: as mentioned by Andy in the comments , you now have the option to do it in the app with the Get Info function]

The bought books are in ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.BKAgentService/Data/Documents/iBooks

The added books are in ~/Library/Mobile\ Documents/iCloud~com~apple~iBooks/Documents

  • 1
    There's no separation between store-added and locally added books, as you have found. The macOS Books app has separate categories for ePub and PDF in the Library section of the left-hand bar. Does this not provide the separation you require for ePub & PDF? Otherwise you need to treat collections as a 'tag' and that a book may have zero, one or more tags. Also, by pressing the 3 dots to the bottom right of a book in grid view, or on the far right in list view, you will find an option Get Info. This allows editing the title and author (and cover for ePub). It's no Calibre, but it's useful. Commented Apr 2, 2023 at 21:19
  • Wow, That's cool I did not know you could edit these fields. Thanks. I edited my comment to make it clearer what my need is.
    – Hugues
    Commented Apr 5, 2023 at 8:27


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