Apple today released iTunes 9.1, which is ready for the iPad due out later this week. One new feature is the “Books” library, which, instead of just holding audiobooks as before, now handles ebooks as well. iTunes – and the iPad – can read the ePub format, which is an open format that can have DRM (as will books sold by Apple, presumably) or not.
One way to get books in ePub format is from Gutenberg.org. For example, I downloaded a copy of Henry James’ The Aspern Papers, and tried to see what would happen if I added it to iTunes. Dragging it on iTunes’ icon did indeed add it, and here’s what iTunes looks like now:
As you can see, there is a section for books, above, and for audiobooks below.
So, I await my iPad to try out its ebook reader features, and hope, as well, that the iPhone and iPod touch will get an ebook reader that syncs with iTunes.