iBooks for iPad/iPhone Update Ditches Faux Wooden Shelves

screen480x480[1]Good news, everyone! Apple has released a new update today that finally does away with the unnecessary faux bookshelf and other skeuomorphic details in iBooks.

The app has been updated with a more iOS7 look and feel with a Newsstand-like frosted glass background in place of the library shelves. The iBooks store has also gotten a makeover, and it now looks like iTunes. The page curl and faux two page crease still remain, however.

Update: This version of iBooks requires iOS7.

I for one am pleased to see the change; I’ve never understood why Apple thought that users would be more comfortable with the fake bookshelf than with icons.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Ray14 November, 2013

    I actually like the wooden bookshelves. I think I will not update my iBooks then. Anyway, I didn’t read books on my iPad since I bought my Kindle.

    1. Syn15 November, 2013

      Same, I liked the old look. They should have added a theme option and let the choice be yours.

  2. Ani14 November, 2013

    The faux two page crease has been eliminated. Wish we had a choice of bookshelves or plain Jane (frosted glass) background, though.

    1. Nate Hoffelder14 November, 2013

      Thanks! I was going by what was said on Twitter.

    2. Lloyd2 January, 2014

      I wish we still had the faux two page crease. I liked it. I wish it was an option.

      1. Nate Hoffelder3 January, 2014

        I just wish Apple would offer more choices in general rather than making radical changes which can’t be reverted/

  3. Steve14 November, 2013

    I think that all of the changes that have been made with iOS 7 I have not been happy with. My Icons look like I am 12 years old. And now they have taken a way my choice of a faux book shelf or no faux bookshelf and left me with no choice at all. How about the next iOS update you start giving your customers some choice in customization of icons and backgrounds, Apple.

    1. Keith19 November, 2013

      I am fed up with Apple deciding for us what they think we want. I agree with Steve. More choice of customization and less Apple arrogance.

  4. Robert15 November, 2013

    I like iOS products in general but I’ve never found much use for iBooks or found any reason to buy eBooks from Apple. There are better eReaders (try Marvin) and DRM is much more easily managed on Kindle, B&N, etc. I have mixed feelings on iOS 7 – the pre-school coloring book appearance is really awful, but the new functionality is nice.

  5. Paul17 November, 2013

    They also changed the highlighter. The colors are now too dark, they kind of hide the text. They also got rid or the hand highlighted look, (slightly imperfect lines and edges), and now the highlight is perfect. I liked the imperfect version, but the too-dark lines is a real problem.

    1. Bill17 November, 2013

      I agree, most of the highlight colors are now so dark they are useless. I was using a code for the colors and that’s now all in the toilet.

  6. Jan17 November, 2013

    I liked the wooden bookshelf it was one of the reasons I put all my books on my ipad , now it’s just plain boring like the rest of iOS 7 …may have to find another device to read my books with, I agree options would be nice but hey what would I know I’m only a customer.

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  9. Rick26 December, 2013

    People that did’t like the skeuomorphism should have switched to android. Now they’ve ruined iOS for its true fans. Bring iOS 6 back, Apple!

    1. Nate Hoffelder26 December, 2013

      People who think that Apple made this change in response to users rather than based on their own whim need to drink less kool-aid.

  10. Dan Scrobe15 January, 2014

    Unnecessary faux bookshelf? Not in agreement on that. I actually liked the wooden look and not sure why to be branded as unnecessary.

  11. Christine10 May, 2014

    I hate the new update! It is to bright for reading at night. I have to go in and dim either the whole IPad or iBooks. Pain in my rump.


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