Reading Bookshare DAISY books with iBooks

Last modified
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Thanks to Kevin Chao, I now have an easy way to convert Bookshare books to the EPub format that iBooks will accept. This assumes that you are on Windows (though I am sure the process is quite similar on a Mac), that you have a current Bookshare membership, and that the book you want to convert is in DAISY format, downloaded from Bookshare.

You will need:


  1. Download the Daisy version of the book from Bookshare, then unzip it to a folder that you can easily locate.
  2. Open the folder to which the files were unzipped.
  3. Find a file with the title of the book as its name, ending with the .xml extension.
  4. Open this file in Internet Explorer, or your favorite web browser (I have only used IE, but I imagine other browsers will work).
  5. Once the page loads, press control-a to select all, then control-c to copy everything to the clipboard.
  6. Now open Stanza (if it was open before, close it and re-open it). Go to the file menu (alt-f) and choose the "New from Clipboard" item (it is the first one in the menu). A new Stanza window will open, with your book, gotten from the xml content on your clipboard, displayed.
  7. Now, to make sure Stanza has the right information for the book, press alt-v and choose "book info". Note that, at least in the Stanza version that I have, ctrl-i, the keyboard shortcut specified for this item, does not work.
  8. Fill in the information that is missing or inaccurate. Please note that the "genre" textbox after "title" is mislabeled and is actually for the author. If the book has multiple authors, separate their names with a comma and a space. Note, too, that Stanza does not seem to take multiple authors into account; it only finds the first one, so you may have to add any other authors manually. Press enter when you are satisfied with the information; iBooks will use this to index the book in your collection, so make sure it is accurate!
  9. Now go up to file (alt-f) and choose "export book as". Choose EPub from the list of options.
  10. You will be prompted for a location and file name. Enter whatever you want, but if possible, enter the path to your dropbox folder, else you will just be copying the book over. Press enter to save the book; it is a fast process, but there is no feedback about when it is done, so just wait ten seconds (to be on the safe side) and go find the book.
  11. If you did not enter a dropbox location above, find the exported book and copy it (or cut it). Open your dropbox, select where you want the book to go, and paste it. If you saved it to your dropbox directly, just ensure it is there. Once the book is in your dropbox, you are done with the computer.
  12. Now open dropbox on your iTouch and navigate to where you stored the book. I was advised at this point to go back a level and re-open the location, due to a bug that will sometimes cause problems at this point. Double tap the book. After it loads, which may take twenty to thirty seconds, you will see a page saying that the file is unknown; this is fine. In the lower right of the screen is an "export" button (if this button is dimmed, the book has not yet loaded - be patient, and it will load in a few seconds). Double tap it, then double tap the "iBooks" button that appears. This tells the dropbox app to export the book to iBooks. iBooks will open as it imports the book. If all went well, the book will load (a slow process) and then the book will be displayed, ready to be read.


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Submitted by allseed on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

you can use instead of stanza which eliminates the need for conversion on the pc.

Isn't EPUB2GO PDF to EPUB only? I don't have access to Bookshare, but I think Word can open XML files directly. I use Word to create PDF files that I save to DropBox and then read with ibooks. The only real difference when reading a PDF with ibooks is the lack of line-by-line reading and the fact that VO announces the page number each time it changes.

Submitted by kevinchao89 on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Process is very similar, but specific keys for performing actions will differ on OS X with VoiceOver. This will work with any text-based document, including HTML, DOCX, PDF, etc. Lastly, this will work on any iOS device, including iPhone and iPad.

Submitted by Devin Prater on Monday, July 30, 2012

Club AppleVis Member
OK, I found a version of stanza, not sure if its the latest, but here's a dropbox link.