How to Get Ebooks to Read Aloud on iPhone or iPad: A Step-by-Step Guide

Getting ebooks to read aloud on your iPhone or iPad is a breeze with Apple’s built-in accessibility feature, VoiceOver. This tool can turn any text content into spoken words, allowing you to listen to your ebooks just like audiobooks. It’s perfect for multitasking, for those who have visual impairments, or simply for anyone who prefers listening over reading.

After enabling VoiceOver, your device will read aloud the text of the ebook you’ve chosen. You can control the reading speed, pause, and navigate through the book using simple gestures.


Imagine being able to listen to your favorite ebooks while you’re on the go, cooking, or even working out. With the rise of audiobooks, many have discovered the joy and convenience of consuming literature audibly. However, not all books are available in audiobook format, and that’s where your iPhone or iPad comes in handy. Thanks to VoiceOver, Apple’s screen reading feature, your device can read any ebook out loud, transforming it into an impromptu audiobook.

But why is this feature so important? For starters, it’s a game-changer for those with visual impairments or reading disabilities. It also caters to those who learn better audibly. And let’s not forget the multitaskers who want to soak in a novel while their hands are busy elsewhere. This guide will walk you through the steps to set up and use the VoiceOver feature so that you can listen to ebooks anytime, anywhere.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Get Ebooks to Read Aloud

Before diving into the steps, let’s clarify what we’re aiming to achieve. Following these instructions will enable VoiceOver on your iOS device, allowing you to have ebooks read out loud to you.

Step 1: Open the ‘Settings’ app on your iPhone or iPad.

This is where you’ll find all the options for customizing and controlling your device.

Once you’re in ‘Settings’, you’ll need to navigate to the ‘Accessibility’ section. This is where Apple houses all the features designed to make the iPhone and iPad easier to use for everyone.

Step 2: Tap on ‘Accessibility’.

This section is dedicated to features that help with vision, physical and motor, hearing, and general accessibility.

In ‘Accessibility’, you’ll find a variety of options, but the one we’re focusing on today is VoiceOver. It’s usually the first option under the ‘Vision’ heading.

Step 3: Toggle on ‘VoiceOver’.

Activating this feature will make your device speak items on the screen.

When VoiceOver is on, your device will give you a brief tutorial on how to use it. Pay attention, as the gestures you normally use will change when VoiceOver is active.

Step 4: Open the ebook you want to read aloud.

You can do this in any app that supports ebooks, like Apple Books, Kindle, or even a PDF reader.

Once the ebook is open, you can use a two-finger swipe down from the top of the screen to start reading from the top. If you want to start from a specific section, just tap it once to select and then double-tap to start reading.

Step 5: Use the VoiceOver commands to control playback.

This includes pausing, changing the speaking rate, and navigating the ebook.

You can pause the reading by tapping with two fingers. To adjust the speaking rate, twist two fingers on the screen as if you’re turning a dial. Swiping with three fingers will scroll the page.


AccessibilityVoiceOver is a powerful tool for those who are visually impaired or have reading disabilities, making ebooks more accessible.
MultitaskingWith ebooks being read aloud, you can listen to your book while doing other tasks, similar to listening to an audiobook.
CustomizationVoiceOver offers various customization options, like adjusting the speaking rate, so you can listen at a pace that’s comfortable for you.


Learning CurveVoiceOver changes the way you interact with your device, and it may take some time to get used to the new gestures.
Battery UsageUsing VoiceOver, especially for extended periods, can consume more battery life than usual.
Limited ControlWhile you can pause and control the speed, you might not have as much control as a dedicated audiobook app.

Additional Information

Now, you know how to get your ebooks to read aloud on your iPhone or iPad, but there’s a bit more to consider. It’s worth mentioning that while VoiceOver is a fantastic tool, it might not work perfectly with every ebook format or app. You may encounter issues with complex layouts or books that have a lot of images. Also, remember that the voice used for reading is synthetic, and while it’s pretty good, it may not be as engaging as a professional audiobook narrator.

Another tip is to use headphones when listening to your ebook, especially in public places or when you don’t want to disturb others. If you’re not a fan of the default voice, you can change it in the VoiceOver settings to something that suits your taste better.

Lastly, while VoiceOver is designed to be used by visually impaired users, anyone can use it. So, even if you don’t need it for accessibility purposes, it’s still a useful feature to explore.


  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app.
  2. Tap on ‘Accessibility’.
  3. Toggle on ‘VoiceOver’.
  4. Open the ebook you want to read aloud.
  5. Use VoiceOver commands to control playback.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can VoiceOver read any ebook format?

VoiceOver works best with text-based content, so most ebook formats like ePub or PDF should work fine. However, it may struggle with more complex layouts or image-heavy content.

Is VoiceOver available on all iOS devices?

Yes, it’s a standard feature on all iPhones and iPads.

Can I change the voice used by VoiceOver?

Absolutely, you can choose from a variety of voices in different languages within the VoiceOver settings.

Does VoiceOver work with third-party reading apps?

Yes, it works with most apps, but the experience may vary depending on how the app is designed.

Is there a way to slow down or speed up the reading?

Yes, you can adjust the speaking rate in the VoiceOver settings or by using the rotate gesture while VoiceOver is active.


Getting ebooks to read aloud on your iPhone or iPad doesn’t have to be complicated. With VoiceOver, you have a built-in tool that can turn any ebook into an audiobook for your listening pleasure.

Remember, whether you’re visually impaired, a multitasker, or simply someone who enjoys listening more than reading, VoiceOver is a feature designed for your convenience. Give it a try, experiment with the settings, and you might just discover a new favorite way to enjoy books.