Minecraft Bookshelf

Bookshelves currently have only one practical use — to increase the potency of enchantments available at nearby enchantment tables. They also have a unique texture that also has some decorative value when placed as a block. They can also be used as an extremely inefficient fuel. They are naturally generated in libraries found in NPC villages and strongholds. Bookshelves can only be harvested as a block by using a tool with the silk touch enchantment. Using hands, any active item or any tool will destroy the block, which will drop 3 books.


Type: Solid Block
Requirements: None
Physics: No
Transparency: No
Luminance: No
Blast Resistance: 7.5
Tool: Axe
Renewable: Yes
Stackable: Yes (64)
Data Value- Dec: 47, Hex: 2F

Minecraft Bookshelf

Crafting a Bookshelf

To craft a bookshelf, combine 6 wooden planks and 3 books to create a bookshelf.

Name Ingredients Input >> Output
Bookshelf 6 Wooden Planks and 3 Books Crafting Bookshelf from Wood and Books

Used as decoration or to increase the power of an Enchantment Table.


Since they are mostly made of wood, bookshelves are vulnerable both fire and lava. They are also relatively weak blocks, so they are easily destroyed in explosions. Making bookshelves is actually quite resource intensive despite the simple recipes required to make them. It can take hundreds or thousands of sugar cane to make enough paper to create bookshelves to make a library room.

Stronghold Bookshelves

Bookshelves in a stronghold


The power of enchantments available at an enchantment table is directly dependent on the number of bookshelves around it. The bookshelves must be exactly 2 spaces in any direction from the enchantment table. Only bookshelves that are on the same layer as the table or the layer directly above will count. The most powerful enchantments require 15 bookshelves.


Even though bookshelves are one of the oldest blocks in the game, it was not given a practical purpose until shortly before Minecraft’s official 1.0 release. The availability and properties of bookshelves were changed many times throughout later releases, including Indev and Alpha. Snapshots of future versions suggest that players will only need 15 bookshelves to reach maximum enchanting potential instead of the current 30.

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