On the left is the player looking at a single bookshelf next to their white bed and the right is an enchanting table surrounded by many bookshelves.

How to Make a Bookshelf in Minecraft

Written by:
Avatar photo
Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

Reviewed by:
Avatar photo
Marshall is a seasoned writer and gaming enthusiast based in Tokyo. He's a prolific wordsmith with hundreds of articles featured on top-tier sites like Business Insider, How-To Geek, PCWorld, and Zapier. His writing has reached a massive audience with over 70 million readers!

You will want to make many Bookshelves if you plan to do any enchanting in Minecraft. Surrounding your Enchanting Table with Bookshelves will make your various enchantments stronger. Here’s how to make and find them.

Table Of Contents

    What You Need to Craft a Bookshelf

    Using 3 books and 6 wood planks to make a bookshelf on a crafting table.

    To craft a Bookshelf, you will need Books and any kind of Wood Planks. On a Crafting Table, you will need to make a sandwich. Place one layer of 3 Wood Planks on the bottom row, fill the middle row with Books, and then add another layer of Wood Planks on top. After this, you can pull a Bookshelf off of your Crafting Table.

    How to Get Books

    Books are made from Paper and Leather. For each Book, you’ll need 3 pieces of Paper and 1 piece of Leather. Paper is made from Sugar Cane, which you can find growing on sand or dirt next to the water of rivers and lakes. Leather is acquired from cows, so it can be obtained while you’re gathering meat to create food.

    How to Get Wood Planks

    These basic kinds of resources are easy to come by if you have some Wood Logs. Place a stack of Wood Logs by themself in any crafting grid to turn them into Wood Planks. For every 1 Wood Log, you can make 4 Wood Planks.

    Other Ways to Get a Bookshelf

    The player looking at a bookshelf under a torch and to the left of a white bed.

    Bookshelves can spawn naturally in a few different kinds of locations, and the most common place to find a few lying around is within a Village. By peeking into Villager houses here and there, it’s possible to find Bookshelves that you can loot.

    About Breaking Bookshelves

    Keep in mind that when you break a Bookshelf, it doesn’t drop itself unless you’ve broken it with a tool that has the Silk Touch enchantment. When a Bookshelf is broken in most situations, it will only drop 3 Books, meaning that it won’t drop the Wood Planks used to make. The fastest way to break a Bookshelf is with an Axe, as they are mostly made of wood.

    Finding Bookshelves In Spawned Structures

    You can also find Bookshelves in Woodland Mansions, however, the largest volumes of this item can only be found in Strongholds. Strongholds have a chance to spawn entire libraries within themselves, which can hold hundreds of Bookshelves! When you find one of these dungeons, be sure to explore all of its rooms in case it has a library or two.

    Trading With Villagers for Bookshelves

    Villagers with the Librarian job might have a trade option for Bookshelves. Novice Librarians will sometimes have the trade option to exchange a Bookshelf with you if you pay them 9 Emeralds.

    What Bookshelves Are Used For

    A black and cyan table with a floating book on top of it that is open and surrounded on all sides by bookshelves.

    The most important use for Bookshelves is to increase the power of your enchantments. By placing Bookshelves around an Enchanting Table, you can access higher-level enchantments. The greater the number of nearby Bookshelves, the higher the maximum level of enchantments. The highest level of enchantment is 30, which can be reached with 15 Bookshelves.

    Arranging Bookshelves Properly to Get Maximum Enchanting Power

    You’ll need to place Bookshelves in specific places for your Enchanting Table to draw power from them. The Enchanting Table is affected by Bookshelves up to 1 block away, however, it won’t interact with Bookshelves directly touching them.

    At the same height as the Enchanting Table, surround it on all sides with 11 Bookshelves–only leaving enough room for you to access it. Then, place another layer of Bookshelves on top of these 11 until you have 15 or more. The Enchanting Table will draw strength from Bookshelves 1 block above them in elevation, but no further than that.

    Placing certain kinds of blocks between an Enchanting Table and a Bookshelf will prevent them from interacting with each other. You can tell whether or not they’re interacting by the appearance of the floating glyphs. If you can see the glyphs, things are working; if you don’t, then things aren’t working.

    Using a Bookshelf to Make a Lectern

    To make a Lectern, you’ll need 4 Wood Slabs of any kind as well as 1 Bookshelf. Place the Bookshelf on the middle of the Crafting Table and then place 3 out of the 4 Wood Slabs in the top row. After that, put the final Wood Slab into the bottom-middle slot to create your Lectern.

    Lecterns are both job site blocks that turn regular Villagers into Librarians when they interact with it, as well as are items that can let multiple players read the same piece of writing. Placing a Book and Quill or a Written Book on a Lectern will allow anyone nearby to read its contents–even if someone else is already reading it.