How to make a bookshelf in minecraft?

The heart of Minecraft as the name suggests is crafting. The game has no shortage of things to craft, from weapons to various materials to build with and even decorations to spruce up your latest creation.

Perhaps you want to build a sophisticated library in your town.  Or, maybe you just want to add a bit of flair to your living room in the house you’ve created.

Either way, you’re going to need some bookshelves. Apart from being decorative items in the Minecraft universe, bookshelves serve many purposes.

From enhancing the enchantment process on items to dropping loot as well as providing town’s people interaction, bookshelves are a nice added touch to the game’s storyline.

In this guide, we’ll run through the materials you need to create a bookshelf, as well as where to locate them.

The Materials Required

How to make a bookshelf in minecraft?

The recipe for a bookshelf is as simple as you’d expect. You simply need books and wood. More specifically, you’ll need:

  • Three books
  • Six wood planks (you can use acacia, birch, dark, jungle, oak, or spruce planks)

As you have six wood planks, you can make a bookshelf — they don’t all have to be the same type of wood. For example, you can have two acacia planks and four oak planks. As long as you have six planks in total, it’ll allow you to craft a bookshelf.

Acquire a crafting table

If you already have a crafting table then this isn’t a big deal. If not, you must create one. To create a crafting table, take wood planks from your inventory, and create one using your character tabs.

Acquire books and wood planks

You’ll most likely have a stockpile of logs in your inventory from exploring and chopping trees. To get planks, you’ll need at least one log version of that type of wood.

For example, one jungle log equals four jungle wood planks. Since you need six planks to make a bookshelf, you’ll need at least two pieces of wood.

As for the books, these can be found in libraries within Strongholds. Alternatively, you can make a book with three papers and one leather.

To make three papers, you’ll need three sugar canes; one leather is made from four rabbit hides. These will need to be made at a crafting station.

For PC & Console versions: Put one piece of leather and three pieces of paper in your crafting area to make a 2×2 square. The exact placement does not matter.

For the Minecraft Pocket Edition: Place three pieces of paper in a vertical column. You do not need leather.

Note that it’s much easier to find a book than to make one. You can also read our detailed step by step guide on how to make books for an easier experience.

With 3 books and 6 wood planks in your inventory, open the crafting menu. You will be presented with the 3×3 crafting grid.

Place items into the crafting table

Take the books and wood planks and place them into the empty slots in the crafting table. It is important to place the books and planks into the crafting table exactly like shown below or it won’t work.

The crafting recipe for a bookshelf is 3 books and 6 wood planks arranged in the following pattern:
Row 1: wood plank, wood plank, wood plank
Row 2: book, book, book
Row 3: wood plank, wood plank, wood plank

Place the completed bookshelf in your player inventory

Take the bookshelf from the crafting table. Scroll over the newly created bookshelf from the far right slot and drag it into your inventory bar.

Finding Bookshelves

If you’re having trouble locating the materials one by one, there’s an alternate way. This is the natural bookshelves generation. Bookshelves generate in village libraries and some village houses.

Strongholds may contain up to two libraries, each of which may be single-level or have an upper balcony. These feature some bookshelves arranged in pillars, and more bookshelves arranged in pillars in the walls. Single-level libraries contain 161 bookshelves, while libraries with balconies contain 233.

Yes, this is a bit of stealing, but hopefully, they won’t miss them! You can also find them in the large Woodland Mansions that spawn randomly on the map.

If you head into a Stronghold, which is where you find the End Portal, you can find some rooms that have a ton of bookshelves in them.

Mining Tools

Below is a table of the tools that can be used to break Bookshelf blocks, and the speed it will take to break at (in seconds). This is calculated with the formula: (1.5 * Block Hardness) / Tool Multiplier.

Tool Speed
Golden Axe 0.19 seconds
Diamond Axe 0.28 seconds
Iron Axe 0.38 seconds
Stone Axe 0.56 seconds
Wooden Axe 1.12 seconds
Netherite Axe 2.25 seconds


Novice-level librarian villagers have a 50% chance to sell a bookshelf for 9 emeralds as part of their trades (Bedrock Edition only).

Novice-level librarian villagers have a 2⁄3 chance to sell 1 bookshelf for 9 emeralds (Java Edition only).

Give command for Bookshelf

In Minecraft Java Edition (PC/Mac) 1.13, 1.14, 1.15, 1.16 and 1.16.4, the /give command for Bookshelf is:

/give @p bookshelf 1

In Minecraft Java Edition (PC/Mac) 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11 and 1.12, the /give command for Bookshelf is:

/give @p bookshelf 1 0

Using a Bookshelf

  1. Make an enchantment table

Besides decorating your home, bookshelves are mostly used to improve enchanting tables. Get started by building the table with the following crafting recipe:

In the lowest row: three obsidian blocks.

In the middle row: diamond, obsidian block, diamond

In the top row: (nothing), book, (nothing)

  1. Set up bookshelves nearby

Each bookshelf near the enchantment table unlocks more powerful enchantments. You must place them as follows for them to count as “nearby:”

Exactly two squares away from the table.

Either on the same level as the table or one higher.

The space between the table and the shelf must be empty. Even a carpet, torch, or snowfall will block the effect.

  1. Set up fifteen bookshelves for the best enchantments.

The highest-level enchantments become available once fifteen bookshelves are set up as described. There are a couple of easy ways to do this:

Surround the table with a large square of bookshelves, leaving a gap in between. Leave one gap in the square to walk through.

Or make a 4×5 L shape out of eight bookshelves. Place the second stack of eight bookshelves over the L. (This is one more than you need, so you can skip one from the second level)

  1. Place torches to adjust the enchantment level

Some enchantments are only available at lower levels. You might also need to save XP by making low-level enchantments.

In order to accomplish this, place torches or another easily removed object between the table and some of the bookshelves. Each bookshelf you block will reduce the level of enchantments your table offers.

Librarian Achievement

Build some bookshelves to improve your enchantment table. If you already have an enchantment table set up and full of library bookshelves, simply building 1 bookshelf will unlock this. A lectern is a librarian’s job site block found in villages. It is used to hold books for multiple players to read in multiplayer.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many bookshelves does the recipe make?

This recipe makes a single block. Upon destroying the bookcase, once it’s placed down, it will drop three books.

  1. How many bookshelves do you need for Level 30?

In order to receive higher-level enchantments in the enchanting menu, you must place bookshelves around the table.

The highest-level enchantment is level 30 (introduced in Minecraft 1.3), is only possible with 15 bookshelves placed two blocks away from the table in a 1 high, 5 by 5 square, with an opening for a door.

  1. How much sugarcane do you need for 15 bookshelves?

To get a level 30 enchant you need 15 bookcases, 45 books, or 135 sugar cane.