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Block of the Month: Chiseled Bookshelf

Don’t be shelfish!

Keeping things in chests is nice, but it’s tough to know what’s in the chest before you open it. An item frame is another storage solution, but each frame holds just one item at a time. So when our developers were working on the Trails and Tales update, we tasked them to find a happy medium. The result? Our block of the month – the chiseled bookshelf! 

Chiseled bookshelves are custom-designed for the bibliophiles among our player base: Minecrafters who love books. They’re capable of storing books of all kinds – enchanted books, written books, books and quills, and plain ol’ normal books too. Got books? Get a bookcase – that’s my new motto!

To make one, you’re going to want six sturdy planks for the sides and back of the shelf, and then three slabs that make up the middle bit. Pop them in a crafting grid – planks at the top and bottom, and slabs in the middle, and you’ll get yourself a chiseled bookshelf.

Pop it down in the world somewhere, and then fetch your book collection. Hold one in your hand, and hit the use button on the shelf, and the book will be placed into the slot. Hit use again with an empty hand and you’ll take the book out. A shelf holds up to six books at once, and you can use a redstone comparator to indicate the last slot interacted with. 

As you might expect, bookshelves can be automated with hoppers, droppers, and hopper minecarts – putting books into the first empty slot, and pulling them out of the first slot that has an item that fits into the hopper. Once you’ve had enough of your chiseled bookshelf, you can burn it in a furnace to smelt 1.5 items.

Be aware – chiseled bookshelves don’t currently increase the power of enchanting tables like regular bookshelves do. That’s because taking books out and reading them reduces their potency. If you own books, I highly recommend reading them once in a while to be sure they don’t explode.

Bookshelves are a thing in the real world too, of course – and you’ve probably got some in your house, maybe even in the room you’re in right now. 

But they’re a relatively recent acquisition for the majority of humankind – before the printing press was invented about five hundred years ago, every book was written out by hand, and so owning enough of them to need a bookshelf was a sign of great wealth. 

Luckily, that’s no longer true. So fill your home with bookshelves, both in Minecraft and outside of it!

Duncan Geere
Duncan Geere

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