The best designs, ideas and concepts from the Minecraft library

Bookshelves are a type of block that is often underused in most Minecraft survival games. Often put off by the high cost of leather required to craft all of the books, most players don’t bother making more than they need to run a simple enchanting table, let alone fill an entire library. To encourage both creativity and literacy, this guide provides design tips for building an aesthetically pleasing library.

Enchanting table library

Gamepur screenshot

The most common use for books in a Minecraft survival playthrough is to set up an adorable table. The nearby library, while very rudimentary in appearance, adds greatly to its enchanting power. In order to reach the highest possible level of enchantment, level 30, you need to surround the table with at least 15 blocks of bookshelves and leave at least one empty block between the bookshelves and the table.

Related: How to create an enchanting table in Minecraft?

Placing any type of block between a bookshelf and the table, even something as small as a torch, will separate it from the table and reduce the power of potential enchantments. Hanging light sources such as lanterns can illuminate the table without affecting its performance. While not visually interesting, using an enchanting table as a library centerpiece is a must for the sake of utility.

Library bookshelf walls

Gamepur screenshot

Because bookshelf blocks have the same rigid 16-cubic-pixel block shape as most other block types in Minecraft, stacking a set of standard bookshelves can look pretty stiff and plain. Placing blocks of more jagged or irregular shapes around a wall of bookshelves can add depth to an otherwise flat-looking library function.

For example, oak stairs can be placed along the inner corners of bookcase walls, their sharp angles drawing your eyes to the books on display. In fact, oak planks of all kinds work particularly well when framing bookcase walls, as the actual shelves of the bookcase block are made of oak in both texture and material.

Bookshelves of the inner library

Gamepur screenshot

The inner rows of shelves within the library will certainly look as flat as their square models suggest. To breathe more life into these structures, try breaking up a few bookshelf blocks here and there, and instead structure those gaps with library decorations and other knick-knacks.

Candles are ideal for this purpose and, when lit with flint and steel, can provide atmospheric lighting in an otherwise dimly lit library. Acquired skulls can fill this space to give the room a more gothic look, while potted plants and cobwebs make a library look active and inhabited.

library studies

Gamepur screenshot

What good are books without a quiet place to read? At the center of this library building is a sort of study area with a table top, candles and an overhanging chain and lantern chandelier.

A table – or a structure resembling a table – can be built by placing upward-pointing pistons on top of redstone blocks. In this setup, the pistons protrude upwards, forming a makeshift tabletop. The best designs, ideas and concepts from the Minecraft library

Curtis Crabtree

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