Shelves are an often underused type of block in most Minecraft survival games. Often discouraged by the high cost of leather needed to craft all the books, most players don’t bother to do more than they need to power a single enchanting table, let alone stock an entire library. To encourage creativity and literacy, this guide will contain design tips for building an aesthetically pleasing bookcase.
Enchanting bookcase table
The most common use for books in a Minecraft survival game is to set up an enchanting table. Its neighboring library, while appearing very rudimentary, contributes greatly to its enchanting power. In order to reach the highest level of enchantments possible at level 30, you must surround the table with at least 15 blocks of shelves, leaving at least one block of empty space between the shelves and the table.
Related: How to Make an Enchanted Table in Minecraft
Placing any type of block between a shelf and the table, even something as small as a torch, will disconnect it from the table, reducing the power of potential enchantments. Light sources suspended from the ceiling, such as lanterns, can illuminate the table without sacrificing its power. Although not visually interesting, using an enchanting table as the centerpiece of the bookcase is a must for utility.
library bookcase walls
Because shelf blocks share the same rigid 16 cubic pixel block shape as most other types of blocks in Minecraft, stacking up a series of standard shelves can seem rather rigid and straightforward. If you place blocks with more jagged or uneven shapes around a wall of bookshelves, you can add depth to the otherwise flat bookcase feature.
For example, oak stairs can be placed along the inside corners of library walls, their sharp angles drawing your eyes to the books on display. In fact, oak planked units of any type work particularly well when framing shelving walls, as the actual shelves in the shelving block are oak in both texture and material.
Library interior bookcases
The interior rows of bookcase shelves are bound to be as flat as their square patterns suggest. To give these structures more life, try breaking up a few bookshelf blocks here and there, instead texturing these spaces with library-themed decorations and other knick-knacks.
Ideal for this purpose are candles, which when lit with flint and steel can apply mood lighting to an otherwise dark bookcase. Acquired skulls can fill this space to give the room a more gothic feel, while potted plants and cobwebs can make a bookcase look active and lived in.
What good are books without a quiet place to read them? At the center of this bookcase build is a type of study area with table space, candles, and an overhanging chain-and-lantern chandelier.
A table – or table-like structure – can be built by placing pistons facing upwards on blocks of redstone. In this configuration, the pistons will extend upward, forming a makeshift table.
Library cats and other decorations
Depending on the height of your shelves, one or two handy ladders can be useful for climbing to the top of your bookcase. With a way to get above your shelves, you can use that extra space to add extra decorations. For example, lanterns or other light sources can brighten up the library without distracting from the books themselves.
Cats are another fan of high places and cozy libraries. Leading a cat to the top of a bookshelf and giving it a bed of carpet to rest can add atmospheric meows and a bit of cuteness to the otherwise solitary library.