A bookshelf in Minecraft is created by placing three wood planks each in the top and bottom rows of crafting table slots, and then three books in the middle row. All nine slots of a crafting table are filled. The type of wood does not matter, although different varieties of wood create different patterns on the top of each bookshelf.
Bookshelves placed near an enchanting table make stronger enchantments for tools, weapons and armor. When 15 bookshelves are placed around an enchanting table, the maximum amount of enchanting power goes into the tools. Glyphs fly around an enchanting table when bookshelves are nearby. Other blocks cannot interfere with the bookshelves near an enchanting table, and all 15 bookshelves must be placed within a five by five block of the enchanting table.
Players can find bookshelves in villages that have a library and in strongholds that contain an abandoned library. A stronghold's library usually contains more than 200 bookshelves. Bookshelves serve as decorations in these cases. These items last for 15 seconds as fuel for smelting.
Books are made from three parts paper and one piece of leather. Paper comes from harvesting sugar cane, and leather comes from killing cows. Wood planks for the shelves are crafted from blocks of wood harvested by chopping down trees.