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When playing survival, bookshelves are rather costly as they cost 1.5 wood logs, 9 reeds, and 3 leather each. I would like to use the absolute minimum number of bookshelves to enchant level 30 items. How many bookshelves are necessary in order to accomplish this?

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I've always found it easier to raid villages for books than to make then from scratch, a single library has seven bookshelves in it – Steven Cunningham May 2 '13 at 3:35
Also remember that all of your bookshelves have to be within 5x5x2 area centered on the enchanting table, and in line-of-sight of the enchanting table. That means even placing a torch on the side of a bookshelf - or placing a bookshelf in the corner - will keep it from counting. You can use this fact to your advantage for temporary lower-level enchantments without having to take down any bookshelves. – mellamokb May 2 '13 at 14:27
@mellamokb Bookshelves in corners count just fine, as long as you have an air block diagonally between a table and a bookshelf. – Orc JMR May 2 '13 at 15:32
up vote 17 down vote accepted

You need the maximum number of useful bookshelves (15) in order to get level 30 enchantments. The Minecraft Wiki article on Enchantment mechanics has the following table noting the max level available given a number of bookshelves:

Bookshelves  0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14  15
Min Level    1   1   1   1   1   1   1   1   1   1   2   2   2   2   2   2
Max Level    8   9  11  12  14  15  17  18  20  21  23  24  26  27  28  30

As you can see, you can't compromise on the number of bookshelves without reducing your max enchantment. It's going to take 22.5 logs, 135 sugar cane, and 45 leather. Time to start farming!

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protected by Frank Mar 24 '15 at 15:58

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