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Since books can now be enchanted in Minecraft 1.4.6, I haven't been able to find much information on how their enchantments work. I know you can enchant a book and then later apply that enchantment to another item using an Anvil, but I'm still unclear as to the actual enchantments that books can receive.

  • Can they receive all the enchantments that are possible on other items?
  • Can they receive more than one enchantment like some other items?
  • Since enchantments have different chances of occurring for different tools, materials, and at different levels, how are those probabilities different for books?
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Though you didn't ask about the step where book enchantments are applied to tools, you might be interested to know that this step is where much of the limits of books is located. According to the wiki, book enchantments can only be applied to specific tools (in Survival). For example, Bane of Arthropods or Sharpness from a book can only be applied to axes, not swords. – SevenSidedDie Dec 23 '12 at 17:44
Then the Wiki is wrong. I just enchanted an iron sword with sharpness III from a book using an Anvil. – John Dec 24 '12 at 4:10
@John In Survival? Good to know! There's a reason I didn't make that into part of an answer. – SevenSidedDie Dec 24 '12 at 6:01
@SevenSidedDie: in survival – John Dec 25 '12 at 20:16

What is an enchanted book?

According to the Minecraft Wiki, an enchanted book is an item which allows players to add enchantments to weapons, tools, or armor by combining the enchantment book with one of said items on an anvil.

Can they receive any enchantment?

Testing in creative and survival mode shows that books can receive any enchantment that a normal weapon/armor/tool/other can receive. An easy way to check is to go into creative mode and use the new search function to search for the term book. This will show you what all the enchanted books are.

Can they receive more than one enchantment?

According to the wiki, books may only have one enchantment. This can be tested by giving yourself a bunch of books and enchanting them, then throwing them into lava or whatever you wish to do with them.

Since enchantments have different chances of occurring for different tools, materials, and at different levels, how are those probabilities different for books?

This would be different for books since books are not diamond swords. However, this would have that many variables because unlike a sword, books can only be made from paper. Swords can be made from diamonds, iron, and other materials. You would have to test this to truly know, but if John tells us how many levels he invested into his enchanted books, we might be able to know. Right now, though, it appears that the enchantment gives you the highest level (ex. Protection IV, Sharpness IV, etc.)

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Why was this downvoted? – Jeffrey Lin Apr 27 '13 at 19:12
Some of this info is either outdated or incorrect. For instance, books can have multiple enchantments; even unrelated ones (I.e. protection and sharpness.) Since the official wiki is updated far sooner and more often, I'd highly recommend relying on that instead. – b1nary.atr0phy Jun 18 at 2:00

A lot more information has become available since the question was asked. I think the most detailed answer is available on the wiki as an excel datasheet on the enchantment mechanics page. A nicer summary is available on the Book page at, although their level 30 odds seem to sum to higher than 100%! Another resource that's useful when looking for a specific enchantment, is the enchantment calculator.

A quick summary is that books enchanted at level 1 can get one of 5 enchantments:

  • Power I (~25%)
  • Sharpness I (~24%)
  • Protection I (~24%)
  • Efficiency I (~22%)
  • Aqua Affinity I (~5%)

While books at level 30 can get any one of 22 enchantments* and each also at a variety of different levels (always at least the highest two levels). The odds of any type of enchantment (at any level) is never higher than 10% and never lower than 1.5%. The most common four are still the same as at level 1, although they only appear between 5% to 10% of the time. Rarest of all are Infinity, Silk Touch and Thorns.

*The 22 enchantments are: Aqua Affinity, Bane of Arthropods, Blast Protection, Efficiency, Feather Falling, Fire Aspect, Fire Protection, Flame, Fortune, Infinity, Knockback, Looting, Power, Projectile Protection, Protection, Punch, Respiration, Sharpness, Silk Touch, Smite, Thorns and Unbreaking.

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@JeffreyLin I don't think so? Askers are allowed to answer their own question, which this seems to do. – SevenSidedDie Jan 17 '13 at 4:35

Actually you cannot get two enchantments on one book but to get sharpness and protection which are the most useful in combat just enchant a lot of books with level one then combine them in an anvil to get a better level.

Note:you must use the same kind of book to level it up ex: 1 + 1 = 2 ex: 1 + 2 = nothing ex: 2 + 2 + 3 And on and on

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Based on enchanting 11 books in vanilla Minecraft all at level 30 in survival mode

  1. Books appear to be able to receive all enchantments that can be used on other items.
  2. Books only ever receive a single enchantment.
  3. Don't know the answer to this, but here are the 11 enchantments I got:

    • Protection III
    • Sharpness III x 2
    • Unbreaking III x 3
    • Fire Protection III
    • Blast Protection IV
    • Efficiency III
    • Punch I
    • Power IV
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Actually, I have received two enchantments on a single book, though it appears to be extremely rare. However, they may be any enchantments, and may no be similar in any way.

MINE: Level enchanted-17, Enchantment 1-Fire Protection II, Enchantment 2-Power II,

No useful at all, as a bow is worthless with protection and armor useless with power. basically a piece of worthless junk, but never the less, two enchantments in one book.

BTW - two books can be combined in an anvil and get more than one enchantment that way, and obviously with the /enchant command.

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