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A written book is an item created after a book and quill is signed.


Signing a book and quill[]

Written books can be obtained by signing a book and quill. After it has been signed, it cannot be edited again. The label does not say "Written Book", but whatever the player titles it. The title appears on the top line of the label, and "by <player>" (the player's username) on the bottom. In Bedrock Edition, this is customizable without commands.


Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Book and Quill +
Written Book
Written Book
Written BookWritten Book2Written Book3Written Book4Written Book5Written Book6Written Book7Written Book8
The input written book is not consumed.
The new copies are "Copy of Original" or "Copy of Copy", depending on whether the input written book is "Original" or "Copy of Original".
Copies of copies cannot be copied.
Copied books of the same generation ("Original", "Copy of Original", "Copy of Copy", or "Tattered") stack.


Written books can be opened by right-clicking (or holding down on the screen in Bedrock Edition), and display a GUI allowing the player to read it or turn the page.

The contents of a book are an extra set of data attached to the item. This means that when a book is destroyed, its contents are lost with it.


One can place a written book on an empty lectern.

The lectern then emits a redstone signal depending on the displayed page in the book. On the last page, the lectern emits a signal strength of 15.

Chiseled bookshelf[]

Using the chiseled bookshelf while having a written book in the main hand will put the book inside the chiseled bookshelf.


Java Edition:

SoundSubtitlesSourceDescriptionResource locationTranslation keyVolumePitchAttenuation
Page rustlesMaster VolumeWhen the page of a book is turneditem.book.page_turnsubtitles.item.book.page_turn2.01.016
Page rustlesBlocksWhen the page of a book is turned on a lecternitem.book.page_turnsubtitles.item.book.page_turn2.00.9-1.016
Book thumpsBlocksWhen a book is placed on a lecternitem.book.putsubtitles.item.book.put1.01.016
Book placedBlocksWhen a written book is placed in a chiseled bookshelfblock.chiseled_bookshelf.insertsubtitles.chiseled_bookshelf.insert0.8varies [sound 1]16
Book takenBlocksWhen a written book is removed from a chiseled bookshelfblock.chiseled_bookshelf.pickupsubtitles.chiseled_bookshelf.take0.8varies [sound 2]16
  1. Can be 1.0, 0.85, or 1.1 for each sound
  2. Can be 1.0, 0.8, or 1.1 for each sound

Bedrock Edition:

SoundSourceDescriptionResource locationVolumePitch
SoundWhen the page of a book is turneditem.book.page_turn2.01.0
BlocksWhen a book is placed on a lecternitem.book.put4.81.0
BlocksWhen a written book is placed in a chiseled bookshelfinsert.chiseled_bookshelf0.8varies [sound 1]
BlocksWhen a written book is removed from a chiseled bookshelfpickup.chiseled_bookshelf0.8varies [sound 2]
  1. Can be 1.0, 0.85, or 1.1 for each sound
  2. Can be 1.0, 0.8, or 1.1 for each sound

Data values[]


Java Edition:

NameIdentifierFormItem tagsTranslation key
Written Bookwritten_bookItembookshelf_books

Bedrock Edition:

NameIdentifierNumeric ID FormItem tags (JE)Translation key
Written Bookwritten_book511Itemminecraft:bookshelf_books

Item data[]

Java Edition:

Main article: Player.dat format
  •  tag: The item's tag tag.
    •  filtered_pages: [needs testing]
    •  filtered_title: [needs testing]
    •  resolved: Optional. Created and set to 1 when the book (or a book from the stack) is opened for the first time after being created. Used to determine whether to resolve advanced components within JSON, because their values become fixed at that point.
    •  generation: Optional. The copy tier of the book. 0 = original, 1 = copy of original, 2 = copy of copy, 3 = tattered. If the value is greater than 1, the book cannot be copied. Does not exist for original books. If this tag is missing, it is assumed the book is an original. 'Tattered' is unused in normal gameplay, and functions identically to the 'copy of copy' tier.
    •  author: The author of the written book.
    •  title: The title of the written book. Lower priority than the item name set by tag.display.Name. Can not be used to open locked containers.
    •  pages: The list of pages in the book.
      • : A single page in the book. Each page is a serialized JSON text.

Bedrock Edition:

See Bedrock Edition level format/Item format.


Java Edition
1.3.112w17aWritten Book JE1 BE1 Added written books.
12w21aWritten books can now be sold to librarian villagers, at 1 written book for 1 emerald.
1.7.213w36aWritten books can now be cloned the same way maps can, but by using books and quills instead of Empty Maps. Multiple copies of the same written book can be cloned by putting more book and quills in the crafting grid.
Written books can now be stacked (up to 16 per stack).
1.814w02aTrading has been changed: librarian villagers now buy 2 written books for 1 emerald.
14w05aCopying written books now mark them as "Copy of Original" or "Copy of Copy". The copying status of a book is denoted in a separate line in the tooltip, beneath the author's name. Copies of copies cannot be copied.
1.915w33cA written book titled "Work in Progress" now generates within a hopper as a part of the end ship in the end cities. It reads: "We will have something else here soon..." and is signed by Searge.
15w41aEnd ships no longer contain a written book.
1.1317w47aPrior to The Flattening, this item's numeral ID was 387.
1.1418w43aWritten Book JE2 BE2 The texture of written books has been changed.
19w02aWritten books can now be held on lecterns.
19w11aLibrarian villagers no longer buy written books.
22w42aWritten books can now interact with chiseled bookshelves.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0beta Book JE1 BE1 Added written books.
1.10.0beta Book JE2 BE2 The texture of written books has been changed.
Written books can now be held on lecterns.
Legacy Console Edition
TU25CU14 1.17 Patch 1Written Book JE1 BE1 Added written books.
PlayStation 4 Edition
1.90Written Book JE2 BE2 The texture of written books has been changed.


Issues relating to "Written Book" are maintained on the bug tracker. Report issues there.


  • When written books are obtained with commands (without the correct data tag), the label shows "Written Book" and has the text "*Invalid book tag*" when opened. The book is signed and cannot be edited without commands.
  • Commands that were added to a written book using serialized JSON objects are executed through the chat system. This means that any command added to a written book can't be longer than 256 characters, which is the maximum chat line limit.
  • During the 2020 April Fools Update Java Edition 20w14∞, throwing a written book into a lit nether portal would create a portal to one of the 2,147,483,645 new dimensions.


See also[]