Book and Quill

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Book and Quill
Book and Quill.png

Informational items







Data value

dec: 386 hex: 182 bin: 110000010

Namespaced ID


Books and quills are items used to write written books.



Ingredients Crafting recipe
Book +
Ink Sac +

Natural generation[edit]

In Bedrock Edition book and quill can be found in 18.9% of buried treasure chests in stacks of 1–2.


Crafting ingredient[edit]

Name Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
Written Book Book and Quill +
Written Book
The input written book is not consumed.
The new copies will be "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") will stack.


By pressing use item or long pressing screen anywhere‌[Bedrock Edition only] while holding a book and quill in their hand, the player can open a text editor GUI.

Using this GUI, the player can write a single book up to 100 pages‌[Java Edition only] or 50‌[Bedrock Edition only] long, with up to 255 characters per page, with line breaks counting as two characters. The player can write up to 12,800 characters inside the entire book. No page may be longer than 14 lines and each line can have an average of 19 characters, determined by the width of the used characters.

The player has the ability to copy and paste into books. However, the paste does not work if the text being pasted is longer than a single page. Most Unicode characters are available in books, and they may be pasted in without issue.

In Singleplayer, the world pauses while a book is being edited.


One can place a book and quill or 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. This is why lecterns are listed in the "redstone" tab in the Creative inventory.

Formatting codes[edit]

Text in a book can be styled using codes starting with the § character (section sign)‌[Bedrock Edition only].

  • § + k creates randomly changing characters.
  • § + l creates bold text.
  • § + o creates italic text.
  • § + 0f (hexadecimal) creates colored text.
  • § + r resets any of the previous styles so text after it appears normally.

If you use multiple codes, and continue typing past the end of a line, the next line exhibits only the last formatting code used.


Books can be signed by pressing the "Sign" button while in the interface. In Java Edition, when signed, a book bears the name of the player who wrote it and a title chosen upon signing. In Bedrock Edition, the book doesn't get the name of the player, instead it gets any text the player wants. After it has been signed, it cannot be edited again – it has turned into a written book.

The title of the book can be up to 16 characters long, and the player cannot paste into a title. Special characters can be used in the title, if typed from a keyboard that supports them. Alt codes do not work, and the § character cannot be typed even using a keyboard that implements it, meaning titles cannot be colored or formatted in-game. However, on Linux using the compose key to produce special characters does work.


Expert-level librarian villagers buy a book and quill for one emerald. ‌[Bedrock Edition only]

Expert-level librarian villagers have a 50% chance to buy 2 book and quills for one emerald.‌[Java Edition only]


Sound Subtitle Namespaced ID Subtitle ID Source Pitch Volume Min. volume
MISSING Page rustles ? ? ? ?
MISSING Book thumps ? ? ? ?

Data values[edit]

Book and quill items have a data value of 386, and the ID name minecraft:writable_book. They use their item data to determine the contents of the book.

Item data[edit]

  •  Item: The item
    •  tag: The tag tag.
      •  pages: The list of pages in the book.
        • A single page in the book. If generated in-game, each page is a string in double quotes and uses the escape sequences \" for a double quote, \n for a line break and \\ for a backslash. If created by commands or external tools, a page can be a serialized JSON object or an array of strings and/or objects (see Commands#Raw JSON text) or an unescaped string.



Java Edition
1.3.112w17aAdded book and quill.
1.7.213w36aBooks and quills can now be crafted with a written book to clone the written book.
1.814w05aCopying 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.
14w25aUses JSON text components instead of plain text with the new pages tag
Capable of using the clickEvent and hoverEvent tags.
1.1317w47aPrior to The Flattening, this item's numeral ID was 386.
1.1418w43aAdded support for editing anywhere in the book.
Book and quill now has copy/paste support.
Page limit increased to 100 pages.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0beta book and quill.
1.4.0beta and quills can now be found inside buried treasure chests.
1.6.0beta can now be turned using the controller bumper buttons.
1.11.0beta and quill can now be sold to librarian villager.
Legacy Console Edition
TU25CU141.17Patch 1Added book and quill.


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


  • The in-game restrictions on books are not hard limits. Third party editors or commands can make books have more than 100 pages‌[Java Edition only] (2,147,483,639 pages), more than 256 characters per page (32,767 characters per page), can change author names, and can have colored titles, among other things. These books still function properly in vanilla Minecraft, meaning you may encounter such books on adventure maps or multiplayer servers.[1]
  • Although the name blank is only 16 characters long, you can give it a longer name using an anvil.
  • If you rename a book and quill in an anvil before signing it, it retains the name from the anvil instead of taking the name from signing.
  • If you rename a book and quill in an anvil before writing in it, you cannot write anything in the book. If something is written in it before it is renamed, then it functions normally.



External links[edit]