Written Book

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Written Book
Written Book.png

Informational items






Yes (16)

Data value

dec: 387 hex: 183 bin: 110000011

Namespaced ID


Written books are an item created after a book and quill is signed. It appears as the same red book, but without the quill, and has an enchanted-looking glint.


Signing a book and quill[edit]

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 what the player titles it. It will say the title on the top line of the label, and "by <player>" on the bottom. <player> is the username of the player who signed the book. In Bedrock Edition, this is customizable without commands.


Ingredients Crafting recipe Description
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.


Written books can be opened by right-clicking (or holding down on the screen on the Bedrock Edition), and will 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.


Two written books can be traded to a librarian villager for 1 emerald as part of their tier 3 trades.‌[LCE only] The two books must be stacked (and therefore must be identical); despite the trading interface having two slots, the villager will not trade for one book in each slot.

Data values[edit]

Item data[edit]

  •  tag: The item's tag tag.
    •  resolved: Optional. Created and set to 1 when the book (or a book from the stack) is opened for the first time after signing. Used to determine whether to parse target selectors (including which player is selected by {score:{name:"*", ...}}) within JSON, because their selections become fixed at that point.
    •  generation: 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.
    •  pages: The list of pages in the book.
      • A single page in the book. If generated by writing in a book and quill 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 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 Book 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 also be stacked (up to 16 per stack).
1.814w02aTrading changed: librarian villagers now buy 2 written books for 1 emerald.
14w05aCopying written books will 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" 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.
1.1419w02aCan now be held on lecterns.
Bedrock Edition
1.2.0beta written books.
1.10.0beta now be held on lecterns.


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 will only show "Written Book" and will have the text "*Invalid book tag*" when opened. The book is signed and cannot be edited without commands.
  • Commands which were added to a written book using serialized JSON objects will be 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.


See also[edit]