How To Make A Lectern In Minecraft

how to make a lectern in minecraft, header


This post was last updated on September 1, 2023

To make a lectern, all you need is a bookshelf and 4 wood slabs. These items, while you may think are used for merely holding a book, actually have some deeper mechanics.

This guide shows you how to make a lectern in Minecraft, what to use them for, and explains their secret uses.

How to Get a Lectern in Minecraft

You can either craft a lectern or find it in the natural world.

How to Make a Lectern in Minecraft with a Crafting Table

The crafting process for a lectern is relatively easy.

To make a lectern, the only required materials are one bookshelf, and four slabs of wood.

You use a crafting table to make a lectern in Minecraft, and you can use a mix of any different slabs in your crafting area.

The slabs of wood go in the top 3 slots of the crafting menu, the bookshelf goes in the very middle of the crafting grid, and you place the final slab underneath the bookshelf in the bottom middle slot.

Lectern Crafting Recipe

This is an easy recipe to make which requires few resources and a crafting table. The hardest component to make is the bookshelf, which requires six wooden planks and three books – which in turn require three pieces of leather and nine total pieces of paper.

Here is the recipe to make a bookshelf in Minecraft’s crafting menu.

Bookshelf Recipe

You can find bookshelves throughout the game – either in village libraries or standard villager houses, or even strongholds. Alternatively, some villagers will trade them to you for emeralds.

If you go down the crafting route, you’ll need to make three books. Books are made from 1 piece of leather and 3 pieces of paper.

Minecraft Book Recipe

You’ll find leather dropped by various mobs in Minecraft – typically cows and llamas drop leather more often than other mobs. Keep killing these mobs till you have all the leather you need. Keep an eye out for those cows nearby!

The other ingredient for books is paper – which is made from sugar cane. You can find sugar canes in deserts, typically near any pools of water, water source blocks, or coasts that form close to the sand.

How to Find a Lectern in Minecraft

You can find lecterns in libraries in villages. They spawn naturally as a villager job block, and some library variations come with two lecterns.

Also, an Ancient City will also have a lectern.

You can break lecterns with any tools (or even your bare hands) but axes are the quickest way to chop them down. A broken lectern will also drop any book it was holding.

How to Use a Lectern in Minecraft

Lecterns have multiple functions in the game – in survival mode – either single-player or multiplayer mode.

A Book and Quill held on a Lectern

Holding Books

The primary function of a lectern in Minecraft is to hold a book (either a written book or a book and quill which can be edited by players). The maximum number of books held is one.

To place a book on the lectern, simply right-click an empty one while holding a book. The book will now be loaded into the lectern.

If players right-click a lectern that is holding a book, they will be shown the book interface where they can read with the book, or make other various interactions.

This interface gives you a button for removing the book from the lectern. You can also remove the book from the lectern by punching it or breaking it.

Multiple players can read and perform book reading at the same time, although not if it is an unwritten book with a quill that can be written on.

Enchanted books cannot be held by a lectern. If you try to place an enchanted book on a lectern, nothing will happen.

A Librarian Villager

Changing Villager Roles

A second role of lecterns is their ability to change the professions of villagers. If you place an unclaimed lectern in a village (where there is at least one villager without a job), a jobless villager will be converted into a librarian.

Simply place the lectern down as a job site block, and you should see a villager come up to it. Wait a few seconds until green particles fly out, and the villager will be converted to a librarian villager.

The main reason to activate library villagers is to give you a source of enchanted books and name tags. You can trade with librarian villagers to receive an enchanted book for 11 emeralds.


While it is a waste of resources, you can burn lecterns in a furnace as fuel. Burning a lectern will give you enough fuel to smelt 1.5 items – lasting roughly 15 seconds.

Note block

Placing a lectern under a note block gives it a bass sound. This is useful if you want to create fun songs in Minecraft using note blocks.

Lectern Redstone Signal Functions

While you might think a lectern is a simple device for merely holding books, they also act as a relatively complex Redstone signal generator.

Any time the lectern’s book’s page is turned, the lectern generates a Redstone signal for 1 tick. The Redstone signal strength of this tick changes based on the current page number the player is reading.

The following formula for working out the Redstone signal strength is actually quite complex. Because the books display two pages at once, a calculation is needed which changes depending if you are on an even or odd number page.

Essentially, the maximum page number is given a Redstone signal strength of 15. Whichever page you turn to is given a value based on its percentage of the book as a whole. So if you are halfway through the book then the book’s output is a Redstone pulse with 7.5 strength.

This is only a simplified explanation of how the lectern’s Redstone signal generation works, and it also varies between Java edition and Bedrock edition Minecraft. You can find out the full details of this calculation on the Minecraft wiki.

Conclusion: Book power!

Lecterns are an interesting item in Minecraft with more uses than meets the eye. While beginners may think they are just a place to read books from, they actually have a powerful hidden Redstone feature that can help to make some fascinating builds.

Imagine, you’re reading a book on a lectern in a library, and suddenly a hidden passage opens… That’s the beauty of the Minecraft lectern – it can be used in any way you can imagine!


How Do You Make a Villager Lectern?

To make a villager lectern all you need to combine in your crafting menu is 4 wooden slabs and a bookshelf. You put one slab in the first row, the bookshelf in the middle of the second row, and three pieces of wooden slab in the top row.

How Do I Activate My Lectern?

To activate your lectern, simply click it with the right mouse button while holding a book. This is how you make your lectern hold books – although they can only hold a single book. – and only a regular book, not an enchanted one.

What Do Lecterns Do in Minecraft?

Lecterns have a range of features in Minecraft. Their main purpose is to hold books for players to read, although they do have some other interesting features.

They can change villager professions, be used as fuel, and also generate a Redstone pulse with varying strength. The strength is determined by the current highest page number. Although, see the rest of the guide for more information.