Busy day today coming off of a rather productive weekend...I got a lot accomplished. And one thing I did this weekend was visit my local used book store. If you've followed my blogs for any length of time, chances are you've seen me blog about video game books before. You can find some great stuff at a used book store, and sure enough...I scored some treasure. Besides Art of Empires: Artwork from the Acclaimed Series Age of Empires, I discovered two really cool Minecraft books. They are fairly new, fairly cheap (about $7 bucks each), and apparently part of a series. How did I not know about this before?

Minecraft: Essential Handbook: An Official Mojang Book (Amazon)

The long-awaited, first OFFICIAL guide to the online gaming sensation, Minecraft!

You're alone in a mysterious new world, full of hidden dangers. You have only minutes to find food and shelter before darkness falls and the monsters come looking for you. What do you do?

This official handbook might just save your life. Learn how to find resources; make a shelter; craft tools, armor, and weapons, and protect yourself from monsters. With tips from Minecraft experts, including developer Jeb and creator Notch himself, this is the definitive guide to surviving your first few days in Minecraft.

Minecraft: Redstone Handbook: An Official Mojang Book (Amazon)

Power up with this OFFICIAL Redstone handbook--it's electrifying!

It's time to wire up and get connected to one of the most complex areas of Minecraft--Redstone. Redstone experts guide you through all aspects of working with Redstone including mining, smelting, using repeaters, circuit components and circuit designs. This handbook also includes exclusive tips from game creator Notch himself and some of the most extraordinary Redstone creations ever made. So power up and get switched on to Redstone--it's electrifying!

The Essential Handbook has some great information about the history of the game and a ton of other general information. If you're familiar with the game, you'll probably be familiar with most of the material in the book. It's still kind of neat though. There are a few anecdotes and strategies included that add a little personality to the game. I know there are plenty of other resources to illustrate the recipes used to craft different items, but the way they are placed in the book with some practical applications is kind of handy.

The Redstone Handbook was particularly cool because it's filled with some complex devices crafty builders have created, like a 14 floor working elevator. I'm not going to lie, I mainly got the book because I want to build the cannon that fires blocks of TNT. How cool is that? What I also find interesting about this book is it actually explains what all the components do and how the electrical signals work.Something I've always been interested in.

So, the other books they didn't have (and probably the ones I would've wanted more) were the books focusing on crafting and combat. Look pretty much look the same, only the covers are a different color (obviously). There's also an official annual, that appears to be some sort of yearbook...but perhaps the coolest was the one about Minecraft secrets. I'll have to keep my eye out for that one. I wonder if the mysterious squid milk is mentioned in this book.

If you're a Minecraft fan, you'll love these books. And if you know someone who loves Minecraft, these would make a great gift.

The Minecraft phenomenon doesn't appear to be slowing down at all. The game recently became the second or third best-selling game...EVER. And no doubt you've seen all the Minecraft stuff turning up practically everywhere. I know, because I've collected quite a bit of it myself...and if you ask me, these books are the coolest.