Good news everyone, experience and bookcases now have a function! As of Beta 1.9 Pre-release 3, you can now create an enchantment table by placing three obsidian blocks on the bottom row of the crafting table, one obsidian in the middle with two diamonds touching, and a book on top. The enchantment table will work better if you place it next to bookcase blocks; when these two blocks are placed next to each other, awesome visuals of foreign letters and symbols will appear to be sucked out of the bookcases and into the table. If any of you are fans of the Commander Keen video game, you will instantly recognize these symbols as part of the Standard Galactic Alphabet.
With this enchantment table you will be able to spend your hard earned levels to enchant your armor and tools. When enchanting, you will be given a choice between one of three random item enchantments. Other players will know that you wield enchanted equipment because enchanted items give off a desirable shiny aurora.
Currently there are a total of thirty-five enchantments. Some of these enchantments include bane of arthropods, aqua affinity, smite and blast protection. As with many things in Minecraft, the physics can be used for interesting exploits. For example, silk touch, which makes it so items you mine will always turn into the block and not the resources they usually drop, will allow you to harvest the giant mushroom blocks that are found in the new mushroom biome.