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If the paper is acid free paper of good quality then the books that are over 100 years old can still be usable. Just keep the damp and bugs away. I have a set of Encyclopedia Britannica 11th edition that I still use and they are in great shape. I got them at a garage sale for 10 bucks.
Speaking of yards sales, second hand shops and such, I ran across a deal today. I bought a complete set of encyclopedia Britannica that includes a two book dictionary, a science of the future book and a bound world atlas. All are from 1958. They may be outdated by today's standards but, not for tomorrow's. I paid $10 for everything.