Those of you who have followed the older blogs know that our family loves Encycolpedia, especially World Book! One of my happiest thoughts about growing up was that Moma and Daddy bought a set of World Book for the family when they could NOT afford it. These books meant so much to all of us. We have bought used sets over the years at library sales--these older editions are always better than the newer. I think John Thomas' love of learning was jump-started by his green and blue set. We probably paid no more than $10 for them. He still uses them and loves them.
At the first homeschool convention we attended quite a few years ago, we came upon a vendor selling packages of Britannica, the Great Books of the Western World and World Book for an unbelievable price. We had to pay them in installments, but we bought that set for the kids. I wish you could have been at our house the day they arrived. We use them all the time.
There's something special about books, about digging through them to find out what you need to know rather than simply "googling."