I just threw out two big piles of reprints of my pre-PDF papers. In olden days, reprints were printed on the same high quality glossy paper used by the journals. I’ve kept those piles for years – one package of 50 reprints was still in its plastic wrapper after 10 years. Why was I so reluctant to throw them out? Maybe because I sort of miss the old days when we received nice little postcards from known and unknown colleagues, asking us to please send a copy of a particular paper “and any others on the same topic”. That was a friendlier system than the anonymous, convenient system of instant downloads that we have now.
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