Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
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SPOUT | Rant, React, Chat, Blather

   Gordon Studer/

Mail Bonding

A reader recently complained that Sierra doesn't devote enough space to letters to the editor. As someone who picked up the magazine habit with Highlights for Children and Boy's Life and has since moved on to everything from Foreign Policy to Paste, I sympathize. Holding a good magazine is like stepping into the hangout of a cool club (imagine!) with people who share our interests. When we read a story or see an image that engages, amuses, or annoys, we're eager to know what others think. We want to discuss, debate, and maybe even argue a bit (or in the case of this particular club, maybe more than a bit).

Sierra's staff thrive on these interactions. Even letters that malign executive editor Steve Hawk as a slobbering nincompoop for letting a supposedly inane quote appear or that demand the beheading of senior editor Paul Rauber for some perceived failure in logic inspire grins here (and not just because senior editor Reed McManus thinks Paul would look better headless).

Letters mean you're paying attention. Even nasty letters are evidence that Sierra's content has infiltrated your cortex and spurred emotions. One recent letter thundered about Diet Coke, "It is a neurotoxin that can kill at high amounts," adding, "We are far beyond laughing at this point."

I can see the letters pouring in already: If we love letters so much, why don't we run scores of them? Well, we do. Just not in print. Go to our Web site or Facebook page to find the conversation flowing, the debates raging, the ideas popcorning across the screen.

Now, to honor the theme of this column, I'll shut up and let you, our esteemed if sometimes hotheaded readers, have the page. We're that kind of club. —Bob Sipchen, editor in chief

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