Some of us may prefer email over the use of the community. But just because you prefer email, doesn't mean you need to be left out of the conversation.
Here is your method for setting up community to email you when you want to be emailed. And you can respond directly from your email to conversations.
Go to news:
Click on the "+" icon to create a new stream. Name it whatever you want
Search for the people, places or tags you want to be contacted with
Add those people, places or tags from your search
Check the "email" and "done" buttons to create the stream
Go into your profile preferences
Change your preferences to adhere to your style of communication.
Further refine the email preferences for this stream, such as a real time, daily or weekly summary of the activity