It's not that I don't enjoy reading, it's just that I suppose I'm a by-product of the MTV generation. A victim of a short attention span, I prefer to consume printed words in short, quick, bite-sized morsels. So when I received a somewhat thick hardback book for my birthday called Upriver & Downstream, I politely smiled and thanked my wife for the thoughtful gift, but at the same time seriously wondered if I'd have the time (or patience) to read it.
Admittedly, I'm only about halfway through, but if you enjoy any kind of fishing and are attention-span challenged when it comes to reading like myself, this book is for you. Plus it will look cool on your otherwise barren bookshelf.
Upriver & Downstream isn't really a single story. It's actually a collection of fishing stories that were originally written as outdoors columns in the New York Times. Because of this, no "chapter" is more than 3 or 4 pages long. It's the perfect book to read for a brisk 10 minutes, and not feel guilty about putting down when something more pressing pops up. Subsequently, you can then crack it open a week later and immediately pick up where you left off without needing to wrack your brain trying to remember the minutiae of what you've already read. It's the polar opposite of an episode of LOST.
Although the overriding theme is fly-fishing, there's a little bit for everyone in the book. It's divided into 5 sections - Coldwaters, Warmwaters, Salt Waters, Odd Waters, & Far Waters. Each has a unified theme - i.e. Coldwaters is predominantly about trout & salmon fishing; Warmwaters, bass & panfish - but each chapter within is a standalone tale written by a different author with their own unique styles.
So to conclude this review, I guess it's pretty clear I like this book. Its unusual layout & "small bites" makes me think pretty much everyone that enjoys reading fishing blogs would find something to like about it too.
DISCLAIMER:The copy of Upriver & Downstream featured in this product review was not purchased by me. It was given to me as a birthday gift by my wonderful wife who purchased it somewhere. I really don't know where she bought it - probably Target or maybe Costco - I think she buys everything at those two stores...or at the Gap, but last time I checked the Gap didn't sell books with their denim & khakis. Despite that fact, my most recent Target credit card bill did not influence my review of this book.