Re: Which Reel Do You Take?
On the weight issue, regarding using a 6/7wt reel on a 5wt rod, if there was ever a reel that was ideal to do that pairing with, I think you've got it. I'm pretty sure that reel will be on the very light side for that range and will likely balance the average 4pc 9' 5wt just fine. But I'm more inclined to put a reel on a given rod that some would call a little too heavy. Using a slightly oversized reel like that will also give you more room between the line and the frame, which can prevent the rubbing that can possibly break a fish off.
On the reading, yeah, Gierach is great. Googling "fly fishing fiction" would probably get you some good stuff as well. I've got a great book by Ed Shenk called "Trout Tales" which is kind of a memoir that's a combo of fishing stories with some technique laced in there. I found it real cheap, you probably could too.