Very Short Introductions
Very Short Introudctions from Oxford University is a series featuring 160 titles that cover topics in history, philosophy, religion, science, and the humanities. These books feature covers with ombre watercolor illustrations and measure 6.8 x 4.2 x 0.5 inches (about 160 pages).
Discoveries is a series of books from publisher Harry N. Abrams, Inc. These books measure 7 x 5 x 0.5 inches and also run about 160 pages. Unlike VSI, however, Discoveries contains many color photographs and other images. A book on Gandhi has other features, such as appendices with his speeches, writings, and commentaries by others.
I found separate kiosks for VSI and Discoveries at a Borders store in St. Louis. You may shop VSI and Discoveries at Amazon.com.
BüK is probably the most unusual series of the three. This series consists of pamphlets that measure 5 x 7 inches and run only about 16-32 pages - according to the web site, reading that can be done in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee. You have to visit the web site to see the odd selection of titles. BüK even offers its pamphlets as hotel room amenities: imagine! Something other to read than the Gideons Bible!
I found a BüK kiosk at a Whole Paycheck, er, Whole Foods Market in St. Louis, but the kiosk would be ideal for point of purchase at a coffeehouse. And how's this gift set for Valentine's Day:
BüK Collector’s Kit I
It features a slipcase featuring six BüKs, a package of Hawaiian-grown and roasted coffee beans, and a bright red mug with the BüK logo.