Is anybody here acquainted with this series? These adorable little books give you information on pretty much every subject you can think of. According to the wiki article on them, some have even been incorporated into college classes as a reference they are so helpful. They're published by Oxford, are small, paperback books, rarely go over 200 pages, and include a little flip on the front and back cover so you can easily bookmark your place. The are also written by people who are very familiar with the subjects. The author of the Very Short Introduction to mathematics, Timothy Gowers, is a Fields Medalist. Most people here probably wouldn't need what amounts to basically a survey course in mathematics, but the series (well over a hundred books now) includes books on topics as diverse as Animal Rights to Human Intelligence, economics to linguistics. So, I think they are great books for the physcist on the go who might want a good, academic introduction to a new subject. I just got The Basics Box which comes in a neat plastic box container for the 5 books that come with it (Psychology, Politics, Philosophy, etc.), as well the extra book that comes with all of the Box Sets, which are numerous (The Brain Box, The Ballot Box, The Thought Box, and so on).