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Quids in with Bloomsbury

Never mind the Penguin 60s. The ten Bloomsbury Quids have real class. The same pocket size, they have been issued to mark the 10th birthday of Bloomsbury Publishing and feature not offcuts of full-size books but short stories, most written especially for the series.

The eclectic selection includes Joanna Trollope's Faith in which a single woman discovers herself after her mother's death.

Tobias Wolff and T. Coraghessan Boyle introduce us to American golden youths (in Two Boys and a Girl and She Wasn't Soft respectively), while Jay McInerney takes us into a seedy transvestite world in The Queen and I.

Will Self spins a convincing Story for Europe about a precocious two-year-old who has acquired fluent business German.

But what makes the Quids so exquisite is their high-quality paper and printing and their beautiful design by Jeff Fisher.

The bold ochre, orange, jade or gentian covers make them most collectable artefacts. If not for the classroom, they make imaginative alternatives to greetings cards. Select carefully, however.

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