I love reading the liner notes and short texts that come inside classical CDs and concert programs. Can you recommend a compilation of these in book form? Either by multiple authors or one, but definitely shorter reading.
Your best bet is to look for compilations of program notes written for performing organizations. Such as:
Michael Steinberg "The Symphony", "The Concerto", "Choral Masterworks"
Jonathan Kramer "Listen to the Music"
David Ewen "The World of Twentieth-Century Music"
There are a few others worth looking for. The Steinberg and Kramer books are still in print, I think, and are available via Amazon, etc.