The Oscar series, symbol of affordable paperbacks in Italy since 1965, stand out for their ongoing trend of renewal, thanks to a catalogue of over 4,000 titles, introduced repeatedly over the years through new series and with different graphics
Year of launch
The Oscar series, symbol of affordable paperbacks in Italy since 1965, stand out for their ongoing trend of renewal, thanks to a catalogue of over 4,000 titles, introduced repeatedly over the years through new series and with different graphics.
At their launch on 27 April 1965 with Ernest Hemingway’s Farewell to Arms, the Oscars are sold in newsstands weekly, an absolute novelty for the Italy of that time. Success is immediate and the 60,000 copies of the first book are sold on the first day. The series owes its success to the breadth and completeness of its offer (one of the promotional messages is “Negli Oscar c’è”, i.e. “The Oscars will have it”), the modern graphical concept and, last but not least, the price. Vittorio Sereni, who works on the series alongside Alberto Mondadori, coins the slogan “i libri-transistor” (transistor books), and sums up their spirit:
“The Oscars, transistor books that make up a library, present weekly literary masterpieces and the most compelling stories in full, super-affordable versions for one’s leisure time. […] With the Oscars, a traditionally cutting-edge publishing house has conceived and created weekly high-quality books for a public on the move. The Oscars are the Oscars of books: there is a new one each week and they last a lifetime.”
…from the inside cover, containing the series’ description.
From the 1970s onwards, the Oscars evolve into sub-categories (classics, mysteries, science fiction, poetry, youth and theatre), opening up to other genres such as non-fiction, manuals, and comics, and finally returning to the traditional bookstores channel. In over fifty years of activity, more than 13,000 titles have been published in the Mondadori Oscars: one of the most extraordinary editorial catalogues in the world.
In May 2016, the graphics and catalogue of the series are renewed to make them simpler, more immediate and consistent, focusing on three main categories: Bestsellers, Classics and Essays. Two dedicated sites were set up for the occasion: www.gomorradiecianni.com, in which the Gomorra universe is unveiled to the public through numerous social activities accompanied by the hashtags #Gomorra and #DieciAnni on the Libri Mondadori accounts; and www.oscarlibri.it, the richest and most complete online showcase of the brand’s vast offer