Becoming more literate, one product placement at a time

Don_winslow1So yesterday, while visiting (we were looking for a link to the iPod-compatible BMW; we are most assuredly not in the market for the car), we came across information about BMW’s new line of audiobooks being produced in conjunction with Random House. Audiobooks? From BMW? One, if not both, of our eyebrows raised. According to this story, the books, which are available even to the impoverished among us as a free download, feature 45 minutes of fiction from authors including Don Winslow. Think of it as a hybrid (car metaphor alert!) of BMW Films and BMW’s Great Summer Read of two summers ago, in which the company sponsored The New York Times‘ reprinting, chapter by chapter, of classics such as The Great Gatsby. We are all for people listening to books in the car—particularly as opposed to reading them, especially when driving—but this seems a bit affected to us, especially when we read that the audiobooks include BMW product placement.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor