The elements of a good read are largely personal, individual to each reader. While a literary story draws one type of reader, the action/adventure draws another. Tastes and needs differ. This is why there are so many genres in fiction, so many categories in nonfiction.

Take for example the desires of the mystery versus those of the fantasy reader. Mysteries are typically grounded in reality--present day settings, characters that may be larger than life but retain their humanity. Fantasies on the other hand are largely a reality of the writer's own making--characters may or may not be human or humanoid, settings are out of this world.

A good way to determine if a particular novel is for you is to read the first few chapters. Does the story compel you to read on? Do you feel sympathetic to the main character(s)? Can you relate to what is happening to them?

Another thing to determine what you want to read is if you like the writer’s style of writing. Many novelists write in the third person. Others use the first person while still others use a combination of both. Some writers employ flash backs as a way to develop plot. Others prefer to go on a straight line from a to b. What style of writing do you prefer? What types of stories and genres peak your interest?

Perhaps the most important things to decide in determining if a particular book will be a good read for you is to answer the question is this entertaining? Am I going to have fun and enjoy myself reading this particular novel? Should I look for something that is more my style?

Perhaps the ultimate test is not wanting to put the book down after you start reading. Then you know you are onto something that will hold your attention. Something that is a real page-turner. A novel where you have to keep reading to find out what happens next.

Please feel free to use this article as long as credit is given to the resource box. © Copyright Arthur Levine, 2009

Author's Bio: 

Hi. this is Arthur Levine. If you are looking to add excitement to your life with a good read, please join us at We offer free first chapters and in the case of our new, highly in demand novel, Brady’s Run, the first fifty pages.