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6. Look at size of book. I know this isnít something for purists but if you donít get time to read many novels, donít launch back in with a 700 page tome or it will probably take you all year and then youíll be frustrated and annoyed at wasting time and money on something you havenít enjoyed.
7. The next step is crucial. Read opening Ė does it get you in straight off? Novels have a bit more time to seduce you than a short story but not much these days. A good opening is like someone placing a thread around your finger and gently tugging on it. Theyíve got you but can they keep you?
8. Has author mentioned 10 characters and 5 different place names in first 3 paragraphs? You want to be captivated not confused, remember? If your main reading time is before you drop off to sleep, books that have lots of characters and places or even a family tree at beginning are a warning that it gets complicated and you need to keep track of who is who and what theyíre up to.
9. Are there lots of long sentences or are they short and sharp? Lots of short sentences usually mean action and pace. Something. Is happening. Right now. Usually itís best to go for a story with a combination of both Ė one that suits your preferred action/background information mix.
10. If you still think book in your hands is worthy, randomly flip open book in 5 places and see whether it is densely packed with text. Is there dialogue at each page you stop? No dialogue usually means that a book is more descriptive rather than direct scenes. If you want a compelling read then go for something with a fair amount of dialogue; if you donít mind a slower pace then bits of dialogue here and there is probably enough to keep you going.
If it all stacks up, buy it and enjoy. Just one more tip though. If it doesnít captivate you in first 100 pages and you find reading it a chore, give it up. Donít keep persisting just because you donít like leaving things unfinished. The book wonít feel hurt if you donít finish it. And author will never know.
Jill Brennan, an experienced writer, editor and mother of 2 young boys, created espresso Fiction to help time-poor fiction lovers get a regular hit of quality fiction that they could read in 15 minutes or less and still feel satisfied. To learn more about getting great fiction home delivered, go to http://www.fastfoodforyourmind.com