Anything less and I'm putting the book down for another.
See, I get maybe 10 minutes of pleasure reading time every year. Least it seems that way. So when I do get to read for pleasure, it HAS to be great.
I know, I know. Some stories "need" back story. Well, the reality is, most stories "need" some amount of back story. Thing is, the author does not need to dump the entire back story into the first chapter or two. Unless they are so gifted at writing that they can make the entire back story SO awesome and captivating that it maintains my attention through out. If I jump into a chapter or more of boring back story, I'll never make it to the story itself.
Give me small chunks of back story in flashbacks. Relate that back story to the current scene. Make it MEAN something to me. Then you've got my attention and you're keeping it.
And yes, as a reader, I love dialogue. I also get lost with pages of narrative without characters uttering a word. The book is getting closed. I know, forget about fantasy for me, then. As a pleasure read, yes, I suppose so.
As a reader, I love to have things broken up. Give me dialogue, give me action, wrench my heart with drama and emotion, make me absolutely positively HAVE to turn the page to see what's next.
Do that...and you've got a fan for life with me.
What gets you as a reader?