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Is it grammatically correct to describe a book or article as a very good read?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

It is correct. Here read is used as a noun referring to the thing that is being read. Note that the noun can also mean the act of reading something. The two senses are similar enough that sometimes they are not distinguished.

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Or, rather, by extension and when preceded by 'good', something for reading. – Barrie England Oct 30 '11 at 17:29
"Read" here does not mean the act, but the thing that is read, such as a book or an article. "Read" can mean what you say, but not in this context. See the examples in dictionary.com for a comparison of the two meanings. – Fraser Orr Oct 30 '11 at 19:19

The process by which a word that has previously functioned exclusively as verb but has been refactored as a noun in modern usage is called nominalization. Examples are:

  • a hard sell
  • a must have
  • a new install
  • an unexpected invite

I could invent new examples:

  • My new suitcase is a heavy carry.
  • His phone number is an easy remember.

Are constructions are grammtically correct? Well, that's a very difficult ask.

Here is a good article on the topic: Mighty Morphin' Parts of Speech.

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protected by tchrist Feb 26 '15 at 2:06

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