Freethought Discussion Group Customs:
These “rules” are de facto.They just evolved. Anything can be changed, by general agreement.
Nominating a book: Anyone who has attended “recently” can nominate any number of books, either in person or by e-mail to the other regulars.
Remember that books on the same “theme” compete against each other. With that in mind, there is no limit.
Recommended: include a reason why you are nominating it. Can be in your own words. If 50 words or less, and sent by e-mail to the group/web liaison person, will be posted in the book list. Reviews on Amazon or other web sites will not be copied to this web site, but will have a hyperlink.
Acceptance as a nomination: if in person, an informal consensus of those in attendance. If by e-mail: assurance that this a nomination, not just a suggestion, and no objection from anyone else.
No nominations are added to the list less than a week before a vote, so that everyone gets a chance to investigate newly-nominated books. After the vote, the new nomination(s) will be added for the next vote.
Dropping a book: Once a book has been nominated, the nomination belongs to everybody. Therefore acceptance of a proposed drop requires at least a 2/3 vote.
If a book get no votes for 3 consecutive voting evenings it is suspended from the list.
Voting (for the next book to read): A vote will be announced a week ahead.
Vote procedure: First round, the host announces how many votes each person gets, polls everyone, tallying the votes.
Then the host announces the results, and eliminates for the next round books that got few or no votes.
Similarly for subsequent voting rounds, until a single book is the clear winner.
You can vote if either you are present the evening of the vote or you send an absentee vote (see absentee votes).
If you expect to be absent during the subsequent discussions of whichever book is chosen for next, it is legitimate to vote for a book which does not interest you, in effect saying, “the rest of you enjoy that book while I am gone.”
Absentee votes: E-mail, to the group/web liaison person, a list of books, as many as you like, in order of your preference. In each voting round, votes for you will be submitted, selecting from that list your highest preferences not yet eliminated.
Themes: Every book has one or more themes. We do not choose such a theme to be used until either that theme or we are exhausted; any book can follow any book. Any appearance to the contrary is merely an effect of the books recently chosen. Most books have 2 or more themes, so it would be counter-effective to pigeonhole books into themes.