Chapter One Guidelines
Chapter One Book Group has adhered to the same general process since its inception, with only minor additions and changes to standard practices. Below you will find a description of the procedures utilized each month for nominations by group members, the official selection of books, and the ultimate rating of works discussed by Chapter One.
Nominations and Selection – One book is selected for future discussion each month. Official selections are determined from group nominations two months prior to the month in which the book will be discussed, in order to allow sufficient time for members to obtain and finish the work; for example, in January the selection will take place for March. Each group member attending an official monthly meeting will be permitted one nomination of an upcoming selection; members not attending the meeting may not submit a nomination. Each nomination will be written on a slip of paper provided by the moderator, and drawing will take place to determine the official selection. Numerous group members may nominate the same book to increase the probability of selection, but all members in attendance will have a chance for their slip to be drawn. After the official selection has been made, all other nominations are reviewed and catalogued in the group archive.
The one exception to the above noted process occurs if a group member possesses and utilizes a Golden Ticket (officially awarded at select Chapter One events in very limited frequency); in this case, the slip submitted for drawing must indicate that it represents the use of the Golden Ticket, and when revealed with the rest of the nominations, this member’s book will automatically become the official selection. Once utilized, the Golden Ticket is forfeited.
Group members should remain open to discussing literature from a variety of genres. While members should attempt to nominate works that will provide a positive and/or meaningful experience for other group members, there are only limited restrictions placed on books which may be nominated, as follows:
- Only the first book of a series may be nominated, so as not to place a burden on group members to read several additional works in order to have a full experience. This restriction does not apply to book which are part of a series in which each entry stands entirely on its own merits; and
- Books which are nominated must be readily available at a reasonable price; rare or out of print books, or books which are only available in cost-prohibitive editions, should not be nominated as a potential selection.
Rating – The group rates each book using a five point scale, with half point intervals. Following discussion at the monthly meeting, the moderator will call for final ratings from each member, and record the ratings given. Members not in attendance will still be permitted to rate the monthly selection, provided that they completed the book and submitted a rating to the moderator prior to the meeting’s end. An average of all ratings submitted will be calculated in order to determine the final rating for each book.