" A book club without a set of rules is not a book club" - Tiger McGavin (QMBC) - 2009
Some organisations and societies thrive in lawlessness, where rules are but suggestions and penalties for disobedience are non-existent. The QMBC is not one of those societies, the QMBC is not France. It is true, the QMBC have some French qualities, we are partial to wine and cheese, are occasionally malodorous and have little problem urinating in public and cursing like a docker in a lassez-faire style, but that is where the similarities end.
The members of the QMBC pride ourselves on our order, our efficiency, our cold heartedness in the face of book club chaos. Rules are what make us strong, therefore, without further adieu, here are the 24 rules of the QMBC.
1. At the end of each meeting each member suggests a maximum of 2 books for the next choice, giving their reasons for choosing them.
2. A book previously read by a gentleman, cannot be nominated by said gentleman.
3. Nominations are to be written down in advance, and cannot be changed.
4. A nominated book that is already included in another members QMBC Quotient can be vetoed by the member who has fully read that book if the member so chooses.
5. Once all suggestions are heard each book is discussed in turn, during which the nominator cannot add to their original argument in favour of their nomination. The books are whittled* down in a democratic fashion until one remains.
6. The un-written rule, which needs to be neither explained nor written, must always be upheld with dignity and honour. The penalty for breaking the un-written rule is a severe poor show to be recorded and passed onto the disgraced member. Furthermore, all votes cast by such a member will be void for the duration, past and present, of the meeting in which the offence too place.
7. “The person who wins wins not next time” is false and is rather “the person who wins wins next time fortasse”
8. Members cannot discuss the current book before the official QMBC meeting takes place
9. The Gentleman whose book is chosen, chooses the venue , the date and the time of the next meeting
10. The Gentleman arranging the meeting must investigate the opening hours of the establishment at which the next meeting takes place. Failure to do so will result in a poor show rating in the minutes and possible flogging, subject to the degree of negligence shown by the member
11. Audio-books are those in which a talented actor reads a book into a microphone and allows the user to listen to him/her. Having a book read to a member in such a way does not count as having read a book. To suggest otherwise will not be entertained postwith.
12. Each member must read the chosen book in its entirety before the meeting.
a) This includes footnotes, diagrams and forewords.
13. Each member must attend the meeting on time unless it is really really really unavoidable.
14. Vittles are to be provided by a member whose good fortune since the last meeting permits it, but only at the discretion of the member. We must never forget that this is not Russia, where free will is just the shortened name of the superb whale movie.
15. Members must rate the book out of 83. It is up to the gentleman’s own discretion whether to provide a breakdown but it is heartily encouraged
16. Minutes are to be prepared in advance of the next meeting by whichever member feels the urge to please their fellow man.
17. He who nominates last, nominates first in the following meeting.
18. New membership of the QMBC will be assessed on an individual basis, with each potential new member requiring 2 current member’s nomination.
19. New membership can only be given unanimously
20. New members can choose their own names, however existing members have the right to veto them, so as to avoid a repeat of the obvious current offender.
21. A Quorum of members required to held an EGM is defined as the Total Membership less 2, with full notification required to the other members as to the purpose of the EGM.
22. Each member must pitch on their wits
23. Voting for nominations is forbidden in either abstentia or frontlinia
24. It is possible to “win the book club”, however, details of how to do so are still a mystery
The Process of Whittling:
1. At early meetings the members whittled books down by a democratic process. This is no longer the case
2. The new process was decided at an infamous extraordinary meeting, chaired by Tiger McGavin. Unfortunately, the notes from this famous and heated meeting were lost, potentially stolen. We believe the process decided that night is as follows:
a. Each member presents their books as before.
b. Each member votes as follows:
i. Each member has 3 votes to cast weighted as follows:
1. 300 for their First Preference
2. 200 for their Second Preference
3. 100 for their Third Preference
ii. The votes are written on blank pieces of paper, provided by:
1. The members
2. Passers-by in event no members have paper
3. The table upon which the meeting is happening
iii. Names will appear on the votes to enable the minute taker to record the votes appropriately
c. The Chairman adds the scores for each book and recounts all votes in a dramatic fashion
d. In the event of a tie, the books which tie for FIRST are re-voted upon following a brief summary which is to be provided by the books champion.
e. The re-vote is to be written on the member’s hands and announced to the entire QMBC, in a clockwise fashion, starting at the champion of the book in first alphabetical order.
f. The winner is the book with most votes in the re-vote.
i. In the case where there is more than one book tying for first place after the re-vote, a second revote it to be taken. This is to be known as Deadlock
1. During deadlock, each member must stand and announce their vote in a loud manner, in the voice they would imagine the book they are voting on would be read to them by a talented actor.
ii. The winner is the book with the most votes in Deadlock.
1. Please note there may be up to 6 deadlocks, each progressing deadlock being deadlier than the previous.
iii. If at the end of 6 deadlocks, there is no clear winner, the process of whittling will have failed.
1. The Deadliest lock can only be broken by a coin of immense power and value. Preferably a Sterling coin.
3. The process of whittling will then have ended.