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Recently we at the Twin Suns Foundation have been getting requests on Twitter to donate Canon books instead of Legends books. So today I will be going over some reasons as to why we donate Legends books exclusively. Now some of these reasons may be obvious to some of you who are reading this, but this article is more focused towards those less familiar with Twin Suns. Also for those not aware I am the Vice President of the Twin Suns Foundation and was one of the team members present at two of the 3 hospital donations we have done in the past. I will also be at our Phoenix donation in May.
So, with that out of the way let’s start with the practical reasons. Firstly, being that with the Legends universe we have a great variety of books to choose from. One of the things we like to do at the hospital visits is to ask the patients what characters are their favorites, and give them a book that features their favorite character. What’s great about Legends is that there are well over 100 novels in total and just about every popular character features in some novel at some point. This gives us an incredible variety during our visits to ensure than every patient not only gets a book, but gets a story that they are more likely to enjoy and be invested in. With the canon novels there are around a dozen which still gives us a bit of variety but not nearly to the extent that we get with Legends.
Partly tied to the number of books in each universe is the ease at which we can get books. Usually for a visit we need somewhere between 100-200 books to ensure we have enough for the patients at the hospital. Additionally, the way we plan these we usually have around a month to get that many books. Typically, we get our books online through Amazon, as this allows us to keep a low fixed price for the books, ensure we get them new, nearly eliminates our shipping costs, and with amazon smile allows our money to go even further than with any other method. We also target paperbacks, or more specifically mass-market paperbacks as they are almost always in stock and have a low fixed price. Now as I said earlier the canon only has around 12 novels at present and not all of them are available in paperback at the time of writing this. This means that to get the necessary amount of books we need roughly 10-20 of each book to be in stock to fill the order. While not impossible it is highly unlikely that we would be able to find every current canon novel that has a paperback version available in those kinds of quantities all at the same time. Even if it were possible, something we learned in past fundraisers is that increasing the quantities of each book we order also increases the shipping time. IE if we bought 30 of one book it would take over twice as long for us to get those books then it would take if we only ordered 5 or so With the Legends books we only need to ensure that every book have 1-2 copies in stock on average which is much more likely.
Though both of those numbers are assuming that each book is either a standalone novel or book one (which we prefer to use at it gives a good starting off point) so the exact numbers of books we can use for donations is actually lower in both canons making the number we need per book much higher, but again because of the sheer number of legends books available, having enough books in stock at a time to fill the order is simply not as much a problem with the legends universe as it would be with the canon.
Another issue with the canon books is that they are more expensive. MSRP for a canon paperback is $9.99 while for Legends it is $7.99. Again because of amazon the amount we pay on average is typically lower than the MSRP, but even with this factored in legends books are still on average $2 cheaper than canon books. Meaning we can buy more books for the same price and thus be able to ensure that more kids receive a book during each of our visits.
Even if the prices were the same the size of canon books is also an issue. While I don’t know the exact dimensions as anyone who owns both types of books knows, the paperbacks for the canon books are taller and a bit wider than their legends counterparts. This is important as since we bring 100-200 books to a hospital we have to carry all of those books in, typically with milk crates and with dollies. Since canon books are larger than legends books we can fit less per crate, requiring more crates and more trips with the dollies during the visits. At Children’s Hospital of Orange County for example we had 2 people and 287 books which required seven milk crates and two trips to the car with the dolly. When we got to the hospital they gave us a cart but those seven crates could only fit with one hanging off the side. If we had done canon books we would have needed more crates to fit them all and likely wouldn’t have been able to transport them all both with the cart or to the hospital in one trip. So, while both impose a logistical problem the legends books due to their smaller size are significantly easier to transport in large quantities.
That about wraps up the practical reasons for why the Legends only focus but they are far from the only reasons we do what we do. One of the primary purposes of Twin Suns is to promote reading and writing throughout the world. It is no secret that nowadays less and less people are readers. In fact, many of us were that way before we started reading Star Wars books. However once introduced to the legends universe, we were hooked and actively sought out more books to read on our own. So, if it worked for us, why couldn’t it work for others? This is where the legends universe comes in. As we are all keenly aware of just how much of a rabbit hole the universe can be. If we can just get them to read one book that they will enjoy, they’ll want to read more, and with over 100 books to read, as well as a helpful timeline in each book, they can easily get lost in this universe. Yes, the same is true for canon as they also include timelines, and their books also tie into each other like the legends books do. But the key is finding the right book to get them hooked and the legends books have a much more varied selection to choose from. Plus, as we are more familiar with the Legends books, we can avoid giving them the stinkers as their first step into the larger world.
A secondary goal of ours is to seek a continuation of the legends universe. The challenge is that we need to accomplish this while still doing charitable efforts. Thus, donating legends books is the most effective way to accomplish both goals. As stated earlier we introduce people to an addictive series to help get them to enjoy reading, then they help us by becoming fans of the legends universe themselves, continuing the interest of the universe for another generation. This is even more important with recent news from Europe indicating publishers are stopping production of Legends books. If we can get more people interested, we can keep up the demand, and if we can keep up demand, we can keep the books on shelves. We do support both the legends and canon universe, as more Star Wars is great for everyone. However as currently the canon is going strong and getting new content on a regular basis, focusing on keeping those books on shelves is simply not needed at this time.
So those are the main reasons that we chose to donate Legends books. We don’t think the idea of donating canon books would be a bad idea, in fact we encourage all our followers to donate books of any sort to those in need. We just think that for the reasons stated above that it makes more sense for us to focus on legends books.
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