In the Jin Dynasty (265-420 CE), there was a famous literary writer named Zuo Si. However, as a child, he was very naughty and did not like study. One day his father sighed and said to his friends, “Zuo Si doesn’t like study and it seems he is good for nothing in the future.” It happened that Zuo Si overheard this and he felt very sad and decided to study hard for a better future.
As years went by, he worked hard and began to write excellent essays. His most famous essay is “Ode to the Capitals of the Three Kingdoms of Wei, Shu Han and Wu” which took him ten years to finish. This essay was so popular that people began to make handwritten copies of it and as a result, paper supply shortage happened in Luoyang. The price of paper soared.
Based on this story, a saying was coined, “writing paper in Luoyang is very expensive” (洛阳纸贵 Luòyáng zhǐ guì). It means that an overwhelming popularity of a piece of literary works can cause a shortage of printing paper.