Romance novels have an amazingly wide circulation in Taiwan. In just a few years, each of three major series has reached over five hundred titles. These novels have an incredible magic power to many female readers. Buying one for about one hundred dollars or renting one for eight dollars a day, these readers seem addicted to, and can not or are unwilling, to get out of this romantic snare. Romance novels have captured these females because they are convenient, inexpensive and satisfy the readers' romantic yearnings.
Reading romance novels is really a convenient way to kill I time. These novels are easily available and cost just a small amount of money. Moreover, they are written in vernacular Chinese that readers can understand almost instinctively. So the readers habitually plunge into the novel's fascinating world whenever they are free. High school girls hide them in their bags and furtively take them them out during the scheduled afternoon nap. Salesgirls enjoy them behind the counter when there are no customers and superintendents nearby. Housewives fetch one after finishing tedious chores. As a result, romance novels become an indispensable part of their lives.
However, there is a subtler factor that makes romance novels irresistible. Reading them satisfies many female readers' yearnings. Like Cinderella's carriage, romance novels carry them into a world which is always happy and perfect. In the reading, they can identify with the beautiful heroine, who fortunately encounters the handsome, brave and rich man. They imagine themselves living as luxuriously as she, finally marrying the devoted man and living happily ever after. Unfortunately, the carriage turns back into a pumpkin as the tale goes, but no prince is to save them from their boring daily routines. Their solution is to find escape in another Romance novel.
From their rising sales, we can infer that romance novels are casting a spell over more and more females. As long as the spell is not broken by self control and sufficient recognition of reality, these captives will not be emancipated.