Reading has been a favored pastime of the civilized world for centuries; however, as with several other things, the internet has only made it more popular than it once was. You no longer need to visit your favorite bookstore to purchase a book, but with a few button clicks or taps of your screen, you could be reading the next bestseller.
There are various sources of books online; this article focuses on AO3. AO3 stands for Archive Of Our Own (the “O3 simplifies the last three words starting with the letter O in its title). They are a nonprofit website that allows users to post stories that could be fanfiction or original works; they run as a free-for-all, where anyone can write anything and share it.
How To Read Deleted Fanfiction on AO3
Occasionally, some writers delete their fanfiction from the website. You could be in a situation where a book has been deleted that you enjoyed reading years ago, and you want to reread it. In such scenarios, what can you do? Well, let’s dive in and see some possible ways to retrieve them.
1. Check Other Fanfiction Websites
The first option you have when you want to read deleted fanfiction on AO3 is to check other fanfiction websites. AO3 isn’t the only online platform that offers writers a place to archive their fanfiction and stories.
Some fanfiction authors don’t post their stories on just one website, so you might be in luck and find that they didn’t delete the story on another website even though they removed it on AO3.
Some examples of alternatives to AO3 are Fanfiction.net, booksie.com, and tagpacker.com. The alternatives listed above are websites, but if you need an app on your Windows or Mac system to check for fanfiction, you can use oStorybook or MyStorybook.
Remember to register and log in to any of the above services before searching for the book, as sometimes authors can restrict their works from being seen by non-members.
2. Check Internet Archives
Webpages are constantly changing, and internet archives are a way to keep track of these changes to the internet. They work by scraping websites periodically and automatically save a snapshot of the website at that particular time. Years later, you can always come back and see the website as it was when the crawler took the snapshot.
If you’re looking for how to read deleted fanfiction on AO3, you can search these archives; you could see a snapshot of the website at a point when the book was available. Examples of such internet archives are Archive.org, Time Travel and Stillio.
3. Contact The Author Online
For an author to have posted his fanfiction on AO3, it means they have access to the internet, which in most cases means they have an online presence on social media.
If you find the fanfiction you’re looking for has been deleted and remember the author’s name, you can search for them on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.
Reaching out to them and asking for a copy of their work might be an excellent way to get the fanfiction you’re looking for; many times, an author has a copy of his fanfiction offline or privately saved on the cloud.
4. Check If It Has Been Published
A book posted on AO3 is not often published; however, there might be such occurrences. Only a few authors would leave a free copy of their book on AO3 while selling them in bookstores.
Even if they wanted to, most publishing houses would oblige them to take it down. So, check if the fanfiction you’re looking for has been published if you’re looking for it on AO3 and can’t find it.
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5. Check On Online Platforms Like Reddit And Quora
Online platforms like Reddit and Quora allow internet users to connect with like-minded people in almost every aspect of life. There are many other fanfiction readers on these spaces, and there’s a chance someone else has an offline copy of the book you want to read so badly.
Register on any of these platforms and start a thread asking for the books in question, and it might be a search that yields fruit. Also, there are groups for fanfiction fans on Facebook; join in and ask for the book, you might find someone who has a copy to share.