‘Alice in Wonderland’ Turns 150: Enjoy the Classic, Plus Film and Digital Spinoffs for Free

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We've rounded up dozens of Wonderland freebies, including the original manuscript illustrated by Lewis Carroll, smart-phone and audio-book editions of the novel, movies and games -- even a spinoff title that starts with the words "Fifty Shades." These tips can also help you find many other free books.

The former literature major in me was bummed to learn that an exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” is on display halfway across the country from me in Austin, Texas.

Lewis Carroll’s classic first published in 1865 is among my favorite books.

Here’s Reuters‘ description of the University of Texas at Austin exhibit:

An exhibit in Texas traces its history to show how ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ adapted and transformed through now-familiar concepts of merchandising and multimedia. …

The exhibit, at the Harry Ransom Center, a global leader in its holdings of manuscripts and original source materials, contains more than 200 items, including rare publications, drawings and letters and photographs by Carroll, the pen name for Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.

The exhibit shows how Dodgson, the University of Oxford mathematician who composed the story for the daughters of his Oxford dean, tried to balance his life in academics with his alter ego as the author of a widely popular book.

Unable to justify the cost of a plane ticket to Austin, I have nonetheless been celebrating the genius of the works by picking up a copy and rereading it.

Preferring physical books to e-books, I bought an old paperback for a few bucks at a used bookstore. But it’s easy to enjoy Wonderland without spending a dime. The book and its illustrations have been around long enough to become public domain, essentially meaning they’re no longer protected by copyrights. So enjoy.

How to Read Alice in Wonderland Free

Online: The Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg offer several free formats, such as PDF. They even offer the facsimile of Dodgson’s manuscript, which he illustrated himself. (The final, published version of the book was illustrated by Sir John Tenniel.)

E-readers: The Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg offer ePub and Kindle formats as well, and Amazon offers several free Kindle editions.

Search Amazon’s books section for the novel and then click on Kindle Edition and set the sort by option to price: low to high to quickly view all the freebies. The best-rated Kindle options include an HTML edition and an illustrated edition.

Not into classic literature? Twists on the original include Marie Hall’s romance novel “Her Mad Hatter,” and J.J. Maddox’s “Alice in Wonderland: The Vampire Slayer,” which are a free Kindle download or free with Kindle Unlimited, respectively.

Free downloads are also available for Nook. Search BarnesandNoble.com‘s books section for the novel and set the sort-by option to price – low to high. The highest-rated freebies include this two-in-one, which couples the 1865 book with its 1871 sequel, “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.”

No e-reader? Check out Reading Free E-books — Without Buying an E-reader.

Android devices: Publishers of freebies include gwofoundry (4.3 stars) and Virtual Entertainment (4.3 stars). Bilibook.com also published English/Spanish (4.8 stars) and English/German (4.4 stars) editions.

Apple devices: Bookbyte Digital (4 stars), Public Domain (4 stars)

Windows Phone: WP Books (few ratings)

Audiobooks: How to listen to Alice in Wonderland free

Android devices: Fineapps2013 (few ratings)

Audiobooks.com also offers many options for free with a 30-day trial of their Android app. Just search their site.

There are editions from big-name published such as HarperCollins, which includes the sequel, Simon & Schuster, which is narrated by Sally Field, and Random House.

If you’re in the mood for nonfiction, history or biography, there’s “The Alice Behind Wonderland.” For young-adult fiction, there’s the “Splintered” trilogy. And then there’s something for adults only, “Fifty Shades of Alice in Wonderland.”

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