I followed answers here https://webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/12311/how-to-download-all-english-books-from-gutenberg which are using wget

I want to download using wget from a particular starting offset http://www.gutenberg.org/robot/harvest?offset=100000filetypes[]=txt. As I've already downloaded previous files, but it starts from the first page.

How can I avoid that?

  • This question appears to be off-topic...
    – goldilocks
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 9:13
  • @goldilocks I'm note sure. Isn't it wget related?
    – user13107
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 9:31
  • Okay, I see your confusion. No, not really, although I guess wget is involved -- it may even be a culprit, but that's not the focus of your question. This: ?offset=100000filetypes[]=txt is a not an instruction for get -- it's part of the URL (the query string) and instructs the www.gutenberg.org server. You could just as easily put it in your browser nav bar. But I think it does contain your problem, which I'll put in an answer...
    – goldilocks
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 9:52

1 Answer 1


I think your problem is in this part of the URL:


That's a query string with two fields in it (offset and filetypes[]).

Name-value field pairs in a query string should be separated by an ampersand. Try it this way:


Without the & separating the fields, you are telling the server you want an offset of "100000filetypes[]=txt". The server then rejects that as an invalid argument and gives you a default of 0 instead.

  • why does my browser understand it w/o ampersand?
    – user13107
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 12:10
  • "Understand" as in delivers with the correct offset?
    – goldilocks
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 13:47
  • yes! it shows the page with correct offset.
    – user13107
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 14:03

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