August bookstore sales rose 2%, to $1.665 billion, compared to August 2015, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marked a return to growth for bookstore sales after July's 0.9% dip, the first drop in bookstore sales after 10 straight months of gains. For the year to date, bookstore sales have risen 4.5%, to $7.853 billion.
Total retail sales in August rose 3.3%, to $471.4 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 2.9%, to $3,592 billion.
Note: under Census Bureau definitions, the bookstore category consists of "establishments primarily engaged in retailing a general line of new books. These establishments may also sell stationery and related items, second-hand books, and magazines."