September bookstore sales rose 1.7%, to $1.161 billion, compared to September 2015, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. This marked the second straight month of gains after July's 0.9% dip, which was the first drop in bookstore sales after 10 months in a row of gains. For the year to date, bookstore sales have risen 4%, to $9.001 billion.
Total retail sales in September rose 3.8%, to $447.8 billion. For the year to date, total retail sales have risen 3%, to $4,040 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."