After falling 4% in July, bookstore sales posted unexpectedly strong gains in August, according to preliminary estimates released by the Census Bureau. Bookstore sales jumped 11.8% in August, to $2.44 billion, an increase that likely reflects strong sales of books and other items through college bookstores and the going-out-of-business sales at Borders. With the gain in August, bookstore sales through the first eight months of the year rose 2.1%, to $10.47 billion.

Sales for the entire retail market were up 8.7% in August and 8.0% in the eight-month period.