April was the best month for bookstore sales so far in 2014, but business was still down compared to April 2013. According to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday morning, April bookstore sales fell 1.3%, to $684 million.

Bad winter weather for much of the country resulted in a slow start for bookstore sales in the first quarter of 2014 and for the first four months of 2014 bookstore sales were down 8.8%, to $3.60 billion.

For the entire retail segment, April sales rose 5.2% over April 2013 and sales to-date were ahead 3.0%.