Bookstore sales rose 3.8% in January 2016 over the first month of 2015, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales in the month were $1.48 billion, up from $1.43 billion a year ago.

The 3.8% gain in January continues the solid increases bricks-and-mortar bookstores showed in 2015. Last year, bookstore sales rose for the first time since 2007, posting a 2.5% gain.

January bookstore sales performed far better than sales for the entire retail sector where sales rose just 0.1% in January