Bookstore sales in February rose 7.2% over February of 2015, rising to $732 million, according to preliminary estimates released by the Census Bureau. The gain followed a 3.8% increase in sales in January, and is another indication of the improvement in the financial health of bricks-and-mortar bookstores..

For the first two months of 2016, bookstore sales were up 4.5%, increasing to $2.20 billion from $2.11 billion in the same period in 2015.

February was a good month for the retail sector overall, with sales up 7.0% in the month. Sales in the January-February period of 2016 rose 3.8%.