Bookstore sales rose 2.0% in August over August 2015, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales in August, one the biggest sales months of the year because of students returning to college, rose to $1.66 billion from $1.63 billion a year ago.

The increase in August followed a 1% decline in bookstore sales in July which was the first time monthly sales fell in 2016 compared to 2015. For the first eight months of 2016, bookstore sales were up 4.5% over the comparable period in 2015, hitting $7.85 billion.

For the entire retail segment, August sales increased 3.2%, while sales through August were up 2.9%.