The late year swoon in bookstore sales continued into November. According to preliminary estimates released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales this past November fell 6.4% from November 2016. Sales hit $699 million, compared to $744 million a year ago. In October sales were down 4.6%

The November decline marks the fourth consecutive month bookstore sales fell (compared to the same month the previous year). Fall sales in 2016 were relatively soft, due in large part to consumers being distracted by the presidential election.

With the four-month losing streak, bookstore sales were down 3.1%, to $9.54 billion, for the first 11 months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.

For the entire retail category, November sales were up 6.6% over 2016, while year-to-date sales increased 4.2% over the comparable 2016 period.