After two months of declines, bookstore sales rebounded in October, rising 7.2% over a year ago.

According to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales were $699 million in October, up from $649 million in October 2017.

The strong gain in October enabled the sector to recover the ground it had lost in August and September and sales for the first 10 months of 2018 were $8.33 billion, exactly even with the comparable period in 2017.

For the entire retail segment, sales in October were up 6.1% over 2017, while sales in the first 10 months of the year increased 5.4% over the January-October period in 2017.