Bookstore sales in November jumped to $729 million from $663 million a year ago, an increase of 9.9%, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The release of the figures was delayed due to the government shutdown.

The sales increase was fueled, no doubt, by success of Michelle Obama's Becoming, which came out November 13. The strong November gained followed a 7.2% sales increase in October and the two-month rally lifted year-to-date sales by 0.7% over 2017. Total bookstores sales were $9.06 billion in the first 11 months of 2018 compared to $9.00 billion in the comparable period in 2017.

For the entire retail segment, sales rose 5.0% n November and were up 5.4% in the first 11 months of 2018 over the same period in 2017.