Bookstore sales fell 5% in July compared to the same month a year ago, according to preliminary estimates released Friday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales fell from $680 million in 2018 to $646 million this past July.
The July decline continues a pattern of soft bookstore sales for the entire year. For the first six months of 2019 sales were down 5.1% compared to the first half of 2018. With the new figures (which have been revised from the preliminary results), sales through July were off 5.1%, to $5.24 billion, compared to $5.52 billion in the first seven months of 2018.