Bookstore sales fell 27.7% in September, dropping to $609 million from $842 million in September 2019, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The September decline was a bit less than the 30% drop reported in August, but was more proof that bricks-and-mortar bookstores saw only a modest rebound in sales this summer compared to the spring, when declines were at their worst. By comparison, September sales for the entire retail sector were up 7.6%.

For the first nine months of 2020, bookstore sales were down 31% compared to the same period a year ago, falling to $4.53 billion.