Bookstore sales picked up the pace in October, with sales jumping 53.4% over 2020 according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census Bureau report is another sign that consumers seem to have heeded advice to start their holiday shopping early.

Sales in September had increased 42.1% over September 2020. October 2021 sales were $698 million, compared to $455 million a year ago. Sales in October 2019 were $650 million.

For the first 10 months of 2021, bookstore sales were up 39.6% over 2020, rising to $7.12 billion. For the entire retail segment, October sales rose 18.7% over 2020 and sales in the year increased 19.6%.