Bookstore sales got off to a decent start in 2022, rising 11.5% in January over January 2021, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales were $914 million, up from $820 in January 2021.

The January increase was the smallest gain since last March, when sales began recovering from the depths of the plunge in sales in 2020. January 2022 sales were also 7.7% lower than sales of $990 million in 2020, a month before lockdowns caused turmoil at physical retailers.

Sales for the entire retail segment increased 13.3% in January.