February bookstore sales rose 27% over 2021, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales were $583 million, up from $459 million in February 2021. The February 2022 sales were 1.7% lower than the $593 million in sales in February 2020, the last month sales in that year were not dramatically impacted by store lockdowns.

The 27% monthly increase was also a noticeable improvement over the 11.5% increase in bookstore sales in January. For the first two months of 2022, sales were up 17.2%, to $1.5 billion.

Sales for the entire retail segment rose 18% in February and were up 15.8% over the first two months of 2021.