Bookstore sales fell 8.2% in June, to $605 million, compared to June 2021 when sales were $659 million, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The decline came after months of steady increases over pandemic-induced slumps in 2020 and 2021, when many bookstores were closed to in-person shopping, and also reflects the steady improvement bookstore sales were seeing last spring. In May 2022, bookstore sales were up 12.3% over a year ago—a modest increase compared to the high monthly double-digit growth rates that were reported earlier in 2022.

With the June decline, bookstore sales through the first half of 2022 were still up 12.9% over the first six months of 2021, rising to $3.89 billion, from $3.44 billion in the first six months of 2021.