Bookstore sales fell 2.9% in October compared to 2021, falling to $636 million from $655 million last year, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Last year, holiday sales began earlier than usual, as consumers were warned to shop early to avoid missing out on books that might have been delayed by supply chain snafus. Compared to pre-pandemic October 2019, this year’s bookstore sales were up by $3 million.

Even with the October dip, bookstore sales were up 7.5% in the first 10 months of 2022 over the comparable period in 2021. Sales were $7.18 billion, up from $6.69 billion a year ago,

For the entire retail segment, October sales rose 7.8%, and year-to-date sales increased 9.9%.