Bookstore sales posted surprisingly strong gains in January, jumping 15.9% over 2022. Sales in January 2023 were $997 million, up from $860 million in 2022, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sales in January were the highest since 2019, when January sales were $1.00 billion. Yearly sales in 2022 rose 6.2% over 2021.

The strong bookstore gains easily outpaced the rise in overall retail sales, which increased 8.2% in January.