May bookstore sales rose 6% over 2022, rising to $650 million from $613 million a year ago, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The gain was a marked improvement from the 0.9% sales drop reported in April, which was the first time that bookstore sales fell in 2023 compared to 2022.

With the May increase, bookstore sales were up 8.3% in the first five months of 2023 over the comparable period in 2022. Sales were $3.30 billion in the January-May span this year, up from $3.05 billion over the comparable period in 2022.

For the entire retail sector, May sales were up 3.2% over 2022. Year-to-date sales increased 3.6%.