Bookstore sales fell 1.3% in July, slipping from $595 million last year to $587 million in 2023, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The decline comes after a good first six months of the year, during which sales rose 6.9% from the comparable period in 2022. With the July dip, bookstore sales though July were up 6.4%, rising to $4.47 billion, from $4.20 billion a year ago.

For the entire retail segment, sales increased 2% in July, and were up 3.1% in the January through July period.