Total revenue from the nation's three major bookstore chains rose 5.6% in the third quarter ended October 31, reaching just under $2.1 billion. Similar to its larger competitors, Books-A-Million reported last week that gains were led by increases in sales of bestsellers. Among the titles leading sales at BAM were Alan Greenspan's Age of Turbulence, Clarence Thomas's My Grandfather's Son and the teen hit Eclipse.

BAM had the biggest sales increase of the major chains, with revenue up 6.3% in the third quarter. Same-store sales rose 2.1% at BAM, compared to 2.6% at Barnes & Noble and 1.1% at Borders.

For the first nine months of the year, total revenue at the major chains was up 5.4%, to $6.38 billion. BAM didn't issue a prediction for the holiday season, although president Sandy Cochran called the fourth-quarter new title lineup “solid,” particularly in commercial fiction, adding that the company expects tie-ins related to the upcoming films The Kite Runner, Charlie Wilson's War and The Golden Compass to do well.

COMPANY 2006 2007 % CHANGE
Source: Reed Business Information
Third Quarter
Barnes & Noble $1,111.9 $1,175.5 5.7%
Borders Group 764.6 805.2 5.3%
Books-A-Million 110.7 117.7 6.3%
Total 1,987.2 2,098.4 5.6%
Nine Months
Barnes & Noble $3,382.8 $3,565.1 5.4%
Borders Group 2,329.2 2,450.2 5.2%
Books-A-Million 345.8 366.8 6.1%
Total 6,057.8 6,382.1 5.4%