Bookstore sales rose 5.2% in July, to $865 million, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. Sales for the entire retail segment were up 5% in the month. The July gains followed a 6% increase in bookstore sales in June and marked the sixth month in a row in which monthly store sales exceeded those in 1997. But because sales in January were down 9.5%, bookstore sales for the first seven months rose 2%, to $6.75 billion.