The roller-coaster ride the bookselling segment has been on in recent years continued into 2007, with preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau showing that bookstore sales increased 1.1% last year, to $16.77 billion. The small increase followed a 2.3% decline in 2006. The last annual gain occurred in 2005, when sales rose 1.3%, to just under $17 billion. Both 2007 and 2005 were years in which new Harry Potter titles helped to spur sales.

In 2007, it was very much a tale of two halves; in the first six months of the year, sales fell every month, while in the second half, sales rose every month, including December, when sales increased 2.7%.