With bookstore sales falling the last four months of 2008, total sales for the year fell 0.5%, to $16.93 billion, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Bookstore sales were off 4.7% in December, an improvement over the 13.0% and 5.6% declines posted in November and October. The yearly decline marked the second time in three years that bookstore sales have fallen on an annual basis, although the 2008 sales level remained above the $16.73 billion in sales registered in 2006. Still, since 2004, bookstore sales have increased just 1.0%. Final sales for 2008 may be revised at a later date.