-- Publishers Weekly, 5/13/2008 6:08:00 AM
Bookstore sales rose 1.3% in March, to $1.03 billion, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales have increased every month so far in 2008 and finished the first quarter up 5.1%, to $4.46 billion. The 1.3% March increase was the smallest gain in 2008. The sales increase in the bookstore segment was higher than for the entire retail segment, which rose 3.9% in the quarter. March retail sales inched up 0.5%, to $379 billion.
I find it interesting that book sales have increased when the economy is either in or near a recession. I've read elsewhere that ticket sales to movies remain good, even increase, during hard economic times. The theory is that a trip to the theatre is a relatively inexpensive form of entertainment and provides a couple of hours of escape. Perhaps the same is true for books.
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