My God We're Stocked.

This is pure bragging. (Knock Wood.)

But Pegasus Books is stocked to the max.

The question that always put a stab in my heart was "Is this all you got?"

(Well, you can always have more and people are always asking and there are no end of things we could carry, but at least I can give a glance askew.)

For years there wasn't much I could do about it. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is a long and difficult process. I borrowed money a few times and that helped boost the business, until the debt dragged down further growth.

But you just keep pounding away at it, bringing in a little more than you sell, month after month, year after year. You accept 10 or 15% less operational profit in order to build the inventory.

And then you add another product line and the whole thing starts over again.

Eventually, Pegasus Books got so much stuff that the 1000 sq. ft. space was bursting at the seams. And still I kept getting stuff, trying to be more and more ergonomically creative. I looked for product that could be stacked: games and books. I have high ceilings so I have used most of the space over 8 feet high for toys.

In 1984, I started with comics, tried games several times, and used books, did collector cards for many years then dropped them, tried games again, and toys, and the final piece of the puzzle, new books. That seems to be the point where the store became self-sustaining, and the inventory in all the categories became adequate, and now it's just trying to make it better.

Yes, it can be overwhelming when you walk in the door. Yes, there isn't much space for outward display. I figured that we were better off having a product than being able to display it outwardly.

It would be great to display things more prominently, I could probably fill a space five times our size, but then downtown Bend did this unexpected thing.

It became popular.

I drive up to the store on an overcast Tuesday in September and the streets are packed. I mean, I could have only dreamed of that 30 years ago. There is no way I'm leaving if I can help it, which means I have to keep trying to make the space work.

But sometimes I look around the store and I'm dazzled by it.

Very cool and very satisfying.