I was in high school during the time when the first half of the Harry Potter series was published in the US. Every time a new book was set to come out, I would overhear my classmates whispering excitedly about it in biology or English or geometry class. I refused to read the books because of all the hype — they were too much of a fad, and I preferred my Tolkien, thank you very much.
I saw about half of the first movie while staying with a host family in New Zealand four years later. It was a fun movie, but I wouldn’t say it was nearly as amazing as my high school classmates had thought. Longer-lasting than a fad, maybe, but the same feel. I’ve now seen three or four of the films, and I’ve decided (another five years later) that it’s been long enough. I need a good fantasy book for light reading, so I put a hold on the first book at my library; it’s still a popular enough read that all seven copies at my branch were checked out, along with a solid 2/3 of the rest.
I should have gotten the first three at once. These are quick reads, like the Discworld novels of Terry Pratchett; after one day, maybe 6 hours of reading, I have about 40 pages left. It won’t take an hour to finish. I am enjoying it, but it’s been too long since I saw the movie to really be able to notice the details that I haven’t already seen.
It is nice to read a light novel, though, after all this Sagan and Hofstadter and quantum theory stuff. My head needs a break once in a while.